Top: The Public Theater
Bottom: The Delacorte TheatreLegendary producer Joseph Papp began what is now known as the Public Theater back in 1955, when he began the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, offering free Shakespeare to New Yorkers for the first time. Later, he created New York's first travelling theater. Among the Public Theatre's many achievements, it was also among the very first professional theatres to employ "color blind casting," with no less than James Earl Jones appearing in The Cherry Orchard. What today is common practice and rarely even noticed, was quite avante garde and controversial. The Public Theater still operates the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, along with it's flagship space, the former Astor Public Library.
Coming This Season: The Merchant of Venice and
Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonSome facts:
- The Public Theater has been awarded 42 Tonys, 40 Drama Desks and 4 Pulitzer Prizes among many awards.
- It won the Special Tony Award 3 times: 1958, 1970 and 1984, when A Chorus Line became the longest-running show in Broadway history.
- The Drama Desk Awards presented the company a special achievement award in 2005, in honor of its 50th anniversary.
A book about the man who started it all:
23 of its plays, musicals, revivals and one-person shows were either nominated and/or won the Tony for Best in the Category. The winners were:
- 1972: Best Play, Sticks and Bones
- 1972: Best Musical: Two Gentlemen of Verona
- 1973: Best Play, That Championship Season
- 1976: Best Musical, A Chorus Line
- 1981: Best Reproduction of a Musical: The Pirates of Penzance
- 1986: Best Musical: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
- 1993: Best Play: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
- 1994: Best Play: Angels in America: Perestroika
- 2002: Best Theatrical Event: Elaine Stritch: At Liberty!
- 2003: Best Play: Take Me Out
- 2009: Best Revival: Hair
1986Some of its most notable productions also include: The Normal Heart, The Threepenny Opera (Raul Julia), The Colored Museum, Hamlet (Kevin Kline), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, Bring on 'Da Noise/Bring on 'Da Funk, The Wild Party, Runaways, Topdog/Underdog, and Caroline, or Change.
With these two new critically acclaimed shows, that award-winning tradition is bound to continue!
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