About the Program
Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well. Public Works exemplifies The Public’s long-standing commitment to putting community at the core of the theater’s mission. Public Works seeks to create a space where we can not only reflect on the world as it is, but where we can propose new possibilities for what our society might be. The Public Works model continues to be adopted by theaters across the country, and around the world.
About The Performance
As we continue to rebuild out of the pandemic, Public Works enters its second decade by revisiting the play that launched the program, William Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. In The Public’s decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse ensemble of both professional and community members from across New York, this Public Works production examines what it means to be isolated and how we find our way back to one another. With music and lyrics by Benjamin Velez and directed by Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, this ambitious work of participatory theater explores the grief of being cut off from community, the desire for retribution, and the healing power of love.
Forced from their home, Prospero and her daughter Miranda have survived for 12 years among the ruins of an abandoned island. As Prospero grows closer to getting the justice she craves, she witnesses her daughter fall in love, listens to the wisdom of spirit ancestors, and discovers that sometimes forgiveness is the only way to break cycles and right the course for the next generation. Hilarious fools, magical spells, and elemental spirits dance through this production as we all come together to celebrate what it means to be human.
For more information about this performance, please visit the event website.
Image: Delacorte Theatre / courtesy of The Public