Theater News

The Public Theater Announces Two-Year Residency With the Apothetae

The residency will explore how the integration of d/Deaf and disabled artists offers new insights into Shakespeare.

Gregg Mozgala
Gregg Mozgala
(© Tricia Baron)

The Public Theater, led by artistic director Oskar Eustis and executive director Patrick Willingham, announced a two-year residency with the Apothetae, the New York-based theater company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the “Disabled Experience.” As part of the Public’s multi-year initiative exploring accessibility in development, process, performances, documentation, and aesthetic, the Apoethetae’s residency will workshop Titus Andronicus, developing a bilingual production in English and American Sign Language (ASL) that explores how the integration of d/Deaf and Disabled artists offers new insights into Shakespeare’s text.

Over the next two years, the Apothetae will investigate four Shakespearean works — Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and King Henry VI, Part III — and how text, performance, and audience engagement might center Disabled and d/Deaf identities in every element of the theatrical concept and characterization.

The Apothetae was founded in 2012 by actor Gregg Mozgala (Cost of Living), who is the company’s artistic director. The company’s co-artistic leadership includes Carnegie Mellon University’s Kim Weild, head of the John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University, and Katherine Williams, leading scholar in the field of Shakespeare and disability studies at the University of Toronto.

The Apothetae’s relationship with the Public Theater began in 2016 with the Public Studio presentation of Teenage Dick by Michael Lew and starring Mozgala. The show was staged again in 2018 at the Publicpresented in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Mozgala also appeared as Edward IV/Richmond in last summer’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard III.