Sam Mendes crosses Bridge Project

Director bringing Shakespeare to theater event

The second installment of trans-Atlantic legit initiative the Bridge Project will consist of Shakespeare double bill “As You Like It” and “The Tempest.”

Stephen Dillane, Christian Camargo, Juliet Rylance and Anne-Marie Duff will top the cast of the Sam Mendes-helmed shows, which will run in repertory.

Lineup of shows reps a change from the previously expected slate of “As You Like It” and Chekhov’s “Three Sisters,” the two plays that had been named in a casting notice earlier this year.

A co-production of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, London’s Old Vic (of which Kevin Spacey is a.d.) and Mendes’ Neal Street Prods., Bridge Project launched early this year with rep stagings of “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Winter’s Tale,” featuring a cast that included Simon Russell Beale, Rebecca Hall and Ethan Hawke. Shows launched at BAM in January and are now playing at the Old Vic through Aug. 15.

The 2010 incarnation of the Bridge Project will have a similar tour, kicking off in Brooklyn in January before playing in Asia and Europe ahead of a summer run at the Old Vic.

Dillane, who has not appeared on a Gotham stage since he won a Tony for “The Real Thing” in 2000, will play aging wizard Prospero in “The Tempest” and melancholy lord Jacques in “As You Like It.” Rylance, recently seen as Desdemona in the well-reviewed Off Broadway staging of “Othello,” will play Prospero’s daughter Miranda in “Tempest” and Celia, cousin to cross-dressing Rosalind, in “Like It.”

Camargo (“Hamlet,” “All My Sons”) portrays love interest Orlando in “Like It” and drunken sailor Stephano in “Tempest,” with Duff (“The Virgin Queen”) onboard as sprite Ariel in “Tempest” and as Rosalind in “Like It.”

Further casting, drawn from a pool of thesps both American and British, remains to be announced.

Design team for the two shows includes Tom Piper (set), Catherine Zuber (costumes) and Paul Pryant (lights), with Josh Prince (“Shrek the Musical”) providing choreography.

“Tempest” and “Like It” will run January through March at BAM and June through August at the Old Vic, with exact dates to be determined.

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