FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
The Delacorte Theater in Central Park isn’t empty…
It’s full of HOPE that we will be together under the stars this summer.
It’s full of PURPOSE to fill our city with art.
It’s full of PROMISE for a return of the New York we love.
What’s needed now is YOU.
We have spent the last year getting ready. We have been producing new work and preparing a safe return. We’ve grieved, Zoomed, innovated, supported our communities, and connected our city. We’ve gathered brilliant artists to imagine summer under the stars in Central Park and are planning a return of Free Shakespeare in the Park beginning July 6 through August 29, with MERRY WIVES, a fresh and joyous adaptation by Jocelyn Bioh, of Shakespeare’s MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, directed by our Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director Saheem Ali.
Set in South Harlem amidst a vibrant and eclectic community of West African immigrants, MERRY WIVES will be a celebration of Black joy, laughter, and vitality. A New York story about the tricks of the heart, performed in the heart of the City.
In partnership with City officials, health and safety experts, and with our theatrical unions, the performance schedule, safety protocols, and free ticket distribution details will be forthcoming over the next several weeks.
Join Team Public today and stay up to date with the latest news and information.
Saheem Ali is a proud immigrant from Kenya. He is the Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the Public Theater. Recent productions include Shipwreck (The Public, Woolly Mammoth), Richard II (The Public), Fires in The Mirror (Signature Theater), The Rolling Stone (Lincoln Center Theater), The New Englanders (MTC), Passage (Soho Rep), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Dangerous House (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), Tartuffe (Playmakers Rep), Where Storms Are Born (WTF), Twelfth Night (The Public), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane) and Dot (Detroit Public Theater). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm, MCC, New York Stage & Film, Page 73 and The Lark. He is a Usual Suspect at New York Theater Workshop, Sir John Gielgud SDCF Fellow and a Shubert Fellow.
Jocelyn Bioh is an award winning Ghanaian-American writer/performer from New York City. NYC Theatre acting credits include: In The Blood, Everybody (both at Signature Theatre), Men On Boats (Playwrights Horizons), An Octoroon (Soho Rep), SEED (National Black Theater) and Neighbors (The Public). She was also in the original Broadway company of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which won the TONY Award for Best Play in 2015. Her written works include: Nollywood Dreams (MCC Theater, which is currently postponed due to Covid-19) GODDESS the musical which will have its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in 2022 and the multi award winning School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play which was originally produced at MCC Theater in 2017/2018 and has gone on to have over 20 regional productions. She is a former TOW playwriting fellow (2017) and has been commissioned by MTC, Atlantic Theater Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival and Second Stage. In television, Jocelyn has written for Russian Doll, She's Gotta Have It (both on Netflix) and served as co-producer/writer on the HBO-MAX series adaptation of Americanah. Jocelyn is also writing the live action film adaptation of the Broadway musical Once On This Island for Disney+. Education: B.A in English & Theatre from The Ohio State University and MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Pictured Above: The company of the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Photo by Joan Marcus.