Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Annette Bening, Steven Boyer, Jessica Hecht and More Join John Lithgow in the Public's KING LEAR at Shakespeare in the Park!

The Public Theater has announced complete casting for King Lear, the second show of The Public's free Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte. Featuring the previously announced John Lithgow as Lear, this enduring tragedy will begin performances on Tuesday, July 22 and run through Sunday, August 17, with an official press opening on Tuesday, August 5.

The complete cast of King Lear features Annette Bening (Goneril); Jeremy Bobb (Oswald); Steven Boyer (Fool); Jessica Collins (Cordelia); Glenn Fleshler (Cornwall); Jessica Hecht (Regan); Slate Holmgren (King of France); Christopher Innvar (Albany); Chukwudi Iwuji (Edgar); John Lithgow (Lear); Clarke Peters (Gloucester); Dale Place (Old Man, Curan); Jay O. Sanders (Kent); and Eric Sheffer Stevens (Edmund). The non-equity ensemble includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Burnap, Christopher Ghaffari, Ryan-James Hatanaka, Matt Helm, Dave Klasko, and Phillip Shinn.

Revenge, rage, grief and delusion thunder upon the Delacorte as Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan directs Shakespeare's classic drama about a King who loses everything-including his mind-when he disowns his favorite daughter, and finds himself betrayed in return. King Lear has not been seen at Shakespeare in the Park since 1973.

KING LEAR features scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by ACME Sound Partners, and original music by Dan Moses Schreier.

The Public's free Shakespeare in the Park is continuing a 52-year tradition of free theater in Central Park. Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte Theater. Conceived by founder Joe Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, The Public's free Shakespeare in the Park continues to be the bedrock of the Company's mission to increase access and engage the community.

The first show of The Public's free Shakespeare in the Park season, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING begins previews on Tuesday, June 3 and runs through Sunday, July 6, with an official press opening on Monday, June 16. Obie Award winner

Hamish Linklater and Tony Award nominee Lily Rabe return to the Park this summer as the wise-cracking, would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick in the beloved romantic comedy. Central Park becomes sun-drenched Sicily at the turn of the last century, where the heat of summer ignites the fevered passions of lovesick ladies in corsets and pining gentlemen spying from the verandah. Three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien directs this delightful skirmish of wit between two self-declared bachelors tricked by their mischief-making friends into falling in love against their will and in spite of their own hearts.

The complete cast features Steel Burkhardt (Balthazar); Jack Cutmore-Scott (Claudio); Austin Durant (Friar Francis, Sexton); John Glover (Leonato); Hamish Linklater (Benedick); David Manis (Antonio, Verges); Kathryn Meisle (Ursula); Ismenia Mendes (Hero); Brian Stokes Mitchell (Don Pedro); John Pankow (Dogberry); Pedro Pascal (Don John); Lily Rabe (Beatrice); Eric Sheffer Stevens (Borachio); and Zoë Winters (Margaret). The non-equity ensemble includes Matt Bittner, Alex Breaux, Carisa Cotera, Isabella Curti, Paco Lozano, and Matthew Russell.

FREE TICKETS to The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park are distributed, two per person (age 5+), at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 12:00 p.m. on the day of each performance. In order to allow as many different people as possible to attend free Shakespeare in the Park this summer, visitors will be limited to receiving free tickets to two performances only of each production. There will continue to be a separate line for accessible tickets for senior citizens (65+) and patrons with disabilities.

VIRTUAL TICKETING LOTTERY FOR FREE TICKETS will be available at on the day of the show, beginning Tuesday, June 3.

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 4:30-7:30 p.m.

For MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, ticket vouchers will be distributed, while supplies last, on Wednesday, June 4 in the Bronx at The Point (940 Garrison Avenue); Thursday, June 5 in Brooklyn at New York City College of Technology (300 Jay Street); Friday, June 6 in Manhattan at Harlem Stage at The Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue at W. 135th Street); Saturday, June 7 in Queens at the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th Street); Tuesday, June 10 in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace); Wednesday, June 18 in the Bronx at The DreamYard Project (1085 Washington Avenue).

For King Lear, ticket vouchers will be distributed, while supplies last, on Wednesday, July 23 in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace); Thursday, July 24 in the Bronx at Lehman Stages at Lehman College (250 Bedford Park Boulevard West); Friday, July 25 in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Children's Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue); Saturday, July 26 in Queens at the Queens Museum (New York City Building); Tuesday, July 29 in Manhattan at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street).

SUMMER SUPPORTER TICKETS, first conceived by Joe Papp as a way to support free Shakespeare in the Park, are available now. A fully tax-deductible contribution of $200 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. A limited number of Summer Supporter tickets are also available to the opening night performances of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (June 16) and King Lear (August 5) for a contribution of $300. Supporter contributions help to underwrite free Shakespeare in the Park.

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

For additional access to Shakespeare in the Park you can become a Public Theater Partner. For more information on The Public Theater Partner Program please call (212) 539-8734 or visit

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


DANIEL SULLIVAN (King Lear Director). For The Public Theater, Sullivan directed The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, The Delacorte Theater's 50th Anniversary reading of Romeo and Juliet, All's Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice (Broadway/Shakespeare in the Park), Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stuff Happens, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Among his Broadway credits are the recent production of Snow Geese; Orphans; the revival of Glengarry Glen Ross; The Columnist; Good People; Time Stands Still; Accent on Youth; The Homecoming; Prelude to a Kiss; Rabbit Hole; After the Night and the Music; Julius Caesar; Brooklyn Boy; Sight Unseen; I'm Not Rappaport; Morning's at Seven; Proof; the 2000 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten; Ah, Wilderness!; The Sisters Rosensweig; Conversations With My Father; and The Heidi Chronicles. His Off-Broadway credits include Intimate Apparel, Far East, Spinning into Butter, Third at Lincoln Center, Dinner With Friends, and The Substance of Fire. From 1981 to 1997, he served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre. Sullivan is the Swanlund Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

ANNETTE BENING (Goneril) is making her Public Theater debut. She last appeared on Broadway in 1988 in Coastal Disturbances. Her off-Broadway credits include Spoils of War and Coastal Disturbances. She recently appeared in the one-woman show Ruth Draper's Monologues at the Geffen Playhouse. Her other Geffen Playhouse credits include the 2010 production of The Female of the Species and the title role in the 1999 production of Hedda Gabler. She has received Oscar nominations for her performances in The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julie, and The Kids Are All Right, and won Golden Globe Awards for the latter two films. Her additional film credits include The Face of Love; Girl Most Likely; Ginger & Rosa; Ruby Sparks; Mother and Child; The Women; Running with Scissors; Open Range; In Dreams; The Siege; The American President; Richard III; Bugsy; and many others.

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You