The highly-in-demand choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher has been selected to choreograph The Public Theater’s upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest as part of the organization’s Public Works program at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Performances will take place from August 27 through September 3; all shows start at 8:00 pm. Free tickets will be distributed on site at the Public and at the Delacorte on the day of the performance, as well as remotely through the TodayTix app.
In the recent aftermath of the pandemic and in tandem with The Public’s decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse ensemble of both professional and community members from across New York, this Public Works production of The Tempest examines what it means to be isolated and how we find our way back to one another. Featuring music and lyrics by Benjamin Velez (Borderline, John Leguizamo’s Kiss My Aztec), and starring the Tony Award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), this ambitious work of participatory theater explores the grief of being cut off from community, the desire for retribution, and the healing power of love.
Following six years as choreographer for The Classical Theatre of Harlem, including their 2022 smash hit Twelfth Night, this production marks Rea-Fisher’s first year with the Public. “It is a genuine joy to be working with the team at Public Works”, says Rea-Fisher. “Their mission of community-based, populist art-making resonates deeply with my own creative process.”
In association with partner organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites community members to take classes, participate in programming, attend performances, and join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.
This production also marks the first collaboration between Rea-Fisher and The Tempest‘s director, Obie Award-winning Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery. This meeting is particularly auspicious as both were recently cited as artists who “Should Have Been Nominated for a 2023 Tony Award” by The New York Times.
“I am thrilled to be collaborating with Tiffany on The Tempest,” says Wollery. “Our shared commitment of decolonizing spaces, creating art that breaks down barriers, while simultaneously exploding our passion for ambitiously expansive artmaking is a divine partnership. We can’t wait to share this story with our fellow New Yorkers.”
EMERGE125 is a Black female-led hub for dance performance, creation, and education. The organization operates dual homes in Harlem and Lake Placid, New York, while serving audiences both locally and around the world. EMERGE125 has established itself as a leader by setting new standards for dancer care; creating innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists; and using movement as a catalyst for community building: expanding the reach, purpose, and impact of the art of dance. The company has expanded its scope and vision to become a truly 21st Century organization; flourishing, growing, and expanding its network and reach outside of the traditional modern dance sphere. From community dance classes to stadiums filled with thousands of spectators, EMERGE125 demonstrates that modern dance can be accessible and relatable to people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
About Public Works
Public Works, a major artistic program of the Public Theater, aims to restore and build community by connecting people through the creation of extraordinary works of art. Public Works is animated by the idea that theater is a place of possibility, where the boundaries that separate us from each other in the rest of life can fall away. Working with partner organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites community members to take classes, participate in programming, attend performances, and join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well. Public Works exemplifies The Public’s long-standing commitment to putting community at the core of the theater’s mission. Public Works seeks to create a space where we can not only reflect on the world as it is, but where we can propose new possibilities for what our society might be. The Public Works model continues to be adopted by theaters across the country, and around the world.