Honoring their pledge of “bringing free Shakespeare to the community,” the Public Theater will be performing Macbeth at New York prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers. The Public Theater’s free Mobile Shakespeare Unit will travel around New York’s five boroughs and surrounding suburbs, April 25th through May 3rd. Following their three week tour, the Mobile Unit will settle at the Public Theater for a limited run of Macbeth in late May.
The Mobile Unit, which was relaunched by the Public Theater in 2011, was initially established by Joseph Papp in 1957. Papp believed that “Shakespeare belongs to everyone.” The Mobile Shakespeare unit primarily survives off of donations, including support from Ford Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Under the direction of Edward Torres, who is new to the Public Theater, the Mobile Unit will debut its second tour of the season, which means “double the opportunity for the Public Theater to tell great stories throughout all five boroughs in the city,” Director of Special Artistic Projects Stephanie Ybarra said in a statement to the Observer.
Amongst it’s 16 expected stops, the tour will visit Taconic Correctional Facility, New York State’s largest maximum women’s security prison; Fort Hamilton, the only active military base in New York; the Bronx’s DreamYard Arts Project; Brooklyn’s Brownsville Recreation Center and Queens’s Fortune Society. The Public Theater will also host four performances free and open to the public at recreation centers in Harlem, Brooklyn and Staten Island on April 24-25th, 28th, and May 9th, respectively.
Further information regarding open performances and tickets for Macbeth’s May 17th through June 7th run at the Public can be found on their website, publictheater.org.