Shakespeare in the Park favorites Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Hamish Linklater (Seminar) will once again take the stage of Central Park's Delacorte Theatre this summer when they star in the Public Theater's free production of William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, running from May 28 through June 30. It will be first time in 20 years that The Public produced the slapstick comedy, which concerns mistaken identity, wrongful imprisonment, and two sets of identical twin brothers separated as children.
Directed by Tony Award winner and fellow Shakespeare in the Park veteran Daniel Sullivan (The Merchant of Venice), The Comedy of Errors will feature Ferguson as Dromio and Linklater as Antipholus, with scenic design by John Lee Beatty. The pair last performed together in the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park repertory productions of The Winter's Tale and The Merchant of Venice.
This summer's second offering will be Love's Labour's Lost, A New Musical, written by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson scribes Michael Friedman and Tony nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher). Featuring songs by Friedman (of the troupe The Civilians), a book and direction by Timbers, and scenic design by Beatty, the musical, which was developed with the downtown theater troupe, Les Freres Corbousier, will run July 23 through August 18. In the work, adapted from Shakespeare's comedy, the King and his friends decide to swear off women -- until they meet four girls from their past who change their minds. It is Shakespeare in the Park's first original musical adaptation of a Shakespeare play since 1971's Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Additional casting and information about the two productions will be announced in the coming months. The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park program was conceived more than 50 years ago by founder Joseph Papp as a way to make theater accessible to all. Since the Delacorte Theater's opening in 1962, over five million people have attended over 150 free productions of Shakespeare, classical works, and musicals -– and even more have waited on the lawn with pitched tents and picnic baskets, hoping they'd make it in.