Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson Star in Shakespeare in the Park The Tempest | Playbill

News Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson Star in Shakespeare in the Park The Tempest The 53rd season of Shakespeare in the Park kicks off May 27 with The Tempest, starring Academy Award nominee Sam Waterston ("The Newsroom," King Lear, Hamlet). The production marks Waterston's 13th Shakespearean role at the Public Theater.

Helmed by Tony nominee Michael Greif (If/Then, Next to Normal, Rent), performances will play through July 5 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. An official opening night is slated for June 16.

Sam Waterston and Francesca Carpanini in rehearsal for <i>The Tempest</i>
Sam Waterston and Francesca Carpanini in rehearsal for The Tempest Photo by Tammy Shell

Waterston, who stars as Prospero, made his Delacorte debut in the 1963 production of As You Like It. The complete cast of The Tempest features Louis Cancelmi (Caliban); Francesca Carpanini (Miranda); Nicholas Christopher (Boatswain, Spirit); Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Trinculo); Frank Harts (Sebastian); Olga Karmansky (Iris); Tamika Lawrence (Ceres); Danny Mastrogiorgio (Stephano); Charles Parnell (Alonso); Chris Perfetti (Ariel); Rodney Richardson (Ferdinand); Laura Shoop (Juno); Cotter Smith (Antonio); Sam Waterston (Prospero); and Bernard White (Gonzalo). The non-equity ensemble includes Jordan Barrow, Chloe Fox, Roshara Francis, Thomas Gibbons, Sunny Hitt, Brandon Kalm, Rico Lebron, Tim Nicolai, and Matthew Oaks.

First staged at the Delacorte in its inaugural year 1962, The Tempest is Shakespeare’s classic tale of young love and old enemies. Prospero is exiled to a fantastical island where he unleashes a churning storm to shipwreck the traitor brother who stole his throne and settle the score once and for all. His quest for revenge is upended, however, by newfound love.

The production will be followed by Shakespearean fairy tale Cymbeline, featuring Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater, who return after appearing in last summer's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Helmed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (The Merchant of Venice), performances will play July 23-Aug. 23.

Tickets to both shows are free and distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show.  Read's Essential Secrets for Surviving the Shakespeare in the Park Line.

This summer a limited number of vouchers will also be distributed downtown at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette St., Astor Place. Vouchers will be distributed via an in-person lottery on the day of each performance. Sign-up for the lottery will begin in the Ford Foundation Lobby of The Public at 11:30 a.m. and the lottery will be drawn at 12:00 p.m. If selected, each entrant is allowed two vouchers, and each voucher is good for one ticket. Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office that day from 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The Public Theater also offers tickets through its Virtual Ticketing lottery on the day of the show at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st St. and Central Park West or at 79th St. and Fifth Ave.

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