Theater News

Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub to Create Next Public Works Pageant at the Delacorte

The Public Theater also announces new community partners for Public Works 2016.

An image from the 2015 Public Works production of The Odyssey at the Delacorte Theater.
An image from the 2015 Public Works production of The Odyssey at the Delacorte Theater.
(© Joan Marcus)

The Public Theater has announced that three new community partners for Public Works 2016. Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education (Bronx), Military Resilience Project (all boroughs), and Center for Family Life in Sunset Park (Brooklyn) join Public Works partners Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn), DreamYard Project (Bronx), and the Fortune Society (Queens), in addition to alumni partners Domestic Workers United (all boroughs, including Staten Island) and Children’s Aid Society (Manhattan), as additional community partner organizations.

The Public has also announced plans to work with three affiliated theaters throughout the U.S. to create community-based inspired productions in the Public Works model for more national impact. The theaters are Dallas Theater Center in collaboration with SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. The Public Works productions of The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and The Odyssey are now available to be produced through Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of Baltimore’s CenterStage, and acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub will helm the Public Works production, to be staged again for free at the Delacorte Theater in 2016. The pair follow in the footsteps of director deBessonet and composer Todd Almond, who collaborated on The Winter’s Tale (2014) and The Tempest (2013). Kwei-Armah and Taub will work together to conceive the upcoming Shakespeare production (not yet announced), with music and lyrics by Taub and directed by Kwei-Armah. DeBessonet will continue to oversee the initiative’s year-round activities as the director of Public Works.

"The Public Works program has been a brilliant success here in New York, modeling what can happen when a theater sets out to radically expand its relationship to the city which it serves," said the Public's artistic director Oskar Eustis. "I am thrilled that the idea of Public Works has proven infectious, and that we are working with superb organizations like Mosaic Youth Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, SMU Meadows School of the Arts, and Seattle Rep to create a national impact for this work."