The Public Theater and International Rescue Committee present Welcome Home: A Celebration of World Refugee Day June 20 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The one-night-only event features readings and performances by a host of stars, including Bobby Cannavale, F. Murray Abraham, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Hoon Lee and Michael Cerveris; as well as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who is leading a naturalization ceremony for new citizens.
The evening is part of the Public’s free Forum events; it kicks off with the naturalization ceremony at 7 PM, followed by the Forum program beginning at 7:30 PM.
Other performers include Okieriete Onaodowan, K’naan, Salman Rushdie, Kwame Kwei-Armah, David Henry Hwang, Natalie Cortez, John Ellison Conlee, Omar Metwally, Rocío Del Mar Valles, Nicholas Schmidle, Ato Blankson-Wood, Nicolas Niarchos and Condola Rashad.
Highlights of the evening include Abraham reading Shakespeare’s incendiary plea for refugees from Sir Thomas More; a performance of a song by K’naan; Cerveris performing “Better Angels” from Tom Kitt’s new musical The Visitor; Lee reading a work by Hwang; a chorus of New York City schoolchildren reading Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus”; Kwei-Armah reading John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity”; Cortez performing “There Is a Child” from The Public’s Giant; and more.
“America is a nation created by refugees; and at our best we have welcomed immigrants from across the globe, many fleeing persecution and oppression in their homelands,” said artistic director Oskar Eustis in an earlier press statement. “The pilgrims were refugees at Plymouth Rock, and The Public and IRC are proud to celebrate the best of American traditions, the welcome embodied by that lady in New York harbor.”
Free Public Forum tickets will be distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater beginning at noon.
(Updated June 20, 2016)