This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

15Jun/14

PUBLIC FORUM: SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA

James Earl Jones, who played the title role in the 1964 Shakespeare in the Park production of OTHELLO, will be back at the Delacorte as special evening honoring the Bard’s influence on America

James Earl Jones, who played the title role in the 1964 Shakespeare in the Park production of OTHELLO, will be back at the Delacorte as special evening honoring the Bard’s influence on America

FREE PUBLIC FORUM
Delacorte Theatre
Monday, June 30, free, 8:00
Tickets available June 30 at 12 noon at the Delacorte and online lottery
www.publictheater.org

The latest free public forum hosted by the Public Theater takes a look at the lasting and still-evolving impact of the works of William Shakespeare on American culture. The special evening is inspired by the new book Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now (Library of America, April 2014, $29.95), in which President Bill Clinton writes in the foreword, “Shakespeare only had a fleeting acquaintance with America, judging from his work, which brushed up against the New World on only a couple of occasions. . . . Nevertheless, our engagement with him as been long and sustained: generation after generation of Americans has fallen under his spell.” Taking place Monday, June 30, at the Delacorte, where Shakespeare in the Park is currently presenting a rousing version of Much Ado About Nothing, the forum will include James Earl Jones reading a scene from Othello, fifty years after he starred in a production at the Delacorte; Alec Baldwin reading from Macbeth and other works; Kelli O’Hara and Renée Elise Goldsberry singing a number from Shakespeare in the Park’s Twelfth Night; Steven Pasquale handling the male part of the “Tonight” duet from West Side Story; along with presentations from Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Brian Dennehy, Colin Donnell, Michael Friedman, André Holland, Harold Holzer, Stephen Merritt, Bryce Pinkham, Caesar Samoyoa, Vijay Seshadri, Sarah Amengual, Colman Domingo, Cynthia Nixon, Annie-B Parson, and Michael Stuhlbarg. “In a nation wrestling with great issues,” Shakespeare in America editor and Public Theater Shakespeare scholar in residence James Shapiro writes in the book’s introduction, “Shakespeare’s works allowed Americans to express views that may otherwise have been hard to articulate – or admit to.”

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