Oliver Platt, Stephen Spinella, et al. Join Lily Rabe for Shakespeare in the Park's AS YOU LIKE IT; Full Cast Announced!

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The Public Theater announced complete casting today for AS YOU LIKE IT, the first show of the 50th Anniversary season of free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, AS YOU LIKE IT will begin previews on Tuesday, June 5 and continue for four weeks through Saturday, June 30, opening on Thursday, June 21. 

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park officially opened on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Public Theater founder Joe Papp and Gladys Vaughn and featuring the then-unknown actors George C. Scott and James Earl Jones.  Conceived by Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, over the past 50 years more than five million people have enjoyed more than 100 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.  

The complete cast of AS YOU LIKE IT features Brendan Averett (Charles), Andre Braugher (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Donna Lynne Champlin (Audrey), Jon Devries (Corin), MacIntyre Dixon (Adam), Susannah Flood (Phoebe), David Furr (Orlando), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Celia), Robert Joy (Le Beau/Lord), Jesse Lenat (Amiens), Omar Metwally (Oliver), Oliver Platt (Touchstone), Lily Rabe(Rosalind), Will Rogers (Silvius), Michael Rudko (First Lord), Stephen Spinella (Jaques), and Brendan Titley (William).

The non-Equity ensemble of AS YOU LIKE IT features Grantham Coleman, Andrew Hovelson, Erik Mathew, Justine Salata, Paul Saylor, and Anna Phyllis Smith.  

The second show of the Anniversary season will be INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel, and will begin previews on Monday, July 23 and continue for five weeks through Saturday, August 25 with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9. 

The cast of INTO THE WOODS will include Amy Adams (The Baker’s Wife), Jack Broderick (Narrator), Gideon Glick (Jack), Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel’s Prince), Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Tina Johnson (Granny), Josh Lamon (Steward), Jessie Mueller(Cinderella), Donna Murphy (The Witch), Laura Shoop (Cinderella’s Mother), and Tess Soltau (Rapunzel).  

Grammy® and Emmy winning actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author Steve Martin will compose original music for AS YOU LIKE IT which will feature a live Bluegrass band. AS YOU LIKE IT is Shakespeare's most musical play, containing more songs than any other. Sullivan will set the play's famous Forest of Arden in the rural American South, circa 1840, where folk and roots music perfectly capture the mood of the time. 

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest album Rare Bird Alert debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200.  The album was nominated for a Grammy® for “Best Bluegrass Album” and features 13 new Martin-penned tracks, including a live version of “King Tut,” and special guest vocals by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.  His debut album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo won “Best Bluegrass Album” in 2009.  Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers were also named ‘Entertainer of the Year’ at the 2011 International Bluegrass Association Awards.

The live Bluegrass band for AS YOU LIKE IT will feature Tashina Clarridge (fiddle), Jordan Tice (guitar), Tony Trischka (banjo), Skip Ward (bass), and musical direction by Tony Trischka.

AS YOU LIKE IT features scenic design by John Lee Beatty; costume design by Jane Greenwood; lighting design by Natasha Katz; sound design by ACME Sound Partners; original music by Steve Martin; and additional music by Greg Pliska.

In AS YOU LIKE IT, Rosalind, Shakespeare’s most breathtaking heroine, and her boyfriend Orlando find themselves in the enchanted Forest of Arden, where all the world’s a stage, and where sudden infatuation is as confusing as it is beautiful.  Along with other “country copulatives,” they discover that nothing transforms, redeems, or enriches experience quite as powerfully as love.  AS YOU LIKE IT has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course plenty of romance, both heartbreaking and joyous. 

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, THE DELACORTE THEATER officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock. The Merchant of Venice was followed that summer by a production of The Tempest, directed by Gerald Freedman and featuring Paul Stevens as Prospero and James Earl Jones as Caliban. The first Delacorte summer season concluded with King Lear, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring Frank Silvera as Lear.  Since then more than 100 productions have been presented for free at the Delacorte Theater. Highlights of past Delacorte productions include Othello in 1964 with James Earl Jones; Hamlet in 1975 with Sam Waterston; The Taming of the Shrew in 1978 with Raul Julia and Meryl Streep; The Pirates of Penzance in 1980 with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt; Henry V in 1984 with Kevin Kline; Much Ado About Nothing in 1988 with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner; Richard III in 1990 with Denzel Washington; Othello in 1991 with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken; The Tempest in 1995 with Patrick Stewart; The Seagull in 2001 with Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Mother Courage in 2006 with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline; Macbeth in 2006 with Liev Schreiber; HAIR in 2008 with Jonathan Groff and Will Swenson; Twelfth Night in 2009 with Anne Hathaway; The Merchant of Venice in 2010 with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe; and most recently last summer’s acclaimed productions of All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure.

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show. 

In honor of five decades at the Delacorte, The Public Theater launched the 50th Anniversary Fellows Program this year to help support free Shakespeare in the Park for years to come.  For more information on the Fellows Program, please call 212-967-7555 or visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org.

Borough Distribution: In addition to the ticket line at the Delacorte Theater and Virtual Ticketing online, a limited number of vouchers for specific performances will be distributed, while supplies last, at locations throughout New York’s five boroughs. Each person in line is allowed two vouchers and each voucher is good for one ticket for that evening’s performance. Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office that day from 4:00-7:30 p.m.           

For AS YOU LIKE IT, ticket vouchers will be distributed, while supplies last, on Thursday, June 7 in the Bronx at The Point (940 Garrison Avenue); Friday, June 8 in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace); Saturday, June 9 in Queens at the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th Street); Wednesday, June 13 in Manhattan at Harlem Stage at The Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street); Wednesday, June 20 in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue).

Summer Supporter Tickets, first conceived by Joe Papp, are available now for AS YOU LIKE IT and INTO THE WOODS.  A fully tax-deductible contribution of $175 entitles each Supporter to one reserved seat for either production. A limited number of Summer Supporter seats are available to ensure that as many free seats as possible will be available to distribute to the general public on the day of the show.  Supporter contributions help to underwrite free Shakespeare in the Park.

Summer Supporter donations can be made at The Public Theater Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street, by phone at (212) 967-7555, or online at www.publictheater.org. Seating locations for donors are allocated strictly by giving level and in the order that they are received.  

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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