The Public's Shakespeare in the Park 2017 Season
The Public Theater has announced its 2017 Shakespeare in the Park season, continuing a 55-year tradition of free theatre at Central Park's Delacorte Theater. The non-profit organisation has now offered more than 150 free productions since 1962, entertaining over five million patrons in total. This year, the Public will present new revivals of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Artistic Director Oskar Eustis released the following statement:
“There is no difficulty in the world that Shakespeare can’t address. In our troubled times, the majesty of Julius Caesar, and the joy of A Midsummer Night's Dream are as necessary as beauty. I’m delighted to welcome Lear deBessonet to her Shakespeare in the Park debut; it will be a show to remember.”
Oskar Eustis will direct the first production of the summer season with Julius Caesar, which will play the Delacorte Theater from May 23 to June 18, 2017, with an official opening set for June 12.
Synopsis: "Rome's leader, Julius Caesar, is a force unlike any the city has seen. Magnetic, populist, irreverent, he seems bent on absolute power. A small band of patriots, devoted to the country's democratic traditions, must decide how to oppose him. Shakespeare's masterpiece play of politics and power has never felt more contemporary."
Julius Caesar has only once been produced before in the 55-year history of Shakespeare in the Park. The 2000 production was directed by Barry Edelstein and starred David McCallum in the title role, Jamey Sheridan as Brutus and Jeffrey Wright as Mark Antony.
The second production of the summer will be Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Lear deBessonet, which will play the Delacorte Theater from July 11 to August 13, 2017, with an official opening set for July 31.
Synopsis: "When the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, young lovers lost in the woods mysteriously find themselves infatuated with the wrong person in this hilarious, fairytale fantasia that proves the course of true love never did run smooth. Shakespeare's beloved comedy is a classic romance about the supernatural nature of love set in the most enchanted forest in all of theater."
A Midsummer Night's Dream has previously been staged at Shakespeare in the Park on three separate occasions - helmed by James Lapine in 1982, by Cacá Rosset in 1991 and by Daniel Sullivan in 2007.
Casting and creative team information for both Shakespeare in the Park productions will be announced at a later date.
Tickets to all of the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of each show.
- by Tom Millward