The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) will begin previews Tuesday, August 11, for the Shakespeare in the Park production of Euripides' THE BACCHAE, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with original music by Philip Glass and translated by Nicholas Rudall.
The production will run through Sunday, August 30 with an official press opening on Monday, August 24. Bank of America returns as lead sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park 2009.
The cast features George Bartenieff as Cadmus; André De Shields as Teiresias; Jonathan Groff as Dionysus; Karen Kandel as Chorus Leader; Joan MacIntosh as Agave; Anthony Mackie as Pentheus; Steven Rishard as Cowherd; Rocco Sisto as Messenger; and April Armstrong, Sullivan Corey, Marisa Echeverria, Tara Hugo, Jennifer Ikeda, Jennifer Nikki Kidwell, Alexa Kryzaniwsky, Vella Lovell, Nana Mensah, Ereni Sevasti, Elena Shaddow, and Han Tang in the Greek chorus.
Akalaitis' visionary interpretation of THE BACCHAE, with a lush score by Glass, re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire.
THE BACCHAE will feature scenic design by John Conklin; costume design by Kaye Voyce; lighting design by Jennifer Tipton; sound design by Acme Sound Partners; and soundscape by Darron L West.
George Bartenieff (Cadmus) is a three-time OBIE winner who has appeared at The Public in The Memorandum, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, Trelawney of the "Wells," Dead End Kids, American Notes, Cymbeline, Stuff Happens, and Romeo and Juliet. He made his Broadway debut at the age of 14 opposite Uta Hagen in The Whole World Over and most recently starred in Edward Albee's The American Dream and The Sandbox at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS (Teiresias) is a two-time Tony nominee and the recipient of an OBIE for Sustained Excellence. He appeared at The Public in Dancing on Moonlight (1995) and on Broadway in Impressionism, The Full Monty, Prymate, Play On!, Ain't Misbehavin', and The Wiz. His recent off-Broadway credits include the Classical Theatre of Harlem's recent production of Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe and their acclaimed revival of Langston Hughes's Black Nativity (The Duke on 42nd Street) as well as the title role in their 2006 production of King Lear.
Jonathan Groff (Dionysus) returns to The Public after recently playing Gray in Craig Lucas's The Singing Forest (OBIE Award) and the role of Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park revival of Hair. He received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his performance in Spring Awakening on Broadway and is featured in Ang Lee's new film Taking Woodstock.
Karen Kandel (Chorus Leader) appeared at The Public in Carl Hancock Rux's play Talk, for which she shared a special OBIE Award with the rest of the ensemble. She also won an OBIE Award for her performance as The Narrator in Liza Lorwin's Peter and Wendy at the New Victory Theater and recently played The Woman in JoAnne Akalaitis's production of Beckett Shorts at New York Theatre Workshop.