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As part of Public Works, the Public Theater has announced that Tony Award winner Nikki M. James will star in Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub’s musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. The free production will take place at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, September 2nd through the 5th.

James plays heroine Viola, a shipwrecked young girl who takes the identity of her presumably dead twin brother. She falls in love with the Duke Orsino (played by Jose Llana), but also catches the eye of the Countess Olivia, Orsino’s object of affection. Joining them is Andrew Kober as Malvolio, Jacob Ming-Trent as Sir Toby Belch, and Taub as Feste. Shakespeare’s brilliant comedy features a slew of unusual courtships and mistaken-identity.

This production, which features over 200 actors and performances, includes a mixture of cameo appearances by COBU, Harlem Dance Club, Jambalaya Brass Band, The Love Show, New York Deaf Theatre, Ziranmen Kungfu Wushu Training Center, and One United States Postal Carrier.

Per its mission statement,

PUBLIC WORKS is a major initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Working deeply with partner organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops, take classes, attend performances at The Public, and, most importantly, to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater.

James won a Tony Award in 2011 for her hilarious, nuanced performance in The Book of Mormon. Since then, she’s appeared Off-Broadway in Fetch Clay, Make Man, and in the second Broadway revival of Les Misérables as the tragic Éponine.

Additionally, Ming-Trent has appeared on Broadway in both Hands on a Hardbody and Shrek The Musical.

Delacorte distributes two free tickets per person starting at noon the day of the performance. The theatre also offers lottery tickets through the TodayTix app.

Visit Public for more information about Twelfth Night and Public Works.

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