Julián Mesri '20 Co-Conceives a Musical Adaptation of 'The Comedy of Errors' for the Public Theater's Mobile Unit

Anastasia Ellis
February 06, 2023

Playwriting alumnus Julián Mesri ’20 has co-conceived a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors alongside director Rebecca Martínez for The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit. The tour of the new musical will embark in the spring of 2023. 

The adaptation embraces music from Latin America in Shakespeare’s farcical tale of separation and cheerful reunion. Featuring songs in both English and Spanish, this new Comedy of Errors promises to energize the familiar story of two sets of twins, separated at birth by tumultuous seas, who venture to overcome a hilarious, mayhem-filled case of mistaken identity. 

The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit is a reimagining of Joseph Papp’s Mobile Theater, which began in 1957. The Mobile Theater was built upon Papp’s simple idea that culture belongs to everyone. The original Mobile Theater evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and, later, The Public Theater. Now, the reinvented Mobile Unit takes Papp’s original mission out to communities across New York City and provides free performances to all.

Julián Mesri is a New York-based Argentinean-American writer and composer who creates multilingual plays and musicals that bridge cultures and styles in the US and worldwide. He is a 2020-2023 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group member and a recipient of a 2020-2021 Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Commission. Recent productions include Immersion (Ingenio Festival at Milagro Theater, BAPF semi-finalist), The Gauchos Americanos (Teatro Extranjero, Buenos Aires), and the new musical Telo, presented in May 2022. Mesri’s other work includes: music direction and arrangement for Songs About Trains with Radical Evolution, music composition for the Public Theater Mobile Unit’s presentation of Pablo Neruda’s Romeo y Julieta, and development of a musical for young audiences, The Adventures of Snow White. Mesri has been an Emerging Artist of Color Fellow at NYTW, a Van Lier Fellow at Repertorio Español, and the recipient of an ASCAP Scholarship. His adaptation of Fuenteovejuna received the HOLA Outstanding production award.