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The Public Theater is a New York City arts organization founded as the Shakespeare Workshop in 1954 by Joseph Papp, with the intention of showcasing the works of up-and-coming playwrights and performers. It is led by Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham. The venue opened in 1967, mounting the world-premiere production of the musical Hair as its first show.
The Public is headquartered at 425 Lafayette Street in the former Astor Library in Lower Manhattan. The building holds five theater spaces and Joe's Pub, a cabaret-style venue used for new work, musical performances, spoken-word artists and soloists. The Public also operates the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, where it presents Shakespeare in the Park, one of New York City's most beloved summer traditions. New York natives and visitors alike have been enjoying free Shakespeare in Central Park since performances began in 1954.
The Public is dedicated to embracing the complexities of contemporary society and nurturing both artists and audiences, as it continues Joseph Papp's legacy of creating a place of inclusion and a forum for ideas. Notable productions in recent years include: The Merchant of Venice, featuring Al Pacino as Shylock (2010); Here Lies Love (2013), by David Byrne; Fun Home, adapted from Alison Bechdel's illustrated memoir of the same name (2013); Eclipsed, by Danai Gurira and featuring Lupita Nyong'o (2015); and Hamilton (2015), by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Public Theater Reviews
Plays at the Public Theatre are always thought-provoking but never more so than in their Under the Radar series that runs every winter (now thru Jan 19). For $30 you can see some of the world's most..... more »
Finally got a chance to see Tony Kushner, first play written at the NYC Public Theater. Hadn’t been to the Public in a while and it’s really amazing the upgrade they have made. It has the best... more »
Don't miss this theater space-- from the simple but great entrance, the ghost light in the corner, the mini Cafe offerings and the clean bathrooms to the comfortable seats in the theater! Many good views to choose from. I saw white noise, which every one should see. The cat was incredible.And Daveed Diggs chatted with fans even though it was between shows on a two show day.
One of my favorite theaters in New York. Check out their calendar and go see something there. I got to see Glenn Close perform in “Mother of the Maid” a couple of weeks ago, and it was a fantastic experience. They have a great bar upstairs to meet up for a drink first. It’s also great to see shows that will potentially move to bigger houses in the future and not pay so much money. Hamilton for example.
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