About The Public
As the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and new work in equal measure, The Public Theater is dedicated to achieving artistic excellence while developing an American theater that is accessible and relevant through productions of challenging new plays, musicals and innovative stagings of the classics. Conceived nearly 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has served as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force in leading and framing dialogue on important issues of our day. These core democratic values inform all aspects of The Public’s activities.
Founded by Joseph Papp as the Shakespeare Workshop and now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, The Public is an American theater in which all of the country’s voices, rhythms, and cultures converge. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, 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 and dialogue on important issues of our day.
Education & Outreach
The Public Theater’s productions have been honored with 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obie Awards, 45 Drama Desk Awards, and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.
In 2005, The Public Theater received a special Drama Desk Award in celebration of its 50th anniversary.