The Public Theater Announces PUBLIC POPS UP -Additional Summer Programming and Free Events

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Public Pops Up @ The Peninsula in Prospect Park – Saturday, June 29
Featuring Mobile Unit’s Bilingual Musical Adaptation of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, live music by Michael Thurber, food trucks & activities, culminating in a screening of Free Shakespeare in the Park’s 2019 Production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Public Theater Block Party @ Astor Place – Sunday, July 28
Featuring Olivia K & The Parkers and appearances from past and present 
Public Theater Productions; Plus, food and family-friendly activities 
on Astor Place Plaza and inside The Public

Public Pops Up @ The Queens Night Market – Saturday, August 3
100+ vendors, a performance by The Gentleman Brawlers, 
and a screening of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Public Pops Up @ Central Park Frisbee Hill – Monday, August 12
Featuring a Public Works Community Event;
Plus, a screening of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING as a part of 
Central Park Conservancy’s Parks Film Festival

June 10, 2024 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced additional events and programming today as part of this summer’s GO PUBLIC! A Festival of Free Shakespeare in the Park in partnership with NYC Parks and The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s Movies Under the Stars program and The WNET Group. Leading up to evening screenings of the acclaimed 2019 production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING in Prospect Park, the Queens Night Market, and Central Park, all will be invited to join us for activities, food, and live, genre-spanning performances. 

Comedy Of Errors-Photo: Peter Cooper

On Saturday, June 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Peninsula in Prospect Park, The Public andProspect Park Alliance will present an evening of festivities, kicking off with a free performance of The Mobile Unit’s joyful, bilingual musical adaptation of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. The 90-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, conceived by director Rebecca Martinez and composer Julian Mesri, features contemporary rhythms from across Latin America in a tale of separation and reunion, bringing vibrant energy to an age-old tale of two sets of twins separated by stormy seas as they overcome a baffling case of mistaken identity—and the mayhem and hilarious confusion that follows. Attendees can enjoy food trucks, activities, and live music by composer and songwriter Michael Thurber before a sunset screening of 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.). 

The Public also will host a block party on Sunday, July 28 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. Held at our home on the Astor Place Plaza, the fun-filled day will include a performance by headliner Olivia K & The Parkers.  Olivia’s performance art and musical sensibility combines the boundless energy of the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade with the soulfulness of the Baptist church she grew up on. As the DIY Funk Queen of East New York, she has led her band Olivia K and the Parkers in a sold-out show at Joe’s Pub, was a member of the 2022 Joe’s Pub Working Artist Group, and recently played BRIC’s iconic Celebrate Brooklyn. The afternoon will also also feature past and present Public Theater productions from HAIR to HAMILTON, with additional performances and participating cast members to be announced soon. There will also be food and family activities for all attendees on Astor Place Plaza and inside The Public during the day.


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kenny Leon

In the weeks leading up to July 28th, and on the day of the Block Party at 425 Lafayette, The Public aims to raise $250,000 or more through a special community-wide fundraising drive: Public Gives! All proceeds will support The Public’s mission to produce excellent, free theater for all in celebration of a milestone summer in our history.

On Saturday, August 3The Public Pops Up at the Queens Night Market starting at 4:00 p.m. The world famous, family-friendly open-air night market in Flushing Meadows Corona Park boasts up to 100 independent vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The uniquely affordable experience caps all bites at $6 and features free performances celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of NYC and Queens. This particular evening will feature a performance by The Gentleman Brawlers  and other performance artists. Led by creative duo Becca Fox and Matt WalshThe Gentleman Brawlers channels musical inspiration Talking Heads with their distinct brand of Afropunk and Indie Dance music. Through a sonic blend of disco-based horn lines, sticky highlife guitar, and polyrhythms from West Africa, Trinidad, and Brazil, The Gentleman Brawlers’ live shows ignite a community-based, improvisational energy. The evening will conclude with a screening of the 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.).

On Monday, August 12 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., in keeping with their mission to create extraordinary works of community-based art, Public Works will be launching an ambitious, city-wide event where all of New York will be invited to participate. More information will be announced later this month. Following the initiative, there will be a screening of the 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.) as a part of Central Park Conservancy’s annual Film Festival.


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kenny Leon

In addition to the above events, several other movie screenings of the 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING will take place throughout June, July and August. A full schedule is outlined below. Additionally, The Public continues its relationship with THIRTEEN’s Great Performances on PBS this summer, providing free access to stream Free Shakespeare in the Park productions at home, as well as the premiere of 2023’s HAMLET. In addition to HAMLETthroughout the month of May, viewers will have access to the 2019 production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING2021’s MERRY WIVESand 2022’s RICHARD III. Viewing these productions at home comes at no cost. Dates for accessing each production are outlined below. 


In 2018, The Public Theater, in partnership with Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, began embarking on a much-needed revitalization of the 62-year-old Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The plan—a major investment in outdoor cultural space as part of New York’s economic recovery—will dramatically improve the home of Free Shakespeare in the Park, addressing critical infrastructure, accessibility, and theatrical needs. The key approved design includes accessible and comfortable space for audiences and artists with disabilities, streamlined backstage operations and improved comfort for cast and crew, a revitalized exterior for a more dynamic aesthetic experience, a focus on resilience and sustainability, and lighting improvements, among other benefits. For more information on The Delacorte’s revitalization, visit

To support The Public Theater, become a Supporter or Partner by visiting

Comedy Of Errors-Photo: Peter Cooper

Bilingual Musical Adaptation
By William Shakespeare
Adaptation by Rebecca Martinez and Julian Mesri
Music, Music Direction, and Spanish Translations by Julian Mesri
Lyrics by Julian Mesri and Rebecca Martinez
Directed by Rebecca Martínez
Now on tour through Sunday, June 30 

Conceived by director Rebecca Martinez and composer Julian Mesri, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS adaptation embraces contemporary music styles from Latin America in a tale of separation and reunion. Featuring live actor-musicians, this modern musical adaptation brings a vibrant energy to an age-old tale of two sets of twins separated by stormy seas as they overcome a baffling case of mistaken identity—and the mayhem and hilarious confusion that follows. 

For remaining dates, performance times, and how to RSVP, visit publictheater.orgA map of all locations for GO PUBLIC! events can be found on Google Maps


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kenny Leon

Directed by Kenny Leon
Choreography by Camille A. Brown 
All screenings are free and open to the public and will begin at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.)

June 29 – Prospect Park Peninsula (Brooklyn)*
July 11 – J. Hood Wright Park (Manhattan)
July 17 – McCarren Park (Brooklyn) 
July 24 – Brooklyn War Memorial (Brooklyn)
August 2 – Faber Park (Staten Island)
August 3 – Queens Night Market at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens)*
August 12 – Central Park Frisbee Hill (Manhattan)*
August 20 – Washington Square Park (Manhattan) 
August 29 – Baisley Park (Queens)
September 6 – Bronx Park (The Bronx)

*Indicates Public Pops Up Additional Programming

Tony Award winner Kenny Leon directs this bold new take on Shakespeare’s cherished comedy of romantic retribution and miscommunication, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. In this modern production, we find the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war. But not all is peaceful amid the revelry, as old rivals engage in a battle of wits, unexpected foes plot revenge, and young lovers are caught in a tumultuous courtship—until love proves the ultimate trickster and undoes them all.  


Available Now through June 30
2019 production directed by Kenny Leon with choreography by Camille A. Brown

World Premiere of Live Recording 
Available Now Through June 30
2023 production directed by Kenny Leon with choreography by Camille A. Brown

Available May 17-June 30
2021 production adapted by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali

Available May 24-June 30
2022 production directed by Robert O’Hara

# # #

THE PUBLIC continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Lab, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the upcoming productions of Suffs by Shaina Taub and Hell’s Kitchen by Alicia Keys and Kristoffer Diaz. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 60 Tony Awards, 194 Obie Awards, 57 Drama Desk Awards, 61 Lortel Awards, 36 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 65 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.

The Public Theater stands in honor of the first inhabitants and our ancestors. We acknowledge the land on which The Public and its theaters stand—the original homeland of the Lenape people. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We honor the generations of stewards and we pay our respects to the many diverse indigenous peoples still connected to this land.

The Public also gives our respect to the people of Seneca Village, a community of Black property owners who were removed from their land and whose village was destroyed in the creation of Central Park. We recognize the sacrifice that these ancestors made and honor Seneca Village’s legacy. 

The LuEsther T. Mertz Legacy Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.

Open Society Foundations is the Lead Supporting Sponsor for GO PUBLIC! A Festival of Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Mobile Unit is made possible by leadership support from the Abrams Foundation and The Tow Foundation. Generous support for The Mobile Unit is provided by Gina Maria LeonettiThe McLaughlin Children’s Trust, and an anonymous donor. 


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