The Public Theater will kick off its 2017–18 season 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 will be staged for free at the Delacorte Theater as part of the theatre’s Public Works program.
Public Works, which invites diverse communities from across New York City into the theatre-making process, is now in its fifth year. Performances of As You Like It will run September 1–5 in Central Park with direction by the program’s 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.
Principal casting for the production, which will also feature over 200 actors and members of the community, will be announced at a later date.
The 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 the Public’s artistic director Oskar Eustis in a press 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 will feature 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 will be distributed (two per person) at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 12 PM on the day of each performance. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will also be distributed by random mobile lottery on the TodayTix app.