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Raul Esparza, Jesse L. Martin and More Join Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep in The Public's ROMEO AND JULIET Reading, 6/18

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) announced today that Shakespeare in the Park alumni Raul EsparzaJesse L. MartinJerry StillerChristopher WalkenSam Waterston and Jeffrey Wright will join Kevin Kline as Romeo and Meryl Streep as Juliet in a one-night-only benefit reading of ROMEO AND JULIET on Monday, June 18-- the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Conceived by Public Theater founder Joe Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, over the past five decades, more than five million people have enjoyed more than 100 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.

Directed by Daniel Sullivan, this star-studded cast will be joined on stage by live musicians playing original music by award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori

Before the reading of ROMEO AND JULIET, Tony Award winner Al Pacino will be honored at an al fresco dinner in Central Park for his body of work with The Public Theater, going back to the early 1970s and including his acclaimed performance as Shylock in the Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice in 2010. The benefit event is being chaired by Public Theater Board Members Arielle Tepper Madover and Alexandra Shiva.

For more information on purchasing tickets for The Public Theater’s Anniversary Gala, please call (212) 539-8547 or

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