New York City’s annual Shakespeare in the Park is giving theater fans an exciting new experience with an all-Black cast.

It will include a production of one of William Shakespeare’s plays, Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Tony-winning director Kenny Leon. Brooks is the headliner of the cast as Beatrice. The rest of the cast includes Grantham Coleman (Benedick), Chuck Cooper (Leonato), Jeremie Harris (Claudio), Erik Laray Harvey (Antonio/Verges), Daniel Croix Henderson (Balthasar), Tyrone Mithcell Henderson (Friar Francis/Sexton), Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Ursula), Lateefah Holder (Dogberry), Billy Eugene Jones (Don Pedro) Margaret Odette (Hero), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Don John), Jaime Lincoln Smith (Borachio), Olivia Washington (Margaret) and Kai Heath (Messenger). The setting will be changed from Messina, Sicily, to modern-day Atlanta, GA. The play is running now through June 23 at the Delacorte Theater.

“I didn’t cast it all Black because I wanted an all-Black production,” said Leon to The New York Daily News (via Hyperallergic). “I cast it because it came to me in terms of the play about community and I just chose it around this specific place in Georgia.”

The production is free to the public and will run for 2 hours and 20 minutes with a 20-minute intermission. You can secure tickets during each performance day in Central Park as well as at select points in the city’s five boroughs. A lottery will also be held in the lobby of The Public Theater and online via Today Tix.

Learn more about Much Ado About Nothing at


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Photo: Public Theater/Joan Marcus