The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park was conceived by Joe Papp more than 50 years ago as a way to make great theater accessible to all and continues to be the bedrock of the Company’s mission to increase access. Over the past 50 years more than five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte.
“The Public wants to make great theater accessible to all, and young people, with their parents, deserve an invitation to be a part of the story,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “This will be a great and rare opportunity. One we hope is just a beginning.”
Tickets to the special family-friendly matinee will be distributed for FREE primarily through the Virtual Ticketinglottery (www.shakespeareinthepark.org/matinee), with a limited number of tickets available through a stand-by line on the day of the performance.
The Public Theater is also now accepting requests for a limited number of group reservations. Interested groups of 10 or more can submit a group request form available on-line at www.shakespeareinthepark.org/matinee. Groups will not be guaranteed tickets and orders will be processed in the order they are received.
The Virtual Ticketinglottery for the family-friendly matinee willopen on Wednesday, August 15 at 4 p.m. and remain open through Thursday, August 16 at 4 p.m. Guests can register for up to four tickets and those who win tickets through the Virtual Lottery can pick their tickets up on August 22 at the Delacorte box office between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81 Street and Central Park West or at 79 Street and Fifth Avenue.
Instead of the standard ticket distribution line at the Delacorte Theater, patrons may start picking up numbers for up to four tickets for a stand-by line beginning at 9 a.m. at the Delacorte box office. Guests with stand-by line numbers can line up at 2 p.m. and any available tickets will be distributed beginning at 2:30 p.m. for the 3:00 p.m. matinee.
To accommodate the family-friendly matinee performance on Wednesday, August 22, tickets for the regular evening performance of INTO THE WOODS at 8 p.m. will be distributed at 12 p.m. that day instead of the normal 1 p.m.
Due to the afternoon heat, costumes may be modified for the INTO THE WOODS family-friendlymatinee.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, THE DELACORTE THEATER officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock. The Merchant of Venice was followed that summer by a production of The Tempest, directed by Gerald Freedman and featuring Paul Stevens as Prospero and James Earl Jones as Caliban. The first Delacorte summer season concluded with King Lear, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring Frank Silvera as Lear. Since then more than 150 productions have been presented for free at the Delacorte Theater. Highlights of past Delacorte productions include Othello in 1964 with James Earl Jones; Hamlet in 1975 with Sam Waterston; The Taming of the Shrew in 1978 with Raul Julia and Meryl Streep; The Pirates of Penzance in 1980 with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt; Henry V in 1984 with Kevin Kline; Much Ado About Nothing in 1988 with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner; Richard III in 1990with Denzel Washington; Othello in 1991with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken; The Tempest in 1995 with Patrick Stewart; The Seagull in 2001 with Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Mother Courage in 2006 with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline; Macbeth in 2006 with Liev Schreiber; HAIR in 2008 with Jonathan Groff and Will Swenson; Twelfth Night in 2009 with Anne Hathaway; The Merchant of Venice in 2010 with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe; and most recently last summer’s acclaimed productions of All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure. The revitalization of The Public Theater’s historic downtown building on Lafayette Street will also take place this fall.
Directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel, INTO THE WOODS is running for five weeks through Saturday, August 25, with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9.
The production features Amy Adams (Baker’s Wife); Jack Broderick (Narrator); Glenn Close (The Voice of The Giant); Gideon Glick (Jack); Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel’s Prince); Ellen Harvey (Cinderella’s Stepmother); Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella’s Prince, Wolf); Tina Johnson (Red Ridinghood’s Granny); Josh Lamon (Steward); Bethany Moore (Florinda); Jessie Mueller (Cinderella); Donna Murphy (The Witch); Denis O’Hare (The Baker); Jennifer Rias (Lucinda); Laura Shoop (Cinderella’s Mother); Tess Soltau (Rapunzel); Sarah Stiles (Little Red Ridinghood); Kristine Zbornik (Jack’s Mother); and Chip Zien (Mysterious Man). The non-Equity ensemble features Victoria Cook, Johnny Newcomb, Noah Radcliffe, and Eric R. Williams.
In INTO THE WOODS, a witch’s curse condemns the Baker and his Wife to a life without children. They embark on a quest to find the four items required to break the spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Will they succeed? And what happens after “happily ever after?” A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theater giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, INTO THE WOODS is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.
INTO THE WOODS opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 5, 1987 and played 764 performances. It earned three Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical and a Grammy Award. Directed by James Lapine, the original Broadway production featured a cast that included Bernadette Peters as the Witch and Joanna Gleason as the Baker’s Wife. James Lapine also directed the 2002 Broadway revival that opened on April 30, 2002 at the Broadhurst Theatre and starred Vanessa Williams as the Witch and Laura Benanti as Cinderella.
The 2012 Shakespeare in the Park summer production of INTO THE WOODS is based on the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London Production, produced by Timothy Sheader and William Village for Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd.
INTO THE WOODS features scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour; costume design by Emily Rebholz; lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, puppetry by Rachael Canning; wig design by Leah Loukas; movement direction by Liam Steel; orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick; and musical direction by Paul Gemignani.
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ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER’S DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION
The revitalization of The Public Theater’s downtown home this fall will physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects, the project encompasses enhancements to the building’s interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.
THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, 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 home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 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 Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 45 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice. www.publictheater.org.
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