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Groff, De Shields, Kandel Set For Public's THE BACCHAE, Runs at Delacorte 8/11-8/30

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) announced casting for the Shakespeare in the Park production of Euripides' THE BACCHAE, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with original music by Philip Glass and translated by Nicholas Rudall. THE BACCHAE will run August 11-August 30 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park with an official press opening on Monday, August 24 at 8 p.m. Bank of America returns as lead sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park 2009.

Akalaitis' visionary interpretation of THE BACCHAE, with a lush score by Glass, re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire. The Cast features George Bartenieff as Cadmus; André De Shields as Teiresias; Jonathan Groff as Dionysus; Karen Kandel as Chorus Leader; Joan MacIntosh as Agave; Steven Rishard as Cowherd; and Rocco Sisto as Messenger.

The Greek chorus will include Marisa Echeverria, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Ikeda, Jennifer Nikki Kidwell, Alexa Kryzaniwsky, Vella Lovell, Nana Mensah, Ereni Sevasti, Elena Shaddow, Han Tang, and IDara Victor.

"The Greeks are, along with Shakespeare, the other great pillar of democratic theater history. This is a chance for us to experience one of the greatest Greek tragedies as it was meant to be seen; outdoors, in the middle of the city, surrounded by our fellow citizens," said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "It is a special privilege for me to welcome one of our great American theater artists, JoAnne Akalaitis, back to The Public Theater. Philip Glass has composed one of his most beautiful and thrilling scores for The Bacchae; I think this will be an extraordinary evening in the theater."

THE BACCHAE will feature scenic design by John Conklin; costume design by Kaye Voyce; and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.

George Bartenieff (Cadmus) is a three-time OBIE winner who has appeared at The Public in The Memorandum, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, Trelawney of the "Wells," Dead End Kids, American Notes, Cymbeline, Stuff Happens, and Romeo and Juliet. He made his Broadway debut at the age of 14 opposite Uta Hagen in The Whole World Over and most recently starred in Edward Albee's The American Dream and The Sandbox at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS (Teiresias) is a two-time Tony nominee and the recipient of an OBIE for Sustained Excellence. He appeared at The Public in Dancing on Moonlight (1995) and on Broadway in Impressionism, The Full Monty, Prymate, Play On!, Ain't Misbehavin', and The Wiz. His recent off-Broadway credits include the Classical Theatre of Harlem's acclaimed revival of Langston Hughes's Black Nativity (The Duke on 42nd Street) and the title role in their 2006 production of King Lear.

Jonathan Groff (Dionysus) returns to The Public after recently playing Gray in Craig Lucas's The Singing Forest (OBIE Award) and the role of Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park revival of Hair. He received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his performance in Spring Awakening on Broadway and is featured in Ang Lee's new film Taking Woodstock.

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