"Black Panther" - Danai Gurira in FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK’S RICHARD III - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Sunday, June 19, 2022




By William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert O’Hara

Featuring Maleni Chaitoo, Wyatt Cirbus, Thomas DellaMonica,
Sanjit De Silva, Sam Duncan, Thaddeus S. Fitzpatrick, Skyler Gallun,
Danai Gurira, Sarah Nina Hayon, Monique Holt, Matthew August Jeffers,
Matt Monaco, Gregg Mozgala, Joe Mucciolo, Paul Niebanck, Xavier Pacheco,
Marcus Raye Pérez, Grace Porter, Michael Potts, Ariel Shafir, Heather Alicia Simms, N'yomi Stewart, Ali Stroker, Sharon Washington, and Daniel J. Watts

Company Celebration Set for Thursday, June 30 with an Official Press Opening on Monday, July 11

The Public Theater will begin performances on Tuesday, June 21 for the upcoming Free Shakespeare in the Park production of RICHARD III at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Robert O’Hara-directed production will celebrate a Company Opening on Thursday, June 30 with an Official Press Opening on Monday, July 11. Reviews are under embargo until 11am EST on Monday, July 11RICHARD III marks O’Hara’s Free Shakespeare in the Park debut and welcomes Danai Gurira back to The Delacorte after 11 years in the title role.

The complete cast of RICHARD III includes Maleni Chaitoo (Ensemble), Wyatt Cirbus (Prince of Wales), Thomas DellaMonica (Understudy Ensemble) , Sanjit De Silva (Buckingham), Sam Duncan (Duke of York), Thaddeus S. Fitzpatrick (Ensemble), Skyler Gallun (Ensemble), Danai Gurira (Richard III), Sarah Nina Hayon (Ensemble), Monique Holt (Duchess of York), Matthew August Jeffers (Ensemble), Matt Monaco (Ensemble), Gregg Mozgala (King Edward IV/Richmond), Joe Mucciolo (Ensemble), Paul Niebanck (George), Xavier Pacheco (Ensemble), Marcus Raye Pérez (Ensemble), Grace Porter (Ensemble), Michael Potts (Lord Stanley), Ariel Shafir (Lord Hastings), Heather Alicia Simms (Queen Elizabeth), N'yomi Stewart (Ensemble), Ali Stroker (Anne), Sharon Washington (Queen Margaret), and Daniel J. Watts (Catesby Ratcliffe).

Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara (Slave Play, The Public’s Barbecue) brings his sharp wit and story-telling genius to The Delacorte with a bold new production of RICHARD III. One of Shakespeare’s most indelible villains, Richard is determined to be King. Following his lust for power and the throne, he manipulates, kidnaps, and kills all who stand between him and his throne, using brilliant words and dark charm to conceal his dismantling of government and justice. This masterful dive into the muddy middle between political genius and violent power grab will open Free Shakespeare in the Park’s 60th Season with piercing relevancy and electrifying drama.

RICHARD III has been previously staged at The Delacorte four times. It was last seen 32 years ago in a 1990 production featuring Denzel Washington in the title role and Sharon Washington as Lady Anne, directed by Robin Phillips. The 1983 production, directed by Jane Howell, featured Kevin Kline as Richard III, David Alan Grier as Richmond, and Ving Rhames as Hastings. In 1970, the production was directed by Stuart Vaughan and featured Donald Madden as Richard III. Four years after The Delacorte opened, the 1966 production, directed by Gerald Freedman, featured Joseph Bova as Richard III, Penny Fuller as Lady Anne, and Philip Bosco as Duke of Buckingham.

The production features scenic design by Myung Hee Cho, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design and original music by Elisheba Ittoop, Delacorte 2022 sound system design by Daniel Lundberg, hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis, prop management by Alexander Wylie, direction of artistic sign language by Neil Sprouse, fight direction by Teniece Divya Johnson and Jeremy Sample, intimacy direction by Tenice Divya Johnson, and movement direction by Byron Easley. Bryan Bauer serves as production stage manager and Heather Englander serves as stage manager.

Free tickets will be distributed in a variety of ways across all five boroughs, including the in-person line at The Delacorte Theater, the in-person lottery at The Public Theater, and borough distribution sites. Additionally, TodayTix is The Public’s partner for the free virtual ticket lottery distribution.

The Public will welcome audiences back to The Delacorte at full capacity this summer. Proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination by the date of attendance will be required for access to the facility and theater. Face masks are not required, but are recommended, while in attendance. Public Theater staff and artists are subject to a mandatory vaccination and booster policy, in addition to onsite testing protocols when working within all facilities. For more information on the health and safety protocols this season, please visit thepublic.nyc/safeinthepark.

Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at The Delacorte Theater. Conceived by founder Joseph Papp as a way to make great theater accessible to all, The Public’s Free Shakespeare in the Park continues to be the bedrock of the Company’s mission to increase access and engage the community.

This season, The Public proudly welcomes the return of The Jerome L. Greene Foundation as season sponsor. The generous support of The Jerome L. Greene Foundation helps to sustain The Public’s mission of inclusion, creating great theater, boldly conceived, and free for all.

The Public Theater, in partnership with Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is embarking on a much-needed revitalization of the 60-year-old Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The plan—a major investment in outdoor cultural space as part of New York’s economic recovery—will dramatically improve the home of Free Shakespeare in the Park, addressing critical infrastructure, accessibility, and theatrical needs. The key approved design which will begin construction in Fall 2022 includes accessible and comfortable space for audiences and artists with disabilities, streamlined backstage operations and improved comfort for cast and crew, a revitalized exterior for a more dynamic aesthetic experience, a focus on resilience and sustainability, and lighting improvements, among other benefits. For more information on The Delacorte’s revitalization, visit publictheater.org.

To support The Public Theater, become a Supporter or Partner by visiting publictheater.org/supporttoday.

A limited number of tickets are also available via advance reservation by making a contribution in support of Free Shakespeare in the Park. To learn more, or to make a contribution, call 212.967.7555, or visit publictheater.org.

The full performance calendar can be found at publictheater.org and complete ticket distribution details can be found at thepublic.nyc/parktix22.

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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