Richard Nelson’s Illyria Opens Off-Broadway | Playbill

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Off-Broadway News Richard Nelson’s Illyria Opens Off-Broadway The Public Theater production details the early career of founder Joseph Papp.
John Magaro and Fran Kranz in Illyria
John Magaro and Fran Kranz in Illyria Joan Marcus

The Public Theater celebrates the opening of the world premiere of Illyria October 30. The new play by Richard Nelson traces the early career of Joseph Papp, the theatre’s celebrated founder, as he fought to keep the free Shakespeare in the Park productions alive.

Emma Duncan and Naian González Norvind in Illyria
Emma Duncan and Naian González Norvind in Illyria Joan Marcus

Performances of Illyria, also directed by Nelson, began October 22. The playwright and director returns to The Public following his acclaimed election trilogies The Gabriels and The Apply Family Plays.

The Front Page’s John Magaro stars as Joe Papp, alongside House of Cards’ Kristen Connolly as Peggy Papp.

Completing the cast are Will Brill as Bernie Gersten, Rosie Benton as Colleen Dewhurst, Blake DeLong as David Amram, Emma Duncan as Gladys Vaughan, Naian González Norvind as Mary Bennett, Fran Kranz as Merle Debuskey, John Sanders as Stuart Vaughan, and Max Woertendyke as John Robertson.

Performances have been extended through December 10.

Illyria features scenic design by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

For tickets and more information, visit


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