The company of Illyria rehearse under the direction of Richard Nelson for their run at the Public Theater.
The company of Illyria rehearse under the direction of Richard Nelson for their run at the Public Theater.
(© Joan Marcus)

The company of the Public Theater's world premiere production Illyria is hard at work in the rehearsal room guided by the hand of writer and director Richard Nelson. The production is part of the Public's Astor Anniversary Season, celebrating 50 years of new work at 425 Lafayette Street and the 50th Anniversary of Hair. Performances will run from October 22-November 26 with an official press opening on October 30.

John Magaro stars as Joseph Papp.
John Magaro stars as Joseph Papp.
(© Joan Marcus)

Nelson returns to the Public following productions of his acclaimed Apple Family Plays and The Gabriels. Illyria is described as follows: "It is 1958, and New York City is in the midst of a major building boom; a four-lane highway is planned for the heart of Washington Square; Carnegie Hall is designated for demolition; entire neighborhoods on the West Side are leveled to make room for a new 'palace of art.' And a young Joe Papp and his colleagues face betrayals, self-inflicted wounds and anger from the city's powerful elite as they continue their free Shakespeare productions in Central Park."

Franz Kranz and John Sanders star as Merle Debuskey and Stuart Vaughan in Illyria.
Fran Kranz and John Sanders star as Merle Debuskey and Stuart Vaughan in Illyria.
(© Joan Marcus)

The complete cast of Illyria includes Rosie Benton (Colleen Dewhurst), Will Brill (Bernie Gersten), Kristen Connolly (Peggy Papp), Blake DeLong (David Amram), Emma Duncan (Gladys Vaughan), Naian González Norvind (Mary Bennett), Fran Kranz (Merle Debuskey), John Magaro (Joseph Papp), John Sanders (Stuart Vaughan), and Max Woertendyke (John Robertson).

Illyria chronicles the history of Joseph Papp's founding the Public Theater.
Illyria chronicles the history of Joseph Papp's founding of the Public Theater.
(© Joan Marcus)

The creative team will feature scenic design by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Jennifer Tiptonm, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

Performances of Illyria begin October 22.
Performances of Illyria begin October 22.
(© Joan Marcus)

In addition to the First Performance "Free for All" on October 22, free tickets for all performances except for opening night will be distributed in the Ford Foundation Lobby of the Public beginning 90 minutes before each scheduled performance, and will continue, while supplies last, up to the posted curtain time.

For more information, click here.