The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park Public Works musical of Shakespeare's The Tempest begins performances at Central Park's Delacorte Theater August 27. With the run continuing through September 3, the production will be the outdoor venue's final before a major renovation, expecting to darken the theatre until 2025.
Laurie Woolery is directing with Tiffany Rea-Fisher choreographing. Songs are by Benjamin Velez.
Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry leads the cast as Prospero, co-starring alongside Tristan André as Sebastian, Sabrina Cedeño as Trinculo, Anthony Chatmon II as Antonio, Jo Lampert as Ariel, Joél Pérez as Stephano, and Theo Stockman as Caliban. Brianna Cabrera, Patrick O'Hare, and Edwin Rivera are the Spirit Ancestor Lead Singers. The production also features a special group performance by Oyu Oro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble. Part of The Public's annual Public Works initiative, performances include ensemble appearances from partner organizations across all five boroughs of NYC.
Tickets for the entire run are free, with distribution happening in-person in Central Park. You can also enter an in-person ticket lottery, a digital lottery via TodayTix, or try an in-person standby line at the Delacorte.
Woolery's creative team includes scenic designer Alexis Distler, costume designer Wilberth Gonzalez, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer Jessica Paz, hair, wig, and makeup designer Krystal Balleza, music director Andrea Grody, orchestrator Mike Brun, and music coordinator Kristy Norter. Roxana Khan is production stage manager, and Janelle Caso and Jessie Moore serve as stage managers.
"As we continue to emerge from our pandemic cocoons, I was especially drawn to the famous line from the play: 'the isle is full of noises,’” said Velez in an earlier statement. “Our own island of Manhattan is brimming with so much chaos, as well as so much culture, so much spirit, and I have had the time of my life trying to channel the rhythms, the heartbeats, and the melodies of the city into a score that will really come alive with our massive community ensemble. Reimagining such a classic story for the moment we're in was a delicious, creative feast, using colors ranging from jazz manouche to R&B to classic rock, not to mention finding room in a six-piece band for a French horn! It's truly been a thrill."