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Jennings, Topol et al. Join Pacino and More in Shakespeare in the Park, 6/9 - 8/1

The Public Theater has announced additional casting for the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park summer season featuring THE WINTER'S TALE, directed by Michael Greif, and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, directed by Daniel Sullivan, in repertory June 9-August 1.

The repertory company for THE WINTER'S TALE and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, consecutively, features Gerry Bamman (Antigonus/Duke of Venice), Francois Battiste (Florizel/Lord/Salerio), Linda Emond (Hermione - The Winter's Tale), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Young Shepherd/Lord/Launcelot Gobbo), Bill Heck (Lord/Lorenzo), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Paulina/Nerissa), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Leontes - The Winter's Tale), Byron Jennings (Camillo/Antonio), Heather Lind (Perdita/Jessica), Hamish Linklater (Autolycus/Lord/Bassanio), Jesse L. Martin (Polixenes/Gratiano), Nyambi Nyambi (Lord/Prince of Morocco), Al Pacino (Shylock - The Merchant of Venice), Lily Rabe (Portia - The Merchant of Venice), Matthew Rauch (Dion/Jailer/Solanio), Richard Topol (Lord/Tubal) and Max Wright (Old Shepherd/Prince of Arragon).

Shakespeare in the Park 2010 is not The Public Theater's first foray into rotating repertory. Henry IV, Parts One and Two were performed in rep in the Newman Theater in 1991, and 20 years earlier, the Henry VI plays and Richard III were condensed into The War of the Roses which was presented in rep and then performed in one all-night marathon in Central Park.

Gerry Bamman (Antigonus/Duke of Venice) returns to The Public, where his past appearances have included The Controversy of Valladolid, Richard III, The Master and Margarita, Museum, Henry V, Alice in Wonderland, Our Late Night, and The Seagull. His most recent New York theater credits include The Glass Cage at The Mint Theater Company and Nixon's Nixon at Manhattan Class Company.

Francois Battiste (Florizel/Lord/Salerio) won an OBIE Award for his performance in The Public's 2009 production of The Good Negro. He recently appeared in Lincoln Center Theater's Broke-ology and on Broadway in the revival of Prelude to a Kiss (Roundabout). His additional theater credits include Quiver and Twitch (NYS&F), Broke-ology (Williamstown), and productions at Dallas Theatre Center; Chicago Shakespeare, The Goodman, Victory Gardens, Famous Door, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Lookingglass Theatre.

Linda Emond (Hermione) is making her Public Theater debut. Her many stage credits include Yasmina Reza's Life (x) 3 (Tony nomination) and A Spanish Play, Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul (OBIE and Lortel Awards; Drama Desk nomination), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (with Al Pacino), the Broadway revival of 1776, Craig Lucas's The Dying Gaul, and Nine Armenians at MTC (Drama Desk nomination). Her recent film credits include Julie & Julia, Stop-Loss, Across the Universe, and North Country.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Young Shepherd/Lord/Launcelot Gobbo) returns to the Delacorte, where he appeared in Daniel Sullivan's A Midsummer Night's Dream (2007) and George C. Wolfe's On the Town (1997). He is a series regular on ABC's "Modern Family" and has also appeared on television in "Do Not Disturb," "The Class" and "Ugly Betty." His Broadway credits include On the Town and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which he earned Drama Desk and Drama League award nominations.

Bill Heck (Lord/Lorenzo) made his Public Theater debut in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing (2004). He was recently seen in all three parts of Horton Foote's critically acclaimed Orphans Home Cycle at the Signature Theater Company.

MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE (Paulina/Nerissa) is making her New York stage debut. She received Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations for her performance in Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies and a SAG Award nomination as part of the ensemble of the CBS drama "Without A Trace." She has numerous European stage credits, including a critically acclaimed simultaneous performance as both Mariana and Mistress Overdone in Cheek by Jowl's Measure for Measure, Running Dream at the Theatre Royal Stratford, Ave Africa (writer and performer), Mike Leigh's It's A Great Big Shame (West End), and a French-language production of Maria DiCenza's The Suit in Paris.

Byron Jennings (Camillo/Antonio) played Antonio in The Public's 1995 production of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Barry Edelstein. His other Public Theater credits include Stuff Happens, On the Open Road, and Pericles. His numerous Broadway credits include Accent on Youth, Macbeth, Is He Dead?, Inherit the Wind, Heartbreak House, A Touch of the Poet, Twelve Angry Men, Sight Unseen, Henry IV, Dinner at Eight, Noises Off, The Invention of Love, The Man Who Came To Dinner, and A Month in the Country.

Heather Lind (Perdita/Jessica) is making her Public Theater debut. Her New York credits include The Desert at HERE Arts Center, Shangri La at Queens Theatre in the Park, and River Deep: A Tribute To Tina Turner at Playwrights Horizons. She has appeared in numerous readings and projects at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, including Schmoozy Togetherness, The Lover, Big Money, and Cold Hard Cash. Her TV credits include "Gamekillers" on MTV, "Guiding Light," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Hamish Linklater (Autolycus/Lord/Bassanio) returns to The Delacorte, where he played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Daniel Sullivan's production of Twelfth Night last summer. His additional Public Theater appearances include Hamlet (1999), The Square, and Love's Fire; off-Broadway, he has appeared in The Busy World Is Hushed, Recent Tragic Events, Good Thing, Cyclone, Chemistry of Change, and Romeo and Juliet. He is a series regular on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and also appeared on "Gideon's Crossing" and "Pushing Daisies."

Jesse L. Martin (Polixenes/Gratiano) is making his Public Theater debut. He is best-known for playing Tom Collins in the original company of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. His other theater credits include The Arabian Nights at Manhattan Theater Club and The Government Inspector and Timon of Athens on Broadway. He played Detective Ed Green for nine seasons on "Law & Order," and he currently appears as a series regular on NBC's "The Philanthropist." Recently starred in the films Peter and Vandy, The Cake Eaters and Rent.

Nyambi Nyambi (Lord/Prince of Morocco) appeared on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of Joe Turner's Come and Gone. His other New York City theater credits include The Tempest at Classic Stage, Sliding Into the Beast at New York Theatre Workshop, and Ain't Supposed to Die A Natural Death and The Blacks: A Clown Show at Classical Theatre of Harlem. His film credits include Day Night Day Night and Letters From Damascus.

Al Pacino (Shylock) returns to The Public, where he played Marcus Antonius in Stuart Vaughan's production of Julius Caesar (1988). On Broadway, he won Tony Awards for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and appeared in Camino Real, Richard III, American Buffalo, Chinese Coffee, Hughie (which he also directed), and two productions of Salome (1992 and 2003). His additional New York stage appearances include The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, The Local Stigmatic and The Indian Wants The Bronx. He has appeared in more than 35 films, receiving Academy Award nominations for his performances in The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather: Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, ...And Justice For All, Dick Tracy and Glengarry GLen Ross; he won an Oscar for Scent of a Woman and an Emmy for Mike Nichols' miniseries Angels in America.

Lily Rabe (Portia) is making her Public Theater debut. She has appeared on Broadway in Richard Greenberg's The American Plan, George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House for which she won the Callaway Award and was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award, and Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination. Off-Broadway credits include Crimes of the Heart at Roundabout and Colder Than Here at MCC. Her film credits include Mona Lisa Smile, No Reservations, What Just Happened, A Crime and The Toe Tactic. Rabe's television credits include David Milch's "Last of the Ninth" and guest appearances on "Medium," "Nip/Tuck," "Law & Order: SVU," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Saving Grace." Upcoming film roles include Andrew Jarecki's All Good Things; Christopher Munch's Letters From A Big Man; and the indie features Weakness and Aftermath.

Matthew Rauch (Dion/Jailer/Solanio) was last seen on Broadway in the revival of Prelude to a Kiss. His other New York credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (New Group), In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Keen Company), Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull), Hurlyburly (New Group), and Book of Days (Signature).

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Leontes) played the title role in Mary Zimmerman's 1997 revival of Henry VIII at Shakespeare in the Park. He made his Public Theater debut in Eugene Lee's East Texas Hot Links and wrote and starred in 2001's Lackawanna Blues, for which he won an Obie Award. On Broadway, he received Tony, Outer Critics, Drama League and Clarence Derwent Awards for his performance in August Wilson's Seven Guitars and appeared in Wilson's Gem of the Ocean and the musical Jelly's Last Jam. He directed Seven Guitars and The First Breeze of Summer at Signature and Things of Dry Hours at New York Theatre Workshop. His numerous film credits include Coming to America, The Devil's Advocate, Shaft, Domestic Disturbance, Mr. Brooks, American Gangster, The Invention of Lying, and George C. Wolfe's made-for-television adaptation of Lackawanna Blues.

Richard Topol (Lord/Tubal) has appeared at The Public in The African Company Presents Richard III, on Broadway in Awake and Sing! (Drama Desk award, Best Ensemble), Julius Caesar, and School For Scandal. His numerous off-Broadway credits include Opus, Omnium Gatherum, Twelfth Night, Hyde in Hollywood, Birdseed Bundles, and Diphthong. His film and TV credits include Mickey Blue Eyes, Party Girls, Path To Paradise, all three "Law & Orders," "The Practice," and "Strong Medicine."

Max Wright (Old Shepherd/Prince of Arragon). His long history with The Public Theater includes appearances in the Shakespeare in the Park productions of Taming of the Shrew (1999) and Henry IV, Part 1 (1981), and The Public's productions of The Cherry Orchard (1977), The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and That Championship Season. His numerous Broadway credits include Richard III opposite Al Pacino, The Great White Hope, and Lincoln Center Theater's productions of Twelfth Night and Ivanov (Tony nomination). He is best-known to television audiences for his starring roles on "Alf" and "The Norm Show."

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

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through 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 42 Tony Awards, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 52 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; and, most recently, the current Tony Award-winning revival of Hair. www.publictheater.org.

 

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.


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