The Public Theater announced the line-up for this year's Shakespeare in the Park season, continuing the 52-year tradition of free theater in Central Park.
“Much Ado About Nothing” will play a five-week run at the Park’s Delacorte Theater, from June 3 through July 6. Leading that production will be Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) as Beatrice and Hamish Linklater (“The Cray Ones”) as Benedick. Rabe and Linklater both have a long history with The Public. Rabe was in the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production of “As You Like It,” while Linklater headlined last summer’s production of “The Comedy of Errors.” Both actors appeared in 2010’s acclaimed “The Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino. Tony Award-winner Jack O'Brien ("Hairspray") will direct.
Two favorites return with Shakespeare in the Park’s second show of the season: “King Lear,” with John Lithgow in the title role. “Lear” hasn’t been seen in the Park since 1973 -- and Lithgow hasn’t been seen on the Park’s stage since 1975 (as Laertes in “Hamlet”). “King Lear” will run at the Delacorte July 22 through Aug. 17, under the direction of Tony winner Daniel Sullivan ("The Merchant of Venice").
As always, tickets to The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions are free and distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show. Once again, The Public Theater will offer free tickets through a Virtual Ticketing lottery on the day of the show. Those wishing to participate can register at www.shakespeareinthepark.org.