The Public's Mobile Unit Returns With THE TEMPEST
Continuing its commitment to bringing free Shakespeare to the community and strengthening audience engagement through the arts, The Public Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, will mount its MOBILE UNIT again this spring with a free three-week tour to the five boroughs of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, directed by Laurie Woolery. Now in its ninth year, the Mobile Unit's free tour (April 4-27) brings Shakespeare and other works to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts by visiting correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations, and other community venues. There will also be a free three-week engagement of THE TEMPEST at The Public Theater in the Shiva theater running Monday, April 29 through Sunday, May 19, with an official press opening on Friday, May 3.
The complete cast of THE TEMPEST features Jasai Chase Owens (Ferdinand), Dan Domingues (Antonio),Danaya Esperanza (Ariel), Christopher Ryan Grant (Caliban), Sam Morales (Miranda), Nancy Rodriguez(Gonzalo), Reza Salazar (Sebastian), Myra Lucretia Taylor (Prospero), and JD Webster (Alonso).
"Laurie Woolery has been one of The Public Theater's stars; her production of As You Like It for Public Works was one of the best we ever created," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "I can't wait to watch the collision of her gorgeous spirit and Shakespeare's magical play."
Prospero, a powerful magician and the rightful Duchess of Milan, has been usurped by her brother and has escaped to a remote and barren island. There, despite the unforgiving landscape, she has tried her best to make a home for her daughter, Miranda. When Prospero conjures a powerful storm to sink her brother's ship, she must decide how to deal with him and his confederates, who have washed ashore. How will she exact her long-awaited revenge? How do you satiate a desire for justice?
"Since I arrived at The Public, I have dreamed of working on the Mobile Unit. As Director of Public Works, the uniting of these two iconic programs just feels right," said Director Laurie Woolery. "Community is at the heart of everything I do so I asked myself, 'What do we as a society need to hear right now?' With fear and injustice surrounding us on a daily basis, how do we not drown in our own rage? Prospero asks this question so it felt right to explore this play through a female lens. My hope is that together we will all find a way to heal and move forward."
All tour performances are free, and performances at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center; Pelham Fritz Recreation Center; St. Paul's Chapel; Brownsville Recreation Center; Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center; Roy Wilkins Recreation Center; Einstein Community Center - Co-Op City 50th anniversary; DreamYard Arts Project; Queens Public Library Central Branch; Faber Park Recreation Center; ARROW Field House; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; and North Brooklyn YMCA are also open to the general public via RSVP at publictheater.org. 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 are unable to host a visit from the tour.
THE TEMPEST features scenic design by Claire DeLiso, costume design by Wilberth Gonzalez, and music composition by Michelle J. Rodriguez.
Photo: The Mobile Unit's Midsummer Night's Dream; photo credit: Richard Termine