Jessica Chastain, Annette Bening & More Join SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA Public Forum at the Delacorte, 6/30

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Jessica Chastain, Annette Bening & More Join SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA Public Forum at the Delacorte, 6/30

The Public Theater announced additional casting today for the free one-night event, PUBLIC FORUM: SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA, on Monday, June 30 at 8:00 p.m. at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Whitney Bashor, Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, author E.L. Doctorow, Jackie Hoffman, Justin Levine, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, and Micah Stock join this exciting evening which will celebrate Shakespeare and the newly released Library of America book, Shakespeare in America, edited by Public Theater Shakespeare Scholar in Residence James Shapiro.

The evening will also feature performances by Poet Elizabeth Alexander, Sarah Amengual, Alec Baldwin, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Brian Dennehy, Colman Domingo, Colin Donnell, Michael Friedman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, André Holland, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, James Earl Jones, singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt, Cynthia Nixon, Annie-B Parson, Steven Pasquale, Bryce Pinkham, Caesar Samoyoa, poet Vijay Seshadri, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Highlights of the evening will include James Earl Jones reading a scene from Othello, marking his return to the Delacorte after a 40-year absence and celebrating the 50th anniversary of his playing Othello on the Delacorte stage; Alec Baldwin reading scenes from Macbeth and an account of Abraham Lincoln's Shakespearean dreams; E.L. Doctorow reading a landmark piece of American writing on Shakespeare; and Steven Pasquale singing Tony in the "Tonight" duet from West Side Story.

Free Public Forum tickets will be distributed two per person, at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, June 30 at the Delacorte Theater. Free tickets will also be available via the Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.publictheater.org on the day of the event. Public Forum Supporter tickets are also available for a tax-deductible donation of $75.

Following the success of last summer's free Public Forum at the Delacorte, the acclaimed "theater-of-ideas" series returns to the alfresco venue to explore how Shakespeare has challenged and inspired the American people, from poets to presidents. This free one-night-only event will feature scenes from Shakespeare's greatest works performed by some of America's greatest actors, songs from musicals inspired by the Bard, as well as excerpts from the newly released Library of America book, Shakespeare in America, edited by Public Theater Shakespeare Scholar in Residence James Shapiro, which includes speeches, interviews, and other writings about Shakespeare's influence on American culture.

"Telling the story of Shakespeare in America means telling the story of America," said Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter. "It's a thrill to have so many of the country's greatest actors and leading cultural figures show us how Americans have been affected by Shakespeare - and how we have made him our own."

PUBLIC FORUM presents the theater of ideas. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, this Public Theater series of conversations and performances features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Sam Waterston, and former NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of David Brooks, David Byrne, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Tony Kushner, Rachel Maddow, Wynton Marsalis, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Salman Rushdie, David Simon, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan - plus performances by Christine Baranski, Matt Damon, Holly Hunter, Audra McDonald, and Vanessa Redgrave, among others.

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