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Directed by Kenny Leon
Choreography by Camille A. Brown
Original Free Shakespeare in the Park run at The Public Theater: May 21, 2019 - June 23, 2019
The Delacorte Theater
For the first time in over four decades, Great Performances presents a Public Theater production recorded live at Free Shakespeare in the Park. After a highly successful, critically acclaimed run at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park, "Much Ado About Nothing" is a bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece featuring Danielle Brooks as Beatrice.
Watch for free online through May 26
Educational materials brought to you by The Public Theater, Folger Shakespeare Library, and WNET New York Public Media.
The company includes Jamar Brathwaite (Ensemble), Danielle Brooks (Beatrice), Grantham Coleman (Benedick), Chuck Cooper (Leonato), Javen K. Crosby (Ensemble), Denzel DeAngelo Fields (Ensemble), Jeremie Harris (Claudio), Tayler Harris (Ensemble), Erik Laray Harvey (Antonio/Verges), Kai Heath (Messenger), Daniel Croix Henderson (Balthasar), Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Friar Francis/Sexton), Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Ursula), Lateefah Holder (Dogberry), LaWanda Hopkins (Dancer), Billy Eugene Jones (Don Pedro), Margaret Odette (Hero), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Don John), William Roberson (Ensemble), Jaime Lincoln Smith (Borachio), Jazmine Stewart (Ensemble), Khiry Walker (Conrade/Ensemble), Olivia Washington (Margaret), and Latra A. Wilson (Dancer).
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt; costume design by Emilio Sosa; lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski; sound design by Jessica Paz; music composition by Jason Michael Webb; wigs, hair, and make-up design by Mia Neal; fight direction by Thomas Schall; and voice and text by Kate Wilson.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING was first staged at the Delacorte in 1972 and was directed by A. J. Antoon, featuring Sam Waterston as Benedick and Kathleen Widdoes as Beatrice. It was also performed at the Delacorte in 1988, directed by Gerald Freedman, and featuring Kevin Kline as Benedick, Blythe Danner as Beatrice, David Hyde Pierce as Don Juan, and Jerry Stiller as Dogberry. It was staged at the Delacorte in 2004, directed by David Esbjornson, featuring Jimmy Smits as Benedick, Kristen Johnston as Beatrice, Sam Waterston as Leonato, Elisabeth Waterston as Hero, and Jayne Houdyshell as Ursula. In 2013, the comedy was presented as part of The Public’s Mobile Unit, bringing Shakespeare to audiences in the five boroughs who have limited or no access to the arts. The beloved comedy was last seen at the Delacorte in 2014, with a production directed by Jack O’Brien, and featuring Lily Rabe as Beatrice, Hamish Linklater as Benedick, and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Don Pedro.