Christopher Fitzgerald, David Turner & More Set for Public Theater's THE WINTER'S TALE
Following last year's acclaimed Public Works production of The Tempest, The Public Theater will continue this community-based initiative this September with a free original musical adaptation of Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE. Featuring more than 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs performing alongside professional actors and The Public's community partners, Public Works' THE WINTER'S TALE will run for three nights only, September 5-7, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Free tickets will be distributed, two per person, at 12:00 p.m. on the day of the show at the Delacorte Theater and via the Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.publictheater.org.
Conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Lear deBessonet, with music and lyrics by Todd Almond, and choreography by Chase Brock, Public Works' THE WINTER'S TALE brings Shakespeare's tale of mystery and magic to life as never before. Featuring Public Works' signature blend of professional actors, community members, and special guests, this musical adaptation will explode with authentic performances that come together to tell Shakespeare's beloved fable of hard-won joy and the promise of renewal.
THE WINTER'S TALE will feature equity actors Todd Almond (Antigonus), Christopher Fitzgerald (Autolycus), Isaiah Johnson (Leontes), and David Turner (Clown), along with cameo group performances by Sesame Street, New York Theatre Ballet, DanceBrazil, Rosie's Theater Kids, Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, Staten Island Lions, and AATMA Performing Arts. The five Public Works community partner organizations are Children's Aid Society (Manhattan); DreamYard Project (Bronx); Fortune Society (Queens); Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn); and Domestic Workers United (all boroughs, including Staten Island).
"Public Works is about pursuing a fully participatory model of theater. We have people of all ages and backgrounds coming together from across the city to tell this story," said Public Works Director Lear deBessonet. "The project both celebrates the depth of our community partnerships, and also creates the opportunity for us to work with these splendid cameo groups from all over the city - it will be a Winter's Tale with stilt walkers, Bollywood dancers, and cast members ranging from small children to elders, and also one defined by the robustness of the relationships developed over two years of community collaboration."
Tickets to THE WINTER'S TALE are free, continuing The Public Theater's long-standing tradition of free programming and community engagement. Since the opening of the Delacorte in 1962, more than five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at The Public's Central Park venue. Free tickets will be distributed, two per person, at 12:00 p.m. on the day of the show at the Delacorte Theater. Free tickets will also be available via the Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.publictheater.org on the day of the performance. You may become a Summer Supporter for a $75 tax-deductible donation and receive a reserved seat to the event. For information and to donate, call 212-967-7555.
The Public Theater, founded nearly 60 years ago by Joe Papp as one of the nation's first nonprofit theaters, has been an advocate for theater as an essential cultural force and forum for dialogue about issues of the day. As the only theater in New York producing Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental works in equal measure, The Public continues its long tradition of engaging a wide range of audiences and artists. Public Works exemplifies The Public's long-standing commitment to community engagement that is at the core of the theater's mission. It is animated by the idea that theater is a place of possibility, where the boundaries that separate us from each other in the rest of life can fall away
Public Works is made possible with the generous support of the Ford Foundation and the Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC. Additional support is provided by the David Rockefeller Fund, the Samuel H. Scripps Foundation, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos