On September 6 the Public Theater celebrated Central Park's Delacorte Theater as it prepares to go dark until 2025 for extensive refurbishment. Tony-winning hip-hop, improv, musical comedy group Freestyle Love Supreme—conceived by Anthony Veneziale and created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Veneziale—was on hand to celebrate the venue's six decade-long history and upcoming new beginnings.
See photos from the special one-night-only event, titled A Brief Intermission, below.
Creators Miranda and Veneziale, Tony nominee Christopher Jackson, and more were part of the evening, and the Freestyle Love Supreme line-up included Utkarsh Ambudkar aka UTK the INC, Andrew Bancroft aka Jelly Donut, Richard Baskin aka Rich Midway, Aneesa Folds aka Young Nees, James Monroe Iglehart aka J-Soul, Kaila Mullady aka Kaiser Rözé, Bill Sherman aka King Sherman, and Chris Sullivan aka Shockwave.
“The artists and supporters who make up The Public Theater community are gathering to celebrate 61 years of Free Shakespeare in the Park and to mark the brief intermission while we renovate The Delacorte into an even more beautiful version of itself. The theatre we will return to in the summer of 2025 will be more modern, more welcoming, and completely accessible for audiences, staff, and artists,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis in an earlier statement. “This night is about celebrating—greeting long-time friends and colleagues, remembering the electric nights in the park we've shared together, and letting the hilarious and humanistic Freestyle Love Supreme remind us of what live performance can do that nothing else can. A night of wonder, a night of joy, a night when we affirm the civic ritual that is Free Shakespeare in the Park. It is at the center of what makes New York City great.”
Proceeds help support The Public’s revitalization of The Delacorte and the organization’s mission of providing a home for artists who give voice to the issues of our time.