Illyria Opens at the Public Theater
Writer and director Richard Nelson returns with his chronicle of Joe Papp and the early years of the organization.
The company of the world premiere production of Illyria celebrated opening night on October 30 at the Public Theater. Written and directed by Public mainstay Richard Nelson (The Gabriels, The Apple Family Plays), the play is scheduled to run through November 26.
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."
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).
The creative team includes scenic design by Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
Free tickets for all performances 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.