jakub | August 29, 2023

Get a 1st Look at The Tempest at Free Shakespeare in the Park


Production Photos

Get a 1st Look at The Tempest at Free Shakespeare in the Park

Starring Renée Elise Goldsberry, the Public Works production is the final show to play Central Park's Delacorte Theatre until 2025.


Reneé Elise Goldsberry and the community ensemble of The Tempest
Joan Marcus

The Public Theater‘s Free Shakespeare in the Park Public Works musical of Shakespeare's The Tempest is underway at Central Park's Delacorte Theater, where it began performing August 27 and is set to continue through September 3. Get a first look at the new production below.

Laurie Woolery is directing with Tiffany Rea-Fisher choreographing. Songs are by Benjamin Velez.

Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry leads the cast as Prospero, co-starring alongside Tristan André as Sebastian, Sabrina Cedeño as Trinculo, Anthony Chatmon II as Antonio, Jo Lampert as Ariel, Joél Pérez as Stephano, and Theo Stockman as Caliban. Brianna Cabrera, Patrick O'Hare, and Edwin Rivera are the Spirit Ancestor Lead Singers. The production also features a special group performance by Oyu Oro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble. Part of The Public's annual Public Works initiative, performances include ensemble appearances from partner organizations across all five boroughs of NYC.

Goldsberry's children, Benjamin Johnson and Brielle Johnson, are also in the ensemble of the show. Goldsberry told Playbill that she's conceptualizing Prospero as a mother of three, saying, “When you are a Black mother of a Black child, or the mother of any child, and you’re looking at the world they have inherited…and, sometimes, how little possibility you can see ahead for them,” Goldsberry explains. “That’s Prospero’s situation: Having this amazing child and having so little to offer them. And trying to create something at any cost to give this child a future. That is the journey. And that's real, right now in our lives, in this world that we live in.”

Tickets for the entire run are free, with distribution happening in-person in Central Park. You can also enter an in-person ticket lottery, a digital lottery via TodayTix, or try an in-person standby line at the Delacorte.

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Check Out Photos of Public Works' The Tempest

The production will be final show to play the Delacorte prior to a major renovation, expected to keep the theatre dark until 2025.

Woolery's creative team includes scenic designer Alexis Distler, costume designer Wilberth Gonzalez, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer Jessica Paz, hair, wig, and makeup designer Krystal Balleza, music director Andrea Grody, orchestrator Mike Brun, and music coordinator Kristy Norter. Roxana Khan is production stage manager, and Janelle Caso and Jessie Moore serve as stage managers.

“As we continue to emerge from our pandemic cocoons, I was especially drawn to the famous line from the play: ‘the isle is full of noises,’” said Velez in an earlier statement. “Our own island of Manhattan is brimming with so much chaos, as well as so much culture, so much spirit, and I have had the time of my life trying to channel the rhythms, the heartbeats, and the melodies of the city into a score that will really come alive with our massive community ensemble. Reimagining such a classic story for the moment we're in was a delicious, creative feast, using colors ranging from jazz manouche to R&B to classic rock, not to mention finding room in a six-piece band for a French horn! It's truly been a thrill.”





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