The Public Theater has announced plans for its upcoming free Public Works musical adaptation of Twelfth Night, which will kick off the 2016-17 season in September. Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, with music and lyrics by Taub, the production will be directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Part of the global 400th anniversary celebration of William Shakespeare’s life and death, this musical adaptation will run for four nights for free, September 2-5, at the Delacorte Theater.
As with each year's Public Works production, Twelfth Night will feature over 200 actors and community members alongside five equity actors, including Tony winner Nikki M. James (Les Miserables) as Viola and Jose Llana (The King and I) as Orsino. The cast will also feature Andrew Kober (Malvolio), Jacob Ming-Trent (Sir Toby Belch), and Taub (Feste).
Cameo group performances will be by COBU, Harlem Dance Club, Jambalaya Brass Band, The Love Show, New York Deaf Theatre, Ziranmen Kungfu Wushu Training Center, and one United States Postal Carrier.
The Public Works community partner organizations are Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn), Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education (Bronx), Center for Family Life in Sunset Park (Brooklyn), DreamYard Project (Bronx), Fortune Society (Queens), and Military Resilience Project (all boroughs), along with alumni partners Children's Aid Society and Domestic Workers United.