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The Public Theater's Mobile Unit to Bring Romeo & Juliet to New York's Five Boroughs

Lear deBessonet directs the free three-week tour.

Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, David Ryan Smith, and Raffi Barsoumian in the Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit production of Pericles in 2014.
(© Richard Termine)

The Public Theater has announced plans to take its Mobile Unit on the road this March with a free three-week tour to the five boroughs of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, directed by Lear deBessonet. The tour, which will run from March 18-April 9, will bring Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts by visiting correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations, and other community venues.

Following the free tour, Romeo & Juliet will have a sit-down run at the Public Theater from April 11-May 1, with an official press opening on April 15.

Romeo & Juliet will also have a performance at the Public on April 23 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. On March 23, the Mobile Unit will perform for the first time ever at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which will also host a special exhibit featuring the writings of Public Theater Founder Joe Papp, honoring the Mobile Unit's long history in serving the people of New York City.

The cast of Romeo & Juliet includes Sheldon Best (Romeo), Jorge Eliézer Chacón (Tybalt), Mahira Kakkar (Lady Capulet), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Nurse, Montague), Danny Rivera (Benvolio), David Ryan Smith (Friar Laurence, Lord Capulet), Marques Toliver (The Chorus), Max Woertendyke (Mercutio, Prince), and Ayana Workman (Juliet).

The production will feature scenic design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Andrea Hood, music composition by Marques Toliver, choreography by Benoit-Swan Pouffer, and fight direction by Lisa Kopitsky.

"The Mobile Unit is the purest expression of The Public Theater's mission, to make sure the culture belongs to everyone," said artistic director Oskar Eustis. "The genius of Lear deBessonet, which has been so beautifully visible at the Delacorte for the last three years, will now be seen throughout the city in prisons, community centers, and shelters. We are blessed in her."

For tickets and more information, click here.

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