The Public Theater Adds Romeo y Julieta Radio Play Starring Lupita Nyong’o, More to Digital Season | Playbill

Off-Broadway News The Public Theater Adds Romeo y Julieta Radio Play Starring Lupita Nyong’o, More to Digital Season Other offerings include a visual EP from The HawtPlates and a Joe’s Pub concert series.
Lupita Nyong'o Joseph Marzullo/WENN

A new slate of free digital programming has been added to The Public’s ongoing season. Among the highlights are a bilingual radio play adaptation of Romeo y Julieta starring Oscar winner and Tony nominee Lupita Nyong'o and Juan Castano, a visual EP by The HawtPlates, a Joe’s Pub concert series, and the previously announced guest artist curators for the Brave New Shakespeare Challenge.

Romeo Y Julieta will be directed by Saheem Ali, who adapts The Bard's play with Ricardo Pérez González based on the Spanish translation by Alfredo Michel Modenessi. The audio production will be released via WNYC March 18, 2021.

Saheem Ali

Romeo y Julieta expands our Shakespeare into Spanish, creating a multilingual world that reflects our own city—and country,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “The HawtPlates’ thrilling and utterly unique offering gives us joy and beauty and a sense of hope in this time when we need those things desperately. We will come through this, we will come through this better, and these artists are helping us believe that.”

On top of its programming, The Public will continue interrogating its practices and systems to move closer to being an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization. The Off-Broadway institution will also launch a week-long effort November 23–December 1 as part Giving Tuesday to help raise mission critical funds for its upcoming season, in which the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust will offer double-matching for all new funds raised between up to $125,000.

Check out a list of highlights below. For complete listings and to RSVP for the free events, visit

Make Me Down: Songs For Making It Through Alive
By the HawtPlates: Jade Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, and Justin Hicks
Available now on The Public’s YouTube
A 17-minute visual EP with music that engages the spirit of Odetta Holmes’ work and proffers the notion that sometimes, songs are meant to keep us going.

Damon Daunno Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Liz Swados Project
November 24 at 8 PM on Joe’s Pub YouTube
The Liz Swados Project celebrates the release of the tribute album to the visionary composer, lyricist, performer, teacher, and trailblazer. The evening features performances from a roster of artists including Sophia Anne Caruso, Heather Christian, Damon Daunno, Amber Gray, Stephanie Hsu, Grace McLean, Alicia Olatuja, Ali Stroker, and Taylor Mac, with a special appearance by Utkarsh Ambudkar.

What is the City but the People? Shakespeare, Art, and Citizenship (Brave New Shakespeare Initiative)
December 3 at 7 PM ET on Zoom
In the wake of the U.S. elections, we sit down with Professor Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics and The Swerve; historian and award-winning author Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States); and award-winning actor and playwright Eisa Davis for an in-depth look, with brief readings from Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, at the views and versions of citizenship, social organization, and individual human dignity in Shakespeare’s plays, as well as the role of art and humanities in a modern democracy.

Joe’s Pub Live
A free series of live-streamed and archived performances in which fellow audience members and the artists themselves can chat via the Joe’s Pub YouTube: Nellie McKay (December 1 at 8 PM ET), Mai Khoi (Dec 8 at 8 PM), Roy Nathanson’s Porch Concert Ensemble (Dec 10 at 5 PM), Tariq Al-Sabir and Nona Hendryx (Dec 15 at 8 PM), and more.

Public Forum: Civic Salon
December 14 at 7 PM on Zoom
Civic Salons are a community crossroads where artists and audiences can come together to nurture our minds and our bodies. Through songs, poetry, text, and speeches all driven by a common theme, Civic Salons feature artists, activists, and organizers who are using their voices to create change in their communities.

Raúl Esparza Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Two Monsters of Nature: Lope de Vega and William Shakespeare (Brave New Shakespeare Initiative)
December 17 at 7 PM on Zoom
Hear how Lope de Vega, the author of more than a thousand plays, and William Shakespeare used the dynamic and populist form of theater to explore and interrogate the corrupt, militaristic, and misogynist monarchies they called home. With readings in English and Spanish by a cast including Tony nominee Raúl Esparza and commentary by Professor of Comparative Language at Cornell Philip Lorenz.

Romeo y Julieta
By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Saheem Ali & Ricardo Pérez González
Based on the Spanish Translation by Alfredo Michel Modenessi
Directed by Saheem Ali
Available for on demand listening starting March 18, 2021
The complete cast includes Carlo Albán, Karina Arroyave, Erick Betancourt, Michael Braugher, Carlos Carrasco, Juan Castano, Ivonne Coll, John J. Concado, Hiram Delgado, Guillermo Diaz, Sarah Nina Hayon, Kevin Herrera, Modesto Lacen, Florencia Lozano, Irene Sofia Lucio, Keren Lugo, Benjamin Luis McCracken, Julio Monge, Javier Muñoz, Lupita Nyong’o, and David Zayas. The production will feature sound design and supervision by Bray Poor, sound design by Jessica Paz, and original music composition by Michael Thurber. Isaac Andrew Jones will serve as lead engineer along with Izumi Rosas, Chris Morocco, and Beth Lake as audio engineers. WQXR’s Elliott Forrest is creative consultant to the project.

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