PHOTO CALL: Stephen Spinella, Ron Cephas Jones, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Kristen Connolly Celebrate the Public's "Shakespeare Machine"
By Matthew Blank
On Oct. 10 The Public Theater held a reception celebrating evening celebrated Ben Rubin’s "Shakespeare Machine," the new installation hanging from the center of the company's revitalized lobby.
Stephen Spinella, Ron Cephas Jones, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Kristen Connolly read lines from various Shakespearean texts as the words scrolled across the machine.Suspended from the ceiling and serving as the space's chandelier, the work "features 37 LED display screens on which fragments of Shakespeare's plays appear and dance, creating an unfolding kaleidoscope of language in motion. The machine selects and organizes these fragments according to a series of different logical systems, each using a combination of grammatical, contextual, rhythmic, and/or semantic attributes of Shakespeare's language to generate new text-motion sequences. The artwork's program ensures that the arrangement of the text at any given instant is unique, and will never be repeated."
Performances from the upcoming musicals Giant, Here Lies Love, Fun Home and last season's The Total Bent will punctuate the Public Theater's Oct. 13 block party celebrating the reopening of its newly renovated Lafayette Street home.
The block party is part of a series of festivities that celebrates the $40 million renovation of the Public Theater. The 12-5 PM event will take place on Lafayette Street between Astor Place and East 4th Street. The Public Theater will also open its doors to allow members of the public to view its new lobby and public spaces, including Joe's Pub and the new lounge, The Library.
"The Public is open, and we're inviting everyone in the city to come take a look," Public artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "Joe Papp believed that the theatre belonged to everyone, and this renovation of our home building is designed to create a lively, welcoming center for people to meet, gather, and celebrate."
Musical performances include selections from Giant by Sybille Pearson and Michael John LaChiusa; Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim; Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron; and last season's The Total Bent by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.
Additional musical highlights are Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess; Sasha Allen of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Hair; banjo player Tony Trischka; and M.A.K.U. SoundSystem.
The block party, held rain or shine, will also include New York City food trucks, including Go Burger, Korilla BBQ, Rickshaw Dumplings, The Treats Truck, Valducci’s Pizza, as well as offerings from Carmellini and Oliver, which provides dining hospitality for Joe's Pub and the Public's new lounge, the Library.
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