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Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:02

The Public Theater Announces Dates for the 50th Anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park

The Public Theater

The Public Theater
Announces Dates
For 50th Anniversary
Shakespeare in the Park Season
at The Delacorte

Directed by Daniel Sullivan
June 5 – 30

Directed by Timothy Sheader
Co-Directed by Liam Steel
July 23 – August 25


Summer Supporter Tickets Available March 8

March 8, 2012 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) announced the dates today for the 50th Anniversary season of free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte. AS YOU LIKE IT,directed by Daniel Sullivan, will begin previews on Tuesday, June 5 and continue for four weeks through Saturday, June 30. Joining the previously announced Lily Rabe (Rosalind) will be Macintyre Dixon (Adam); Renee Elise Goldsberry (Celia); and Omar Metwally (Oliver).

{module ad_left_body}Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel, will begin previews on Monday, July 23 and continue for five weeks through Saturday, August 25 with an official press opening on Thursday, August 9.

Grammy® and Emmy winning actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author Steve Martin will compose original music for AS YOU LIKE IT which will feature a live Bluegrass band. AS YOU LIKE IT is Shakespeare's most musical play, containing more songs than any other. Sullivan will set the play's famous Forest of Arden in the rural American South, circa 1840, where folk and roots music perfectly capture the mood of the time.

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest album Rare Bird Alert debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200.  The album was nominated for a Grammy® for “Best Bluegrass Album” and features 13 new Martin-penned tracks, including a live version of “King Tut,” and special guest vocals by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.  His debut album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo won Best Bluegrass Album in 2009.  Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers were also named ‘Entertainer of the Year’ at the 2011 International Bluegrass Association Awards.

Bank of America returns once again as proud season sponsor in support of The Public’s mission to keep Shakespeare in the Park free for everyone.

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 100 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.

AS YOU LIKE IT features scenic design by John Lee Beatty; costume design by Jane Greenwood; lighting design by Natasha Katz; and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

INTO THE WOODS features scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour; costume design by Emily Rebholz; movement direction by Liam Steel; and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

In AS YOU LIKE IT, Rosalind, Shakespeare’s most breathtaking heroine, and her boyfriend Orlando find themselves in the enchanted Forest of Arden, where all the world’s a stage, and where sudden infatuation is as confusing as it is beautiful.  Along with other “country copulatives,” they discover that nothing transforms, redeems, or enriches experience quite as powerfully as love.  AS YOU LIKE IT has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course plenty of romance, both heartbreaking and joyous. 

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.



Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery at on the day of the show.

In honor of five decades at the Delacorte, The Public Theater launched the 50th Anniversary Fellows Program this year to help support free Shakespeare in the Park for years to come.  For more information on the Fellows Program, please call 212-967-7555 or visit

Summer Supporter Tickets, first conceived by Joe Papp, will be available for AS YOU LIKE ITand INTO THE WOODS beginning Thursday, March 8.  A fully tax-deductible contribution of $175 entitles each Supporter to one reserved seat for either production. A limited number of Summer Supporter seats are available to ensure that as many free seats as possible will be available to distribute to the general public on the day of the show.  Supporter contributions help to underwrite free Shakespeare in the Park.

Summer Supporter donations can be made at The Public Theater Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street, by phone at (212) 967-7555, or online at Seating locations for donors are allocated strictly by giving level and in the order that they are received.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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DANIEL SULLIVAN (As You Like It Director).  For The Public Theater, Sullivan directed All’s Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice (Broadway/Shakespeare in the Park), Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stuff Happens, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Among his Broadway credits are Good People, Time Stands Still, Accent on Youth, The Homecoming, Prelude to a Kiss, Rabbit Hole, After the Night and the Music, Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, I’m Not Rappaport, Morning’s at Seven, Proof, the 2000 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, Ah, Wilderness!, The Sisters Rosensweig, Conversations With My Father, and The Heidi Chronicles.  Among his Off-Broadway credits are Intimate Apparel, Far East, Spinning into Butter, Third at Lincoln Center, Dinner With Friends, and The Substance of Fire.  From 1981 to 1997, he served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre.  Sullivan is the Swanlund Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

TIMOTHY SHEADER (Into the Woods Director). For Regent’s Park (Artistic Director): Hello, Dolly! (Olivier Award, Best Musical Revival; The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical, Evening Standard Awards); Into the Woods (Olivier Award, Best Musical Revival); Lord of the FliesCrazy for You (currently playing at the Novello Theatre on the West End); Much Ado About Nothing; Gigi; Romeo and Juliet; Twelfth Night; The Crucible (Best Director of 2010, Awards). Theater includes: Imagine This (New London Theatre); Hobson’s Choice; The Clandestine Marriage, Love in a Maze (Watermill Theatre); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic); The Star Throwers, Unless (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Misconceptions (Derby Playhouse); Streetcar to Tennessee (Young Vic); Achilles (Edinburgh Fringe First); Wild, Wild Women (Orange Tree); Arms and the Man, The Vagina Monologues, Annie Get Your Gun (National Tours); Piaf, Sweet Charity (Sheffield Crucible; TMA Best Musical Award).

LIAM STEEL (Into the Woods Co-Director) works as a freelance director, choreographer, actor and designer and is Artistic Director of his own company, Stan Won't Dance.
From 1992 - 2000 Liam was a core member of DV8 Physical Theatre working as a performer, assistant director and designer for the company. His numerous acting credits include work with Nottingham Playhouse; The Royal Court; Manchester Royal Exchange; Royal National Theatre; The David Glass Ensemble and 3 tours with Complicité. His theatre direction and dance choreographic work includes Ghost—The Musical (Manchester/West End/Broadway); Lord of the Flies, Into the Woods, The Tempest and The Crucible (all for Open Air Theatre); Absolute Beginners (Lyric Hammersmith); Knots for CoisCeim Dance Theatre (Best Production 2005 Dublin International Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe First Winner 2006); Pericles (RSC/Cardboard Citizens Theatre Co); Strictly Dandia (Herald Angel Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Edinburgh International Festival), and Vurt (Contact Theatre Manchester, nominated for 5 Manchester Evening News Awards, including Best Production).

JAMES LAPINE (Book for Into the Woods). For The Public Theater: Twelve Dreams, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, Golden Child and the 50th year celebration The Public Sings. Also with Sondheim:  Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, and Sondheim on Sondheim.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM (Music and Lyrics for Into the Woods) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear A Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me A Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together and Sondheim on Sondheim. For films, he composed the scores of Stavisky, co-composed Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracy and the television production Evening Primrose. He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder.  Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its President from 1973 to 1981. His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: "Finishing the Hat" and "Look, I Made A Hat."

STEVE MARTIN (Original Music for As You Like It) is a multi-talented Grammy® and Emmy winning actor/comedian/musician and bestselling author. His latest Bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert with The Steep Canyon Rangers was nominated for a Grammy and features 13 Martin-penned tracks along with special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks.  Martin is a four-time Grammy® winner and took home an award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2010 for his debut album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo. Martin had previously won a Grammy® for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on Foggy Mountain Breakdown (2001) and two for the comedy albums Wild and Crazy Guy(1978) and Let’s Get Small (1977). Martin wrote his first full length play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile in 1993 which opened at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and went on to run successfully in Los Angeles and New York.  In 2002 Martin also adapted the Carl Sternheim play The Underpants which ran Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company. A best-selling author, Martin’s latest book released by Grand Central Publishing, “The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten,”is currently available.

MACINTYRE DIXON (Adam in As You Like It) has appeared at The Public in The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Pericles, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, Much Ado About Nothing, and Lotta. He has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac, Prelude to a Kiss, the 2003 revival of Gypsy, The Crucible, Getting and Spending, 1776, among others. His select film credits include It’s Kind of a Funny Story, The School of Rock, and The Prime Gig.

RENEE ELISE GOLDSBERRY (Celia in As You Like It) has appeared at The Public in Love’s Labor’s Lost and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her Broadway credits include Good People, the original Nettie in The Color Purple, Rent, and The Lion King. She has appeared on television in “The Good Wife,” “Royal Pains,” “White Collar,” “All About You,” and “One Life to Live”.

OMAR METWALLY (Oliver in As You Like It) has appeared on Broadway in Sixteen Wounded and Off-Broadway in Beast on the Moon. He will be seen in the upcoming film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and his other television credits include “Harry’s Law,” “Unforgettable,” “The Good Wife,” and “Fringe.”

LILY RABE (Rosalind in As You Like It) is currently on Broadway in Seminar. Previously,she has starred on Broadway  in The Merchant of Venice (Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations; Callaway Award), The American Plan, Heartbreak House (Outer Critics Circle nomination, Callaway Award), and Steel Magnolias (Drama Desk nomination).  Her Off-Broadway and regional credits include A Doll's House, The Merchant of VeniceCrimes of the Heart, Colder Than Here, Proof, The Crazy Girl, and Speaking Well of the Dead.  Rabe’s film credits include All Good Things, Letters from the Big Man, Weakness, Aftermath, What Just Happened, The Toe Tactic, No Reservations, A Crime, Mona Lisa Smile, Never Again, and Beyond Redemption (upcoming). She recurs on “American Horror Story” and "The Good Wife," and has guest starred on  “Saving Grace,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Medium,” “Law & Order,” Law & Order: CI,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

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, 42 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.

BANK OF AMERICA  As one of the world’s largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, a program to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 150 of the nation’s finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities® shares exhibits from the company’s corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than five thousand arts institutions worldwide.

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