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Shakespeare in the Park 2018 features ‘Othello,’ ‘Twelfth Night’

The Public Theater’s inaugural Shakespeare in the Park performance in 1962 was ‘Othello.’

The ever-popular Shakespeare in the Park will include

The ever-popular Shakespeare in the Park will include productions of both "Othello" and "Twelfth Night" this year. Photo Credit: Newsday / Michal Daniel

Pack your bags for Venice and the shores of Illyria — the Public Theater will take New Yorkers on a theatrical journey this summer via planned productions of “Othello” and the “Twelfth Night.”

The two plays will be part of the free, annual Shakespeare in the Park series, the Public Theater announced Monday.

Beginning July 17, the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park will once again host the young Viola disguising herself as a man and falling in love with a duke in “Twelfth Night.” The five-week run is a reprisal of the recent musical production, which ran for only a few days in September 2016 as part of the Public Theater’s Public Works program.

“Othello,” Shakespeare’s play about a noble Black Venetian general, will kick off its run on May 29. The production will feature Emmy-nominated actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson and will run through June 24.

“Othello” was the program’s inaugural performance in 1962.

Last year’s performance of “Julius Caesar,” which portrayed a President Donald Trump-like character as Caesar and included a scene in which the lead was assassinated, stirred up a lot of controversy. Delta Air Lines and Bank of America each pulled their sponsorship of the Public Theater, a number of performances were disrupted — including two people who were arrested during the final show — and artistic director Oskar Eustis’ wife received a death threat after the production wrapped.

The controversy resulted in a higher demand for tickets.

Free tickets for Shakespeare in the Park are available on the day of the performance at the park’s theater, or as part of a digital lottery on the TodayTix app.

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