The Public Theater has announced an array of free programming has been added to its digital season. Though its physical stages remain dark, the additional virtual programming will include a bilingual podcast adaptation of Romeo y Julieta co-presented with WNYC Studios featuring Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano as the star-crossed lovers starting on March 18, 2021. It will also feature a visual EP by creative trio The HawtPlates; concerts with Mai Khoi, Tariq Al Sabir, Nona Hendryx, Loser’s Lounge, Nellie McKay, and Roy Nathanson on the Joe’s Pub digital stage; an exciting series of one-night discussions with Public Shakespeare Initiative and the Brooklyn Public Library; and new guest artist-curators for the Brave New Shakespeare Challenge.
The Public also continues its year-round engagement through its vital programs: Joe’s Pub, Mobile Unit, Public Works, Under the Radar Festival, Public Forum, Public Shakespeare Initiative, #BARS, and Emerging Writers Group.
“The COVID crisis has been a devastating blow, and the racial reckoning has been a much-needed wake-up call. Through these challenges and opportunities, The Public is committed to pursuing its mission. We need, more than ever, the sense of community and connection that the theater provides. We are home, alone, far more than we were before this pandemic and The Public means for its digital work to provide strength and solace,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “We also continue to innovate: Romeo y Julieta expands our Shakespeare into Spanish, creating a multilingual world that reflects our own city—and country. The HawtPlates’ thrilling and utterly unique offering gives us joy and beauty and a sense of hope in this time when we need those things desperately. We will come through this, we will come through this better, and these artists are helping us believe that.”
This fall has been unlike any The Public has experienced before. The Public continues to be unable to gather in-person in theaters and is navigating immense challenges because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and in response to the long-overdue reckoning around racism in the country and in the theater community, The Public has begun interrogating its practices and systems to move closer to being an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization. This is a moment of uncertainty, transformation, action, and accountability. There is much work to be done, but The Public’s mission has not changed, and artists and their voices play a critical role at this moment too.
“As we head into the holiday season so much will be different this year, but one thing remains the same: we turn to our artists and the stories they tell to help us feel inspired and connected. Our artists continue to innovate and reimagine theater for the digital space, reaching a truly global audience with exciting new artforms. And I know our artists will lead the way to a brighter tomorrow, when we can gather together to experience the magic of live theater in person,” said Board Chair Arielle Tepper. “I’m incredibly proud of my fellow Public Theater Trustees and the resolve they continue to show in navigating the immense challenges we and our field are facing. I hope their leadership and generosity inspire others to participate in our GivingTuesday efforts so we can continue fulfilling our mission alongside The Public’s extraordinary staff, providing support for our artists and theatermakers, and sharing innovative storytelling with the world.”
The bilingual podcast adaptation of Romeo y Julieta will feature Carlo Albán (Benvolio), Karina Arroyave (Apothecary), Erick Betancourt (Abram), Michael Braugher (Balthasar), Carlos Carrasco (Lord Montague), Juan Castano (Romeo), Ivonne Coll (Nurse), John J. Concado (Peter), Hiram Delgado (Tybalt), Guillermo Diaz (Gregory), Sarah Nina Hayon (Lady Montague), Kevin Herrera (Ensemble), Modesto Lacen (Prince Escalus/Capulet’s Cousin), Florencia Lozano (Capulet), Irene Sofia Lucio (Mercutio), Keren Lugo (Sister Joan), Benjamin Luis McCracken (Paris’s Page), Julio Monge (Friar Lawrence), Javier Muñoz (Paris), Lupita Nyong’o (Julieta), and David Zayas (Sampson).
It will be directed by Saheem Ali who adapted the play along with Ricardo Pérez González.
Adriana Chavez is the editor for Vacancy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org