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Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep to be Honored at Summer Gala

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The Public Theater's Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Mara Manus announce that The Public Theater's 2006 Summer Gala will bring the Public's 50th Anniversary Season to a close by honoring Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep, two prominent actors who have made significant artistic contributions to The Public Theater over the last four decades. Co-chaired by Warren Spector and Kenneth B. Lerer, the Gala will take place on Wednesday, June 28th at the Delacorte on the opening night of Macbeth, the first production this summer of Shakespeare in the Park.

Oskar Eustis said "Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep are the greatest stage actors of their generation and are indelibly linked to the history of The Public Theater. In honoring them we celebrate their achievements of the past and welcome them back to a central role in The Public Theater's future."

The Public's annual Gala is one of the more unique events in New York City, featuring an outdoor buffet dinner in Central Park, followed by a performance at the Delacorte Theater and a post-show cast party at Belvedere Castle overlooking Turtle Pond and the Delacorte. Last summer's gala was attended by more than 650 people – including the Mayor and top government officials, CEOs and business leaders of Fortune 500 and other major corporations, established leaders of the social community, young trendsetters and a wide range of celebrities – and grossed $1.6 million for the institution.

This summer's production of Macbeth will feature an outstanding team and exceptional artists. Liev Schreiber, who will perform the title role, is a noted Shakespearean actor whom The New York Times called "perhaps the finest American stage actor of his generation" and who won a Tony Award last year for his work in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway. Jennifer Ehle, performing Lady Macbeth, is a critically acclaimed actress who received the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in The Real Thing and a BAFTA Best Actress Award for her work as Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC/A&E production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Director Moisés Kaufman directed the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I Am My Own Wife on Broadway and wrote Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project, among the most performed plays in America over the last decade.

Kevin Kline made his debut at The Public Theater in the 1970 Wars of the Roses cycle at the Delacorte Theater, a presentation of Shakespeare's King Henry VI Parts 1 and 2 and Richard III. He returned to the Delacorte in 1980 with the musical hit Pirates of Penzance, which went on to success on Broadway and on film. Other notable performances at The Public include the title roles in Shakespeare's Henry V, Richard III, and two turns as Hamlet- once in 1986 and again in 1990 where he also served as director. Offstage, he joined the artistic staff of The Public Theater, first as an Associate Producer in 1993, then becoming an Artistic Associate in 1996. In 1990, Kevin joined The Public's Board of Trustees.

Meryl Streep will perform this coming summer as Mother Courage in the second production of Shakespeare in the Park: a new translation by Tony Kushner of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children with original music by Jeanine Tesori and directed by George C. Wolfe. She made her Public Theater debut in 1975 in Arthur Wing Pinero's Trelawny of the 'Wells', part of the theater's uptown season at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. She would go on to be featured in nearly a dozen productions, including Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte Theater, the television broadcast of the musical Alice at the Palace, and Andrei Serban's landmark staging of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard with Irene Worth. In 2001 she appeared with Kevin Kline in the critically acclaimed production of The Seagull directed by Mike Nichols at the Delacorte Theater. Additional Public Theater credits include: Henry V, Measure for Measure, Taken in Marriage, Alice in Concert. Recently she performed in The Public Sings: A 50th Anniversary Celebration at City Center.

For additional information about the 2006 Summer Gala, call 212-539-8633 or visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org

Founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, The Public remains dedicated to producing new plays, musicals and productions of Shakespeare and other classics on all its stages – 425 Lafayette Street, Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 40 Tony Awards, 135 Obies, 38 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes.


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