The Public Theater's Mobile Unit to Tour Bilingual Musical THE COMEDY OF ERRORS This Spring

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will pop up both outside and indoors at public plazas, parks, and community centers across the five boroughs from 5/2 to 5/21.

By: Mar. 30, 2023
The Public Theater's Mobile Unit to Tour Bilingual Musical THE COMEDY OF ERRORS This Spring

The Public Theater will present the return of the theater's acclaimed MOBILE UNIT with a free touring production of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. The new bilingual adaptation by Rebecca Martínez and Julián Mesri of Shakespeare's classic comedy will include music in both English and Spanish, inspired by musical styles across Latin America.

In partnership with New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation and Department of Transportation, as well as other key Mobile Unit partners, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will pop up both outside and indoors at public plazas, parks, and community centers across the five boroughs from Tuesday, May 2 through Sunday, May 21 as part of The Public's commitment to bringing free theater to all and deepening its engagement with communities around NYC. Following the tour, a free engagement of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will run in The Public's Shiva Theater from Thursday, May 25 through Sunday, June 11.

Mobile Unit's free tours bring Shakespeare and other works to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts, traditionally by visiting correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations, and other community organizations. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mobile Unit has expanded its tour locations to primarily outdoor venues, returning to long-standing partners and visiting new locations around the five boroughs. Mobile Unit continues its relationships with NYC's Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Transportation, and local community groups to bring this hybrid indoor-outdoor tour to accessible spaces around the city.

Mobile Unit embarks on a new tour with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. Conceived by director Rebecca Martínez and composer Julián Mesri, a member of The Public's 2022-23 Emerging Writers Group, this new adaptation rigorously embraces music from all over Latin America in this tale of separation and joyous reunion. With songs in English and Spanish, this new musical adaptation brings an energetic vibe to this age-old tale of two sets of twins separated by stormy seas as they overcome a baffling case of mistaken identity-and the mayhem and hilarious confusion that follows.

"Rebecca Martínez and Julián Mesri have masterfully adapted Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, injecting it with warmth and energy that you will find infectious as you tap your toes and hum new songs that feel amazingly recognizable yet entirely new," said Associate Artistic Director/Director of Artistic Programs Freedome Bradley-Ballentine. "They have embraced one of Joe Papp's core values-accessibility-by creating a bilingual version that invites everyone into the joyous world they've created. This exceptional Comedy of Errors is firmly in a long lineage of plays from The Public that freshly embrace the form. You must experience this event, whether in your community or at The Public."

The cast of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will include Varín Ayala (Angelo/Egeon/Pinch), Danaya Esperanza (Adriana), Rebecca Jimenez (Understudy), Keren Lugo (Luciana), Alan Mendez (Understudy), Sara Ornelas (Troubadour), Gían Pérez (Dromio of Syracuse/Ephesus), Joel Perez (Antipholus of Syracuse/Ephesus), and Desireé Rodriguez (Courtesan/Emilia).

"Working with Rebecca Martínez and Julián Mesri is a gift. With the help of Shakespeare's ingenuity, Rebecca's exemplary vision and Julián's resonant music, The Comedy of Errors is an amusing and witty story of mistaken identity and family separation," said Interim Mobile Unit Director Praycious Wilson-Gay. "I am elated to be in community with Mobile Unit's new and inveterate partners sharing this modern reimagining of a classic story."

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will include scenic design by Emmie Finckel, costume design by Lux Haac, sound design by Charles Coes, and fight direction by Sean Griffin. Jacinta Clusellas will serve as musician. Luisa Sánchez Colón will serve as production stage manager and Caren Celine Morris will serve as stage manager.

Now in its 13th year, The Public Theater's MOBILE UNIT is a modern reimagining of Joseph Papp's Mobile Theater. Mobile Unit reaches across economic and geographic barriers to the arts by meeting our communities where they are-staging free professional theater productions and programs in local neighborhood venues such as libraries, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and community centers across all five New York City boroughs. Mobile Unit has served thousands of audiences with critically acclaimed productions, including a 2018 National tour of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat. In 2020, Mobile Unit received a Special Drama Desk Award for its program. During the pandemic, Mobile Unit launched a digital workshop inside the NYC Department of Corrections called Hip-Hop vs. Shakespeare, where participants were encouraged to write their own stories. In summer 2021, Mobile Unit returned in-person with Mobile Unit's Summer of Joy, co-produced with National Black Theatre, popping up at public plazas in neighborhoods hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Mobile Unit believes theater is its most powerful when it reflects and connects to the lives of our community.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS TOUR SCHEDULE:

Dates marked with * are not open to the public.

May 2 - The General Theological Seminary (Manhattan)
May 3 - Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn)
May 4 - Roy Wilkins Recreation Center (Queens)
May 5 - School of Mathematics, Science and Technology Through the Arts (Bronx)
May 6 - Faber Park (Staten Island)
May 7 - Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center (Bronx)
May 9 - The LGBT Community Center (Manhattan)
May 10 - Fortune Society - L.I.C (Queens) *
May 12 - Herbert Von King Recreation Center (Brooklyn)
May 13 - Marcus Garvey Park (Manhattan)
May 16 - Minthorne Open Street (Staten Island)
May 17 - A.R.R.O.W. Field House (Queens)
May 18 - Johnny Hartman Plaza (Manhattan)
May 19 - A.R.R.O.W. Field House (Queens)
May 20 - Johnny Hartman Plaza (Manhattan)
May 21 - Corona Plaza (Queens)

A full tour schedule and more details can be found at publictheater.org.

Masks are not required at outdoor locations. Policies at indoor locations will vary by venue. The standard Public Theater policies will be in place for performances at The Public.

In keeping with guidance from city, state, and federal officials, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and the use of face masks are no longer mandated for entry into The Public's theaters, restaurant, or the facility. The use of face masks is encouraged at all performances, but will only be required at Saturday and Sunday matinee performances, Tuesday evening performances, as well as Joseph Papp Free Performances. These mask required performances are to accommodate those who are immunocompromised or uncomfortable in an unmasked environment. Learn more at Safe At The Public.

The Library at The Public has reopened, serving food and drink Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 5:00 p.m. and closing at midnight. The Library will be closed on Mondays. For more information, visit publictheater.org.

BIOS:

REBECCA MARTÍNEZ

(Director, Choreographer, Adapter, Lyrics) (she/her) is a multidisciplinary director and the BOLD Associate Artistic Director at WP Theater. Recent projects include Sancocho (WP Theater), Living and Breathing (Two River), Los Complicados (EST Marathon), Randy's Dandy Coaster Castle (Egg & Spoon Collective), Songs About Trains (Working Theater and Radical Evolution), and Somewhere Over the Border (Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre). Martinez has developed new work with The Public Theater, Amas Musical Theater, the O'Neill, Latinx Playwrights Circle, the Sol Project, NAMT, INTAR, Working Theater, and The Playwrights Realm, among others. Affiliations include Sojourn Theatre Ensemble, 2021 TCG Rising Leaders of Color, Sol Project Collective, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, INTAR's Unit52, New Georges Affiliated Artist, WP Lab, Drama League Directing Fellow, and member of SDC. Martinez's awards include Colorado Henry Award for Directing; four Portland, Oregon Drammy Awards; and Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists. Martinez is originally from Colorado with deep ancestral roots in the Southwest. rebeccamartinez.org

JULIÁN MESRI

(Music & Lyrics, Adapter, Music Director, Spanish Translations) is a New York-based Argentinean-American playwright and composer who makes multilingual plays and musicals in the U.S. and around the world. He is a member of the 2020-2023 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group and a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Fellow. He received an EST/Sloan Commission in 2021 for his musical Favaloro: A Heart in Pieces. Recent work includes Telo (O'Neill NMTC finalist), Bartolomé de las Casas Ruins My Pool (O'Neill NPC finalist), and Immersion (Columbia/Roundabout finalist, BAPF semi-finalist). Other work includes music directing and arranging Songs About Trains with Radical Evolution and music directing and co-orchestrating Brian Quijada's Somewhere Over the Border (Syracuse Stage, Geva Theater). Mesri has been an Emerging Artist of Color Fellow and Usual Suspect at NYTW and a Van Lier fellow at Repertorio Español. He has also translated dramatic works for the Lark U.S./Mexico Exchange and PEN World Voices. He received his MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.

ABOUT The Public Theater:

THE PUBLIC continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation's first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public's wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City's five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Lab, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe's Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fat Ham by James Ijames. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 60 Tony Awards, 190 Obie Awards, 56 Drama Desk Awards, 59 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, 62 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org

The Public Theater stands in honor of the first inhabitants and our ancestors. We acknowledge the land on which The Public and its theaters stand-the original homeland of the Lenape people-and the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We honor the generations of stewards, and we pay our respects to the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land.

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

MOBILE UNIT is made possible by Abrams Foundation, The Tow Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The McLaughlin Children's Trust, and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

TICKET INFORMATION

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will begin touring the five boroughs on Tuesday, May 2 and continue through Saturday, May 21. All tour performances are free and open to all. Please visit publictheater.org for the most up-to-date performance times.

Following the MOBILE UNIT tour of the five boroughs, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will run at The Public Theater from Thursday, May 25 through Sunday, June 11 in the Shiva Theater. To expand the reach of MOBILE UNIT productions, tickets for each performance of the limited run at The Public Theater will be given to community organizations that are unable to host a visit from the tour.

Furthering the mission of making great theater accessible to all, tickets to the MOBILE UNIT's run at The Public are free. On each public performance date, free tickets will be distributed via mobile lottery on the TodayTix app. Download the TodayTix app to enter or visit publictheater.org for more information.

The performance schedule at The Public will be Tuesday through Sunday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

There will be a Latine Community Night on Friday, June 2. The Open Captioned performance will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.

The full performance calendar and complete ticket distribution details can be found at publictheater.org.



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