Barry Edelstein comes to the Globe after previously serving as Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater. In this capacity he oversaw all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as The Public’s extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs. He was Associate Producer of The Public’s recent Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino.
Other productions he has supervised include As You Like It directed by Daniel Sullivan; King Lear with Sam Waterston and Bill Irwin; All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Daniel Sullivan; Measure for Measure directed by David Esbjornson; The Winter’s Tale directed by Michael Greif; Twelfth Night with Anne Hathaway;Othello with Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Hamlet with Michael Stuhlbarg. He supervised the addition of Shakespeare to The Public’s “Public LAB” producing series with his own production of Timon of Athens with Richard Thomas in the title role, and he supervised Love’s Labour’s Lost, Titus Andronicus and the upcoming Troilus and Cressida in that series.
He launched The Public’s “Mobile Unit” tour to prisons, homeless shelters and other underserved audiences with Measure for Measure and Richard III. Earlier directing work at The Public includes Julius Caesar starring Jeffrey Wright at The Public’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park and The Merchant of Venice featuring Ron Leibman’s Obie Award-winning portrayal of Shylock. This body of work led NPR to call Edelstein “one of the country’s leading Shakespeareans.”
From 1998-2003 Edelstein was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, where he directed Richard III starring John Turturro and Julianna Margulies and The Winter’s Tale starring David Strathairn. At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he directed As You Like Itstarring Gwyneth Paltrow. His other New York credits include the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; and Molière’s The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut (all during his tenure at Classic Stage Company); Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Williamstown, then Roundabout Theatre Company; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival); and Steve Martin’s Wasp and Other Plays (The Public Theater). He has directed many contemporary and classic plays at leading regional theaters. His first film, My Lunch with Larry, starring Lisa Edelstein and Greg Germann, played the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007. Upcoming: The premiere of novelist Nathan Englander’s first play, The Twenty-Seventh Man, at The Public Theater.
Edelstein’s book Bardisms: Shakespeare for all Occasions (HarperCollins, 2009) “instructs and entertains” (New York Post) and was re-released in paperback by Harper Perennial in 2010. His book Thinking Shakespeare (called by New York magazine “a must-read for actors”) was published in 2007 and is now the standard text on American Shakespearean acting.
Edelstein has taught at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and USC. He has lectured on theater around the USA and the world and has written on the subject for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic andAmerican Theatre. He is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his wife, Hilit, and their children, Tillirose and August.