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The Bacchae: Public announces cast for second Shakespeare in the Park production

The Public Theater has announced casting for the Shakespeare in the Park production of Euripides� The Bacchae, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with original music by Philip Glass and translated by Nicholas Rudall.

The Bacchae will open at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on 24 Aug 2009, following previews from 11 Aug and run through to 30 Aug 2009.

Director Akalaitis� interpretation of The Bacchae, with a score by Glass, re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire.

The cast will feature George Bartenieff as Cadmus, Andr� De Shields as Teiresias, Jonathan Groff as Dionysus, Karen Kandel as Chorus Leader, Joan MacIntosh as Agave, Steven Rishard as Cowherd and Rocco Sisto as Messenger.

The Greek chorus will include Marisa Echeverria, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Ikeda, Jennifer Nikki Kidwell, Alexa Kryzaniwsky, Vella Lovell, Nana Mensah, Ereni Sevasti, Elena Shaddow, Han Tang and Idara Victor.

�The Greeks are, along with Shakespeare, the other great pillar of democratic theater history. This is a chance for us to experience one of the greatest Greek tragedies as it was meant to be seen; outdoors, in the middle of the city, surrounded by our fellow citizens,� said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. �It is a special privilege for me to welcome one of our great American theater artists, JoAnne Akalaitis, back to The Public Theater. Philip Glass has composed one of his most beautiful and thrilling scores for The Bacchae; I think this will be an extraordinary evening in the theater.�

The Bacchae will feature scenic design by John Conklin; costume design by Kaye Voyce; and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.

George Bartenieff (Cadmus) is a three-time OBIE winner who has appeared at The Public in 'The Memorandum,' 'The Increased Difficulty of Concentration,' 'Trelawney of the �Wells,�' 'Dead End Kids,' 'American Notes,' 'Cymbeline,' 'Stuff Happens,' and 'Romeo and Juliet.' He made his Broadway debut at the age of 14 opposite Uta Hagen in 'The Whole World Over' (Vanya: 1947) and most recently starred in Edward Albee�s 'The American Dream' and 'The Sandbox' at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Andre De Shields (Teiresias) is a two-time Tony nominee (The Full Monty, Play On) and the recipient of an OBIE for Sustained Excellence. He appeared at The Public in 'Dancing on Moonlight' (1995) and last appeared on Broadway in 'Impressionism' (Chiambuane: 2009).

Jonathan Groff (Dionysus) returns to The Public after recently playing 'Gray' in Craig Lucas�s 'The Singing Forest' (OBIE Award) and the role of 'Claude' in the Shakespeare in the Park revival of 'Hair.' He received a Tony nomination for his performance as 'Melchior' in 'Spring Awakening' on Broadway and is featured in Ang Lee�s new film 'Taking Woodstock.'

Karen Kandel (Chorus Leader) appeared at The Public in Carl Hancock Rux�s play 'Talk,' for which she shared a special OBIE Award with the rest of the ensemble. She also won an OBIE Award for her performance as 'The Narrator' in Liza Lorwin�s 'Peter and Wendy' at the New Victory Theater and recently played 'The Woman' in JoAnne Akalaitis�s production of 'Beckett Shorts' at New York Theatre Workshop.

Joan Macintosh (Agave) is to appear in The Public�s production of Suzan-Lori Parks�s 'Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9).' The recipient of five OBIEs, including one for Sustained Excellence, Macintosh�s many credits include The Public Theater productions of '365 Days / 365 Plays,' 'Macbeth,' 'All�s Well That Ends Well,' 'Cymbeline,' 'Julius Caesar,' 'A Bright Room Called Day,' 'Dispatches,' and 'Alice In Concert.'

Steven Rishard (Cowherd) is an Artistic Associate with Division 13 Theater Company, where he has performed in 'The Genet Project' and 'Cascando.' His other New York credits include 'Big Love' at the Wilma Theater and 'In the Penal Colony' at Classic Stage Company. At Chicago�s Court Theater, Rishard performed in 'Learned Ladies,' 'The Real Thing,' 'Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards,' 'Life�s a Dream,' 'La Bete,' 'Gross Indecency' and 'A Midsummer Night�s Dream.'

Rocco Sisto (Messenger) has a long history with The Public Theater including the 1982 production of 'Hamlet,' Len Jenkin�s 'My Uncle Sam,' Richard Foreman�s 'What Did He See?,' 'The Winter�s Tale' (1989, OBIE Award), Michael Greif�s 1990 revival of 'Machinal,' JoAnne Akalaitis�s production of �Tis Pity She�s a Whore, All�s Well That Ends Well' (1993), 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' (1994), Stuart Greenman�s 'Silence, Cunning, Exile,' and George C. Wolfe�s 1998 production of 'Macbeth.'

JoAnne Akalaitis (Director) is the winner of five OBIE Awards for direction (and sustained achievement) and founder of the critically acclaimed Mabou Mines in New York. In addition to the A.R.T. - where she directed Endgame and The Balcony - she has staged works by Euripides, Shakespeare, Strindberg, Schiller, Beckett, Genet, Williams, Philip Glass, Janacek, and her own work at Lincoln Center Theatre, New York City Opera, Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Court Theatre, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and The Guthrie Theater

The first Shakespeare in the Park production will be Shakespeares� Twelfth Night, directed by Daniel Sullivan, and featuring Anne Hathaway as 'Viola,' running 10 Jun - 12 Jul 2009.

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