White, Sands, Kelly & More Join Public's TWELFTH NIGHT in the Park

By: Apr. 30, 2009

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) announced additional casting today for the Shakespeare in the Park production of TWELFTH NIGHT, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Herb Foster will play Valentine; Kevin Kelly will play Sea Captain; Tony nominee Stark Sands will play Sebastian; Baylen Thomas will play Curio; Jon Patrick Walker will play Fabian; and Tony Award winner Julie White will play Maria. TWELFTH NIGHT will feature original music by symphonic folk-rock band Hem.

TWELFTH NIGHT will run June 10-July 12 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park with an official press opening on Thursday, June 25 at 8 p.m. Bank of America returns as lead sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park 2009. For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org

The 2009 Shakespeare in the Park summer season kicks off with a powerhouse production of TWELFTH NIGHT, one of Shakespeare's most beloved romantic comedies. This time-honored story of cross-dressing and mistaken identity follows the romantic adventures of Viola and her identical twin Sebastian, both shipwrecked in the enchanted dukedom of Illyria.

This summer, The Public Theater will again offer a limited number of free tickets through a Virtual Line, available at www.publictheater.org. The process will be the same as last year where on the day of a show, users can log on to the virtual line anytime between midnight and 1 p.m. to request tickets for that evening's performance. After 1 p.m. that same day, users can log on to see if they have been awarded tickets through the Virtual Line, which they can then claim at the Delacorte Theater Box Office between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. that evening. A valid photo ID is required for all Virtual Line pick-ups at the box office. The Public Theater will also be implementing a Senior Virtual Line this year which functions the same way as the regular virtual line but registrants must be 65 or older to be eligible.

Summer Supporter tickets for TWELFTH NIGHT and THE BACCHAE are available for a tax-deductible contribution of $170. These reserved seats are only available for a limited time to ensure that the highest number of free seats will be available to distribute to the general public on the day of the show. Summer Supporter tickets help to underwrite production expenses. Supporter tickets are available at The Public Theater Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street or online at www.publictheater.org.

Foster, Kelly, Sands, Thomas, Walker and White join the previously announced cast of TWELFTH NIGHT which features Michael Cumpsty as Malvolio; Raúl Esparza as Orsino; Anne Hathaway as Viola; Hamish Linklater as Sir Andrew Aguecheek; Audra McDonald as Olivia; David Pittu as Feste; and Jay O. Sanders as Sir Toby Belch.

The Ensemble for TWELFTH NIGHT will include Clifton Duncan, David Kenner, Leslie Harrison, Slate Holmgren, Dorien Makhloghi, Ray Rizzo, and Zach Villa.

TWELFTH NIGHT will feature scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, fight direction by Rick Sordelet, and choreography by Mimi Lieber.

Michael Cumpsty (Malvolio) has appeared at The Public in productions of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, All's Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, King John, and Romeo and Juliet. He recently starred in the Classic Stage Company productions of Hamlet and Richard II, winning an OBIE for his performance in the title role in the former. He recently appeared on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater Company revival of Sunday in the Park With George.

RAÚL ESPARZA (Orsino) recently starred in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. He earned Tony nominations for his performances in The Homecoming, Company, and Taboo and won Drama Desk Awards for the latter two roles. He appeared at The Public in the critically acclaimed revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart and won an OBIE Award for his performance in Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!

Herb Foster (Valentine) has appeared at The Public in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, As You Like It, The Controversy of Valladolid, Measure for Measure, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens and All's Well That Ends Well, in 17 productions on Broadway, and for nine seasons at the Shaw Festival.

Anne Hathaway (Viola) was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SAG Award for her performance in Jonathan Demme's film Rachel Getting Married. Her stage credits include the lead role in the critically acclaimed 2002 City Center Encores production of Carnival! and Paper Mill Playhouse productions of Jane Eyre and Gigi. She is best-known for playing leading roles in the films Bride Wars, Brokeback Mountain (SAG Outstanding Ensemble nomination), The Devil Wears Prada, Get Smart, Ella Enchanted, Passengers, The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Becoming Jane.

Kevin Kelly (Sea Captain) last appeared at the Delacorte in the 2004 production of Much Ado About Nothing, in which he acted and played several musical instruments. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical The Ark, which played at 37 Arts, and portrayed Orlando in Liviu Ciulei's production of As You Like It at Theater at St. Clement's.

Hamish Linklater (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) has appeared for four seasons as Matthew in the hit CBS comedy "The New Adventures of Old Christine," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. His numerous theater credits include Andrei Serban's Hamlet (opposite Liev Schreiber) and Love's Fire at The Public; the title role in Daniel Sullivan's production of Hamlet at San Diego's Old Globe; The Busy World Is Hushed and Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons; Good Thing at The New Group; and The Chemistry of Change at The Women's Project.

Audra McDonald (Olivia) won Tony Awards for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, and A Raisin in the Sun and earned nominations for Marie Christine and 110 in the Shade. She played Lady Percy in Lincoln Center's star-studded revival of Henry IV and Jenny in the L.A. Opera's production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She received Emmy nominations for her work in two televised stage adaptations, "Wit" and "A Raisin in the Sun," and currently stars as Dr. Naomi Bennett in the popular "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice." Twelfth Night is her Public Theater debut.

David Pittu (Feste) recently co-wrote and starred in the hit Atlantic Theater Company production What's That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling. He appeared at The Public in David Hare's Stuff Happens (2006), sharing a special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble. On Broadway, he has received Tony nominations for his performances in Is He Dead? and LoveMusik and played memorable roles in all three parts of Tom Stoppard's ambitious trilogy The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center Theater).

Jay O. Sanders (Sir Toby Belch) first appeared at Shakespeare in the Park in the 1976 production of Henry V and went on to appear in Measure for Measure, King John, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet. At The Public, he played George W. Bush in David Hare's Stuff Happens. His Broadway credits include Pygmalion, Saint Joan, and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

Stark Sands (Sebastian) earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in David Grindley's acclaimed 2007 Broadway production of Journey's End. He recently appeared opposite Mandy Patinkin in The Tempest at Classic Stage Company. His film credits include Flags of Our Fathers, Chasing Liberty, and the miniseries Generation Kill.

Baylen Thomas (Curio) appeared at Manhattan Theater Club in Liz Flahive's From Up Here, opposite Julie White. His numerous Broadway credits include Cyrano de Bergerac, After the Fall, Proof, King Lear, Henry IV, and all three parts of Tom Stoppard's epic Coast of Utopia trilogy at Lincoln Center.

Jon Patrick Walker (Fabian) appeared on Broadway in the musicals Young Frankenstein and High Fidelity and in the Roundabout's pairing of Peter Shaffer one-act plays White Liars & Black Comedy. Off-Broadway, he appeared in the musical adaptation of Debbie Does Dallas. His film and television credits include The Secret Lives of Dentists, "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" (series regular), and "Six Degrees."

Julie White (Maria) won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her critically lauded portrayal of Diane in Douglas Carter Beane's The Little Dog Laughed. Her theater credits include Liz Flahive's From Up Here at Manhattan Theater Club, Theresa Rebeck's Bad Dates at Playwrights Horizons, and two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays directed by Daniel Sullivan, Donald Margulies's Dinner With Friends and Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles.

HEM (Original Music) is a Brooklyn-based folk music quartet featuring vocalist Sally Ellyson, pianist Dan Messe, and guitarists Gary Maurer and Steve Curtis. Their critically acclaimed EPs and studio albums include I'm Talking With My Mouth (2002), Rabbit Songs (2002), Birds, Beasts, & Flowers (2004), Eveningland (2004), No Word From Tom (2006), Funnel Cloud (2006), and Home Again, Home Again (2007).

Daniel Sullivan (Director) has directed A Midsummer Night's Dream (2007), Stuff Happens (2006), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (1994) for The Public Theater. His Broadway credits include The Homecoming; Prelude to a Kiss; Rabbit Hole; After the Night and the Music; Julius Caesar; Brooklyn Boy; Sight Unseen; The Retreat From Moscow; Morning's at Seven; Proof; Major Barbara; A Moon for the Misbegotten; Ah, Wilderness!; An American Daughter; The Sisters Rosensweig; Conversations With My Father; The Heidi Chronicles; and I'm Not Rappaport. Off-Broadway credits include Intimate Apparel, In Real Life, Dinner With Friends, Proof, Ten Unknowns, Ancestral Voices and Spinning Into Butter. Most recent regional credits include Julius Caesar, Cymbeline and Romeo and Juliet at The Old Globe. From 1981 to 1997, Sullivan served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre, where he directed more than 60 productions. His film and television credits include The Substance of Fire and "Far East."

The second Shakespeare in the Park production will be Euripides's THE BACCHAE, translated by Nicholas Rudall, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis, and featuring original music by Philip Glass. THE BACCHAE, running August 11-30, will be presented as it was always meant to be seen - in the open air of the city. Akalaitis' visionary interpretation, featuring a lush choral score by Glass, re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire.

For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, productions of Shakespeare, and other classics at its headquarters on Lafayette Street and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through its 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 41 Tony Awards, 145 Obies, 39 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.

Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America this year embarked on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 900,000 hours in 2008 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.

The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater's year-round activities.

Bank of America is the proud Lead Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park.

Time Warner is the Supporting Sponsor of The Public's 2008-2009 season.

Ilori is the Official Sunglass Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park.

Thanks to Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, and Hundred Acre Wine for their support of the 2009 season of Shakespeare in the Park.

Major support for The Public Theater is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Susan Stein Shiva Foundation, the George T. Delacorte Fund at the New York Community Trust-Fund for Performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and by Warren Spector and Margaret Whitton.

Additional generous support is provided by Debra and Leon Black, the Horace W.

Goldsmith Foundation, The New York Times, the Starr Foundation, and by Titan Worldwide.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Production support for the 2009 season of Shakespeare in the Park is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, an Independent Federal Agency

Special thanks to Continental Airlines, the official airline of The Public Theater, and to our cultural partner, WNYC.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.


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