Public Theater to Tour RICHARD III This July

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Public Theater to Tour RICHARD III This July

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) will take its MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT on tour again this July with a production of RICHARD III, directed by Amanda Dehnert. The three-week tour, July 16 to August 3, will bring free Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts before a sit-down run at The Public Theater, August 6-25. Tickets for Richard III at The Public are $15 and go on sale July 12.

Now in its second year, THE MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT is a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s Mobile Shakespeare program, which began in 1957 to bring Shakespeare to the masses, evolving into the New York Shakespeare Festival and ultimately becoming The Public Theater. THE MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT will present Shakespeare for free to prisons, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, and other community venues throughout the five boroughs.

The Public Theater was founded to bring Shakespeare to those who are excluded from the world of theater and culture,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Reviving The Mobile Shakespeare Unit is a vital part of continuing that great mission, to ensure that we are one nation, not a land divided into those who have access and those who don’t. Culture is a birthright, not a commodity.”

To further the mission and reach of THE MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT, 20 tickets for each performance of the run at The Public Theater in August will be given to community organizations that cannot host a visit from the tour.

THE MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT will also present educational workshops at selected venues it visits, expanding The Public Theater’s existing community outreach and education program. This program will represent a major expansion of The Public’s Shakespeare Initiative, and add to Shakespeare in the Park and Shakespeare at The Public a significant platform for The Public’s ongoing exploration of Shakespeare’s canon.

“Accessibility to Shakespeare is one of the core values of The Public Theater, and sending The Mobile Shakespeare Unit out into the community is one of the most important things we do,” said Public Theater Shakespeare Initiative Director Barry Edelstein. “Amanda Dehnert’s spare, muscular production of Richard III, with its talented ensemble supporting Ron Cephas Jones’s incendiary performance, will thrill the audiences we visit, and, we hope, whet in them an appetite for more of this great playwright’s work.”

The cast features Michelle Beck (Anne), Suzanne Bertish (Margaret), Keith Eric Chappelle (Hastings), Michael Crane (Buckingham), Lynn Hawley (Elizabeth), Alex Hernandez (Catesby), Miriam Hyman (Clarence), Ron Cephas Jones (Richard III), and Kevin Kelly (Edward).

RICHARD III features scenic and costume design by Linda Roethke with original music by Amanda Dehnert.

RICHARD III tells the story of one of Shakespeare’s most charismatic villains who cuts a scorched-earth swath through the politicos, power-mongers, and even family members who stand between him and the crown. But before King Richard III can enjoy the fruits of his ill-gotten gain, something stirs that freezes him in his tracks: conscience.

This program is made possible with the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by Bloomberg.

THE MOBILE SHAKESPEARE UNIT TOUR will include the following venues:

Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults (JSPOA), Queens, a community center working to provide services to and enhance the quality of life of older adults (July 17)

Charlotte’s Place, Manhattan, a part of Trinity Wall Street Church – a free and open space for the diverse communities living, working, and going to school in lower Manhattan (July 18)

Eric M. Taylor Center, Rikers Island - Built in 1964, EMTC houses nearly 2,000 adult and adolescent males sentenced to one year or less (July 19)

Al Oerter Recreation Center, Queens, a recreation center providing affordable or free athletic activities and arts events to people of all ages (July 20)

Bayview Correctional Facility, Manhattan, a medium-security New York State women’s prison (July 21)

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Westchester, the largest maximum security prison for women in New York (July 23)

Brownsville Recreation Center, Brooklyn, a recreation center located in Brownsville Playground (July 24)

Queensboro Correctional Facility, a minimum security men’s prison in Long Island City (July 25)

Fortune Society, Queens, a social service and advocacy organization, supporting successful reentry from prison, and promoting alternatives to incarceration (July 26)

Goddard Riverside Community Center’s The Other Place (TOP), Manhattan, a clubhouse for people with mental illness and addiction, providing extensive art, drama, and music therapy as well as work-readiness programs (July 27)

Taconic Correction Facility, Westchester, a medium security prison for women (July 30)

Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, Paterson, New Jersey, a community development organization near the Great Falls National Park (August 1)

West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) at The Red Oak Senior Center, Manhattan, a resident and social service center for the elderly, sick, and homeless (August 2)

Greenbelt Recreation Center, Staten Island, a park and recreation center (August 3)

Fort Hamilton Army Base, Brooklyn, the only active military base in metropolitan New York City (August 3)

Amanda Dehnert (Director). Her recent directing credits include Cabaret (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), and developmental workshops of the new musicals Not Wanted On The Voyage and Unlock’d. She is also a Resident Director with Trinity Repertory Company, directing such productions as My Fair Lady; Annie; West Side Story; Charles Strouse's You Never Know (world premiere); The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Henry IV; A Moon for the Misbegotten; The Skin of Our Teeth; Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up; Noises Off; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The New England Sonata (world premiere); Othello; Saint Joan; We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!; A Christmas Carol, and Cyrano de Bergerac. She has also composed original scores and songs for the theatre work of Kevin Moriarty, Michael Goldfried, Mark Sutch, and Peter Sampieri. Dehnert’s upcoming projects and collaborators include Octavio Solis, Adam Gwon, Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Derek McCulloch, and Jim Steinmeyer.

Michelle Beck (Anne) was most recently seen at The Public in Love’s Labor’s Lost. Her regional theater credits include The Winter’s Tale, Cyrano de Bergerac, Hamlet, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, The Way to Buddha, As You Like It, and The Tempest. Her film credits include Spinning Into Butter.

Suzanne Bertish (Margaret) has been seen at The Public in Measure for Pleasure. Her Broadway credits include Wit, Salome, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and The Moliere Comedies, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She has been seen Off-Broadway in Kin, The Vagina Monologues, The Memory of Water, The Art of Success, and Skirmishes. Her select film and television credits include The Upside of Anger, The 13th Warrior, Hearts on Fire, “Shine on Harvey Moon,” “Rome,” and “The Secret Diaries of a Call Girl.”

Keith Eric Chappelle (Hastings) has been seen at The Public in Love’s Labor’s Lost. His Broadway credits include Cyrano de Bergerac. He has been seen Off-Broadway in A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick. His television credits include “The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest,” and “Law & Order.”

Michael Crane (Buckingham) has appeared at The Public in King Lear and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He has also been seen Off-Broadway in Doris to Darlene A Cautionary Valentine. His New York theater credits include The Glass Cage, The Young Left, The Leopard and the Fox, St. Joan of the Stockyards, and Bone Portraits. His television credits include “Kings,” “Damages,” “Forget My Name,” “White Collar,” and “Law & Order.”

Lynn Hawley (Elizabeth) has been seen at The Public in Venus and Woyzeck. Her Off-Broadway credits include What Once We Felt, Aristocrats, The Truth-Teller, The Illusion, and Owners. Her film and television credits include Hamlet, “Law & Order,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

Alex Hernandez (Catesby) has appeared regionally in No Such Cold Thing, Wanderlust, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Dracula, Life of Galileo, and The Lost Colony. His film credits include The Offliners.

MIRIAM HYMAN (Clarence) is a recent graduate from the Yale School of Drama. Her select regional theater credits include Going Live, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, What You Will, Skin of Our Teeth, The Persians, Young Lady From Rwanda, Twelfth Night, Man From Nebraska, The Story, and Resurrection Blues. Her film and television credits include Conviction, The Wire, and “Law & Order.”

Ron Cephas Jones (Richard III) has appeared at The Public in Titus Andronicus, Satellites, Richard III, Everybody’s Ruby. His New York theater credits include Wildflower; The Overwhelming; Our Lady of 121st St.; Jesus Hopped the A-Train; Two Trains Running. Other regional theater credits include Othello; Thunder Knocking on the Door; and Don’t Explain. His film and television credits include He Got Game, Sweet and Lowdown, Half Nelson, Across the Universe, “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue,” and "Raisin in the Sun."

Kevin Kelly (Edward) has appeared at The Public in The Brother/Sister Plays: Part 1 and 2, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing. His New York theater credits include As You Like It, The Broken Jug, The Germans in Paris, The Glass Menagerie, and Hamlet. His television credits include “Law & Order,” “Guiding Light,” “As The World Turns,” “All My Children,” and “One Life to Live.”

The revitalization of The Public Theater’s downtown home will physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects, the project encompasses enhancements to the building’s interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown headquarters and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 45 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 54 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair; and this fall, the rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice.

RICHARD III runs Monday, August 6 through Saturday, August 25 at The Public’s LuEsther Theater. The performance schedule is Mondays through Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.; and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Opening Night is Saturday, August 11.

Tickets are $15 and general admission for all performances. Member tickets are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale July 12. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office.

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