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"A Community of Artists: 50 Years at the Public Theatre"

Exhibition at The New York Public Theatre for the Performing Arts

Written by Armistead Johnson
Photographed by Angelo Rivera

A Community of Artists: 50 Years at the Public Theatre

As a former New York University student whose studio classes were held across the street from The Public Theatre, I found "A Community of Artists" an especially exciting exhibition to preview.

Veteran actor Kevin Klein and recent Tony winner Liev Schreiber were on hand to kick off the exhibition with eloquent speeches about the importance of The Public Theater and the numerous contributions Joseph Papp and his family have made to the New York Theatre landscape.

The exhibit, which is open to the public from June 21st through October 15th, celebrates the fifty year anniversary of The Public Theatre, which was founded by Joseph Papp and framed with the precept that all New Yorkers, regardless of their backgrounds, should have access to quality productions of Shakespeare’s plays, free of charge.

"A Community of Artists" contains archival documents, photographs, films, interviews, theatre programs, designs and original costumes that recall The Public’s landmark productions and its agenda of access and inclusion. Viewing the theater’s history in one room is breathtaking and not to be missed.

Where else can the public see tapes of the original production of A Chorus Line, or original revisions of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart or the prompt script of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf?

Kevin Klein
Liev Schreiber

Anyone with even a passing interest in New York Theatre should not miss this gem of an opportunity.

"A Community of Artists: 50 Years of The Public Theater" will be on view from June 21st through October 15, 2005 in the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery, The New York Public Library for The Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York. Exhibition hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.; closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Admission is free. For further information, telephone 212-870-1630.



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