Free Shakespeare in the Park presents ‘Othello’

LAPACAZO SANDOVAL and ART SHRIAN | 5/24/2018, 3:54 p.m.
How do you know it’s summer in NYC? New Yorkers mark the official arrival of summer with the opening of ...
Heather Lind and Chukwudi Iwuji in “Othello” Joan Marcus

How do you know it’s summer in New York City, besides the rising temperatures and aroma of discarded trash that perfumes the cities subways? New Yorkers mark the official arrival of summer with the opening of The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park. Under Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, the 2018 season begins with “Othello” starting Tuesday, May 29, at the Delacorte Theater.

The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park continues a 57-year tradition of free theater in Central Park. Directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Othello” will officially open Monday, June 18, and will run through Sunday, June 24.

The complete cast of Othello features Peter Jay Fernandez (Duke of Venice), Motell Foster (Roderigo), Andrew Hovelson (Lodovico), Chukwudi Iwuji (Othello), David Kenner (Ensemble), Heather Lind (Desdemona), Tim Nicolai (Ensemble), Flor De Liz Perez (Bianca), Miguel Perez (Brabantio), Thomas Schall (Montano), Caroline Siewert (Ensemble), Corey Stoll (Iago), Babak Tafti (Cassio), Peter Van Wagner (Gratiano) and Alison Wright (Emilia). The non-equity ensemble will feature Kevin Rico Angulo, Christopher Cassarino, Lily Santiago and Allen Tedder.

Set amid war and palace intrigue in the 17th-century Mediterranean, this classic drama about a noble Black Venetian general whose marriage is sabotaged by theater’s most infamous villain, Iago, remains Shakespeare’s most urgent and relevant tragedy today. A lush, romantic vision gives way to the violent tangle of love and jealousy, race and revenge in this must-see production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, “Othello.”

“Othello” will feature scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Jessica Paz, hair and wig design by Matthew B. Armentrout, music composition by Derek Wieland, fight direction by Thomas Schall and movement direction by Adesola Osakalumi.

Free Shakespeare in the Park continues in July with a reimagining of the 2016 Public Works musical adaptation “Twelfth Night.” The show features Ato Blankson-Wood (Orsino), Nikki M. James (Viola), Andrew Kober (Malvolio), Jacob Ming-Trent (Sir Toby Belch) and Shaina Taub (Feste), along with two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs. The show features music and lyrics by critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub and is co-directed by Oskar Eustis, The Public’s artistic director, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, incoming artistic director of London’s Young Vic, with choreography by Lorin Latarro. It will run from Tuesday, July 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19, with an official opening Tuesday, July 31.

It takes a loving and willing village to put on plays as big and wonderful as seen each year in Central Park, and this season, The Public proudly welcomes the return of The Jerome L. Greene Foundation and Bank of America as season sponsors. The generous support of Bank of America and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation helps to sustain The Public’s mission of inclusion, creating great theater, boldly conceived and free-for-all.

Tickets to The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show. The Public continues its partnership with TodayTix, which will again be offering the exclusive Mobile Ticket Lottery for free Shakespeare in the Park. Tickets will be distributed by mobile lottery on the TodayTix app each date that there is a public performance at the Delacorte Theater. On each public performance date, a limited number of vouchers for that night’s performance will also be distributed via an in person lottery at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place.

In addition to the ticket line at the Delacorte Theater, The Public Theater and the TodayTix online distribution, a limited number of vouchers for specific performances will be distributed, while supplies last, at locations throughout New York’s five boroughs. This year’s distributions will have more locations and dates to provide New Yorkers more opportunities to obtain tickets. Each person in line is allowed two vouchers and each voucher is good for one ticket for that evening’s performance.

Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office that day from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.