Greif to Direct Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare in the Park

News   Greif to Direct Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare in the Park
Michael Greif will direct Romeo and Juliet for the first production of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park festival at the Delacorte Theater this summer.

Casting for the production, which will run June 5-July 8, has not been announced. A casting notice announced Equity principal auditions for Feb. 8.

For this summer, the runs of the productions have been extended from four weeks to five weeks. The second play, which has not been announced, will run Aug. 7-Sept. 9.

The Public previously announced that Brian Dennehy will star in the second production. A feature article on the Public Theater in New York magazine in summer 2006 said that Dennehy was "leaning towards playing Falstaff," which would mean Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II or Merry Wives of Windsor. The Tony Award-winning actor begins a run in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's 1955 courtroom drama Inherit the Wind on March 19 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.

The Public Theater has not produced Romeo and Juliet since 1988, when it put up the classic tragedy in the Anspacher Theater, in the company's Lafayette Street space. Peter MacNicol and Cynthia Nixon starred in the title roles. The play hasn't been at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park since 1968, when Joseph Papp directed a production that starred Martin Sheen and Susan McArthur.

Greif is the director of Grey Gardens and Rent, both currently running on Broadway. His newest project, Manhattan Class Company's production of Courtney Baron's A Very Common Procedure at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, begins previews Jan. 31. He has never directed at the Delacorte, though his credits for Public Theater's main space include Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, Connie Congdon's Casanova, Jose Rivera's Marisol, Shakespeare's Pericles, Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters and Suzan-Lori Parks' Fucking A.

Greif also directed Never Gonna Dance on Broadway, and his Off-Broadway credits include, most recently, Landscape of the Body, Beauty of the Father, Mr. Marmalade, The Distance From Here, Cavedweller and Betty Rules.

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