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The Public Theater

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About The Public Theater

The Public Theater is a fixture both within the New York City theater landscape and the national theater field. Founded in 1954 by Joseph Papp as The Shakespeare Workshop, the theater served as one of the first nonprofit theaters in the United States. Papp’s mantra, which continues today, is that art and culture belong to everyone. The Public’s headquarters are at Astor Place in the 19th-century Romanesque building once home to the Astor Library. The now-renovated building has a total of six performance spaces, including Joe’s Pub, an intimate music venue, and The Library, a cocktail bar and restaurant on the mezzanine level. The Public Theater also operates The Delacorte Theatre in Central Park where a summer season of Shakespeare works are available to the public for free. In addition to staging plays by the Bard, The Public Theater develops and produces new plays and musicals, hosts monthly salons, presents an annual new works festival, heads its Mobile Unit program of touring shows, and brings communities all across the country together with its Public Works program.
  • Fun Facts About The Public Theater
  • A total of 55 Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway.
  • The Public Theater fosters new playwrights with its Emerging Writers Group.
  • The theater has been lauded with 59 Tony Awards, 170 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.
Notable Shows and Performances: The most famous shows that got a start at The Public Theater include “A Chorus Line” in 1975, “Hair” in 1967, and “Hamilton” in 2015.
New York, NY 10003
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Transportation & Parking

The Public Theater is partnered with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking at several convenient locations.
    8th Street
    Astor Place

Nearby Points of Interest