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After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the annual outdoor favorite returns in 2021
NYC's summer outdoor culture scene just got way cooler: The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park plans to return this July with Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh's exuberant adaptation of the Bard's comedy Merry Wives of Windsor. Set in Harlem with ladies' man Falstaff wooing two married West African immigrants, the production will be helmed by The Public's recently appointed associate artistic director Saheem Ali and aims to center Black joy.
Although The Public usually presents two Shakespeare in the Park productions, Merry Wives will be the sole offering this season. The show runs Tuesday, July 6 to Saturday, September 18 and will feature an all-Black cast of a dozen actors and no intermission. Health and safety protocols include masks and social distancing, which means tickets will be extremely limited. Free ticket distribution will take place via digital lottery.
Top image: Aerial view of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home of The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.