Chukwudi Iwuji to Lead the Public's Free MOBILE UNIT Production of HAMLET This Fall
Continuing its commitment to bringing free Shakespeare to the community and strengthening audience engagement with the arts, The Public Theater will mount its MOBILE UNIT again this fall with a free three-week tour to the five boroughs of Shakespeare's HAMLET, directed by Patricia McGregor.
Now in its seventh year, the Mobile Unit's free fall tour (August 26 - September 17) will bring Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts by visiting correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations, and other community venues. A spring tour will be announced later this season.
Following the free tour, HAMLET will have a sit-down run at The Public Theater from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, October 9 with an official press opening on Thursday, September 22.
The complete cast of HAMLET includes Orlagh Cassidy (Gertrude), Christian DeMarais (Laertes), Christopher Ryan Grant (Player King/Musician), Chukwudi Iwuji (Hamlet), Kristolyn Lloyd (Ophelia), Jeffrey Omura (Horatio), Daniel Pearce (Polonius/Gravedigger), Timothy Stickney (Claudius/Ghost), and Natalie Woolams-Torres (Rosencrantz).
"This is a perfect team to bring Hamlet to the people of New York, in every borough and from every walk of life," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Patricia McGregor is one of our most thrilling young directors, and Chukwudi Iwuji, after brilliant turns at The Public as Edgar in King Lear and Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra, is ready to tackle the greatest of Shakespeare's roles. How lucky we are to be alive right now!"
The Public Theater's MOBILE UNIT presents a new, world-class production of Shakespeare's HAMLET to audiences and community venues across New York City. Olivier Award winner Chukwudi Iwuji plays the anguished prince of Denmark who is confronted at every turn with a poisonous power structure that's robbed him of his father and forever darkened his understanding of the world. Inspired by The Mobile Unit's unique approach to engaging diverse communities with the arts, Patricia McGregor directs this bold take on Shakespeare's immortal tale about family, deceit, and the explosive consequences of unchecked corruption.
All tour performances are free, and performances at Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, Brownsville Recreation Center, Faber Park Field House, Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, and St. Paul's Chapel are also open to the general public via RSVP at www.publictheater.org. The performance at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is also open to the general public via RSVP at www.nypl.org.
Public Theater Member and Partner tickets priced at $20 for the sit-down run of HAMLET at The Public will be available Thursday, August 4. Single tickets will be available on Monday, August 8. Tickets can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. To further the mission and reach of the MOBILE UNIT, tickets for each performance of the limited run at The Public Theater will be given to community organizations that cannot host a visit from the tour.
"Theater is at its best when it brings communities together and inspires conversation; The Public's Mobile Unit is uniquely positioned to do just that," said Director of Special Artistic Projects Stephanie Ybarra. "Hundreds of years after Hamlet was written, this cautionary tale of what happens when systemic corruption goes unchecked still resonates, and there isn't an artist better suited to tell this story now than Patricia McGregor. The urgency around this production grows with each passing news cycle - if I could start our tour tomorrow, I would."
HAMLET features scenic design by Katherine Akiko Day and costume design by Montana Levi Blanco.
Recent MOBILE UNIT productions include Romeo & Juliet; The Comedy of Errors; Measure for Measure; Richard III; Much Ado About Nothing; Pericles, Prince of Tyre; and Macbeth. This program reinforces The Public's commitment to the ongoing exploration of Shakespeare's canon, along with the recent Public Works Productions of The Tempest, and The Winter's Tale staged at the Delacorte Theater for free; Free Shakespeare in the Park; and The Public's other affordable productions at its downtown home at Astor Place.
TOUR DATES WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING VENUES (August 26 - September 17):
New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Manhattan, is a one-of-a-kind organization that empowers community members to lead healthy, successful lives (August 26).
St. Paul's Chapel, Manhattan, part of Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish that has been a part of New York City since 1697 (August 27).
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House/Women's Mental Health Shelter at the Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan, provides short-term, safe, and supportive environments to address immediate needs for mentally ill homeless women (August 29).
Queensboro Correctional Facility, Queens, is a minimum security correctional facility in Long Island City (August 30).
Brownsville Recreation Center, Brooklyn, a Public Works community partner, is a NYC Parks and Recreation center located in the Brownsville Playground with extensive resources for youth and seniors. The center offers a vibrant space to tap into pursuits artistic and athletic alike (August 31).
Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, is a U.S. federal administrative detention facility, which holds male and female prisoners of all security levels (September 1 and 2).
Metropolitan Correctional Center, Manhattan, is a U.S. federal administrative detention facility, which holds male and female prisoners of all security levels (September 8).
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Manhattan, houses one of the world's most extensive collections in its field, available free of charge (September 9).
Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, Bronx, is a NYC Parks and Recreation center located in the Bronx (September 10).
Taconic Correctional Facility, Westchester, is a medium security facility for women in New York (September 12).
DreamYard Art Center, Bronx, a Public Works community partner, uses project-based arts learning to ignite the transformative spirit in youth, public schools, and communities (September 13).
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Westchester, is the largest maximum security facility for women in
New York (September 14).
Casita Maria, Bronx, a Public Works community partner, empowers youth and their families through high quality social, cultural, and educational opportunities (September 15).
Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, Manhattan, is a NYC Parks and Recreation center located in Harlem (September 16).
Faber Park Field House, Staten Island, is a NYC Parks and Recreation center located in Staten Island (September 17).
All tour performances for HAMLET are free, and performances at Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, Brownsville Recreation Center, Faber Park Field House, Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, and St. Paul's Chapel are also open to the general public via RSVP at www.publictheater.org. The performance at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is also open to the general public via RSVP at www.nypl.org. Please check The Public's website for the most up-to-date performance times.
Following the Mobile Unit tour of the five boroughs, HAMLET will run at The Public Theater from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, October 9 in the Shiva Theater, with an official press opening on Thursday, September 22. Public Theater Member and Partner tickets, priced at $20, will be available Thursday, August 4. Single tickets will be available on Monday, August 8. Tickets can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org; or in person at the Taub Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street.
The sit-down performance schedule will be Tuesday through Sundays at 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (There is an added performance on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. There is no performance on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m.)
The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Joe's Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.
Patricia McGregor (Director). Originally from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, McGregor is a director, writer, and devisor of new work. She has twice been profiled by the New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Recent credits include Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theater); brownsville song: b-side for tray (Lincoln Center); the world premiere of Stagger Lee (Dallas Theatre Center); and the world premiere of Hurt Village(Signature Theatre Center). Other credits include A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter's Tale and Spunk (California Shakespeare Theatre); Adoration of an Old Woman (INTAR); Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage); Holding it Down (The Metropolitan Museum); Four Electric Ghosts (The Kitchen); Nothing Personal (New York Live Arts); and the world premiere of The House That Will Not Stand (Berkeley Rep and Yale Rep). For several years she has directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway where her casts included Paul Bettany, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Silverman and Carmen Ejogo. She is currently developing several pieces, including a musical based on the life of Nat King Cole with Colman Domingo. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow at the Yale School of Drama, where she also served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.
Orlagh Cassidy (Gertrude) has appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter with Frank Langella, God of Carnage (understudy), and Our Country's Good. Her Off-Broadway credits include Ruins Of Civilization (MTC); understudy for Cherry Jones in When We Were Young And Unafraid (MTC); Bright Ideas (MCC); The Field(Drama Desk nomination), The Aristocrats, and Dancing at Lughnasa (Irish Rep). She has been seen regionally at Shakespeare Theatre at The Folger, Hartford Stage, Philadelphia Drama Guild, and Indiana Rep. Her television credits include "Law & Order," "A Gifted Man," "Unforgettable," "Veep," "Mysteries Of Laura," "Gotham," "Good Wife," "Billions," and 11 years recurring as 'Doris Wolfe' on "The Guiding Light." Her film credits include Definitely Maybe, Motherhood, St. Vincent, Sisterhood of Night, and the upcoming Beachhouse, produced by Ben Barenholtz. She holds a B.F.A. from SUNY at Purchase (Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship). Audiofile award-winning voice of numerous audiobooks, television, and radio commercials.
Christian DeMarais (Laertes) has appeared in New York in The School for Scandal (Red Bull Theater), Once Five Years Pass (Drama League/Williamstown: Workshop); The History of American Pornography (INTAR); Treif(Lark/Hunter Playwrights); The Broken Record (FringeNYC); A Raisin in the Sun, Tempest, Dairyland,Apparition (Chautauqua). His credits at NYU include Plenty (dir. Ken Rus Schmoll), Five Days Till Saturday (dir. May Adrales), Three Sisters (dir. MarK Wing-Davey), and Landscape of the Body (dir. Pam Berlin). He has appeared regionally in Roman Holiday (Guthrie); Singin' in the Rain (Ordway); Red Eye of Love (North Haven); Farmer & the Indian (Stratford); and REd White & Tuna (St. Croix). His film and television credits include "Elementary" and Can Hitler Happen Here? He holds an M.F.A in Graduate Acting from NYU.
Christopher Ryan Grant (Player King/Musician) has appeared in Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in the first national tour. His New York credits include Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub, New World Stages, The Wild Project, IRT, Rattlestick, Cherry Lane, The Red Fern, and Three Day Hangover. He has appeared regionally at The Shakespeare Theatre D.C., Yale Rep, The MUNY, Delaware Theatre Company, Two River Theatre, The O'Neill. His film and television credits include Rolling on the Floor Laughing (Official Selections for Sundance, Milan, Toronto Film Festivals), Hard Times For Softcore (short), and "Nella Knightly" (Nickelodeon). He holds a B.F.A. from the University of Evansville, an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama, and attended the British American Drama Academy at Oxford.
Chukwudi Iwuji (Hamlet) is an Olivier award-winning Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His credits include Adeyemi Abudu in The Vote (Donmar Warehouse); Bajazeth in Tamburlaine (Theatre for a New Audience); Edgar in King Lear (The Public/Delacorte Theater); Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra (The Public/RSC); Buckingham in Richard III (London Old Vic/BAM); Misanthrope (Comedy Theatre); Playboy of the Western World (Abbey Theatre); Welcome to Thebes, The Observer (National Theatre); and the titular role inHenry VI Parts I,II and III for which he was a recipient of the Olivier Award in 2009 (Best Ensemble/Revival). His film credits include John Wick 2, Bikini Sunshine, Rosy, Tramps, A Woman a Part, NOW: In the Wings of a World Stage, the multi-award-winning Exam, and Fall to Rise. His television credits include "Madam Secretary," "Blind Spot," "Crossing Lines," "Murder in Manhattan" (ABC), "Dr. Who," "Wizards vs. Aliens," "Casualty," "The Slave Trade" (BBC), "The Three Kings" (SKY), "The Garden" (Tiger Aspect), and "Proof" (RTE).
Kristolyn Lloyd (Ophelia). Her stage credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Invisible Thread (Second Stage Theatre), Cabin In The Sky (Encores City Center), Paradise Blue (Williamstown), The Liquid Plain (Signature Theatre), Heathers The Musical (New World Stages), Witness Uganda (A.R.T.), Heathers The Musical (The Hudson), Hairspray, Rent (Hollywood Bowl), and Once on this Island (Reprise Theatre). Television credits include "ER" and "Lie to Me." She is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee for her role as Dayzee Leigh Forrester on the CBS day-time show "The Bold and the Beautiful."
Jeffrey Omura (Horatio) has appeared at The Public in Romeo and Juliet. His New York credits includeHouse Rules (Ma-Yi); Charles Francis Chan, Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO); Joe Iconis' The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks; These Seven Sicknesses, King Lear (EPBB); Yes We Can (Down Payment); No Fear Shakespeare's Richard III (Facing Page); Carnival Kids (Lesser America). Regional credits include Midsummer(St. Louis Rep); La Dispute, Macbeth (Hartford Stage); and Take Me Out (barebones). His film and television credits include Sex & the City 2; Hairbrained; "Gossip Girl"; "White Collar"; "Georgetown"; "Damages"; "Blue Bloods"; "The Michael J. Fox Show"; "High Maintenance"; "Limitless"; "The Blacklist"; and Amazon's upcoming series "The Interestings." He is a founding member of Exit, Pursued by a Bear and an alumni of Carnegie Mellon.
Daniel Pearce (Polonius/Gravedigger) has appeared on Broadway in Machinal and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His Public credits include Macbeth, King Lear, Ping Pong, Henry V (twice), Henry VI, Measure for Measure, and Loves' Fire (with Acting Company). Other Off-Broadway credits include The Most Deserving (Women's Project), Falling (Minetta Lane), Passion Play (Epic), The Picture of DorIan Gray (Irish Rep), among others. He has appeared regionally in Blood and Gifts (La Jolla Playhouse), Ctrl+Alt+Delete (George St),As You Like It (Denver Center), among others, and internationally in Loves' Fire (Barbican Centre, London). His film and television credits include Murder of a President, Salt, Clowns, Godzilla, "Law & Order" (all varieties), "Chapelle's Show," "Damages," "Queens Supreme." Pearce holds an M.F.A. from NYU.
TIMOTHY STICKNEY (Claudius/Ghost) is an actor, writer, director, teacher and associate artistic director for more than 20 years. Stickney was a company member for five seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival inCaesar and Cleopatra as Pothinus and The Tempest as Sebastian with Christopher Plummer, directed by Des McAnuff, and filmed for theatrical release by Bravo/CBC. Most recently, Stickney appeared at Hartford Stage as Capulet in Darko's Romeo and Juliet and Banquo in The Old Globe's Macbeth. Stickney was Oswald in The Public Theater's King Lear with Kevin Kline and at the Delacorte in Romeo and Juliet as Escalus. He has led AUDELCO Award-winning and nominated productions of Othello (Africa Arts): Hamlet and Richard III (TWAS), while directing gender-bending workshops of Julius Caesar and Othello. His other credits include Kent in King Lear (Theatre for a New Audience) and Macbeth in Macbeth (St. Louis Repertory). Stickney spent 12 award- winning years as R.J. Gannon on ABC's "One Life To Live."
Natalie Woolams-Torres (Rosencrantz) recently appeared at The Public in the Shakespeare in The Park productions of The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors. Recent film credits include Tramps directed by Adam Leon and After Louie directed by Vincent Gagliostro. She attended SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theater Arts and Film.
The Public Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure.Celebrating his 10th anniversary season at The Public, Eustis has created new community-based initiatives designed to engage audiences like Public Lab, Public Studio, Public Forum, Public Works, and a remount of the Mobile Unit. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, an expanding initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; and audience and artist development initiatives that range from Emerging Writers Group and to the Public Forum series. The Public is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. The Public is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning Fun Home and Lin-Manuel Miranda's acclaimed American musicalHamilton. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 168 Obie Awards, 52 Drama Desk Awards, 48 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics Awards, and five Pulitzer Prizes.
Pictured: Chukwudi Iwuji by Tammy Shell.