The Public Theater kicks off its 2017–2018 season September 1 with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery, with music and lyrics by Taub. The production is free at the Delacorte Theater as part of the theatre’s Public Works program, an initiative that invites diverse communities from across New York City into the theatre-making process.
As You Like It runs through September 5 in Central Park with direction by Public Works Director Woolery and choreography by Emmy nominee Sonya Tayeh.
Taub, who adapted last season’s musical Twelfth Night, returns with her unique take on the Bard’s dream-like tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and lovers in disguise. Forced to seek refuge in the Forest of Arden, Orlando, Duke Senior, Rosalind, and Celia fall under love’s magical spell amidst the trees.
The principal cast is made up of Ato Blankson-Wood as Orlando, Darius de Haas as Duke Senior, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Rosalind, Joel Perez as Touchstone, and Taub as Jaques; along with cameo group performances by Bronx Wrestling Federation, Freedom Dabka Group, Harambee Dance Company, and The Sing Harlem Choir.
The 2017 Public Works community partner organizations are Brownsville Recreation Center, Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, DreamYard Project, Fortune Society, and Military Resilience Project, along with alumni partners Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Children's Aid Society, and Domestic Workers United.
“Public Works is the crown jewel of what the Public Theater does and stands for; theater of, for and by the people,” commented Public Artistic Director Oskar Eustis in a statement. “Public Works has spread nationally, with Public Works Dallas and Public Works Seattle joining our network of extraordinary community collaborations. In this, our fifth year, the amazing Shaina Taub returns for her second year and our own Laurie Woolery makes her Delacorte debut. On Labor Day weekend 2017, the Delacorte will be the best place to be in the world.”
As You Like It features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Andrea Hood, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design by Jessica Paz, and music direction by Andrea Grody.
Tickets are distributed (two per person) at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at noon on the day of each performance. All performances are at 8 PM. Tickets are also distributed by random mobile lottery on the TodayTix app.
Flip through photos from last season’s musical adaptation of Twelfth Night: