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Your '20/21 Programming

Join in as we present new digital works, deepen relationships through our community engagement programs, and continue our long tradition of civic engagement.

Romeo y Julieta

Bilingual Podcast Production to be Released on March 18, 2021

By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Saheem Ali & Ricardo Pérez González
Based on the Spanish Translation by Alfredo Michel Modenessi
Directed by Saheem Ali
Bilingual podcast to be presented in partnership with WNYC Studios

Director Saheem Ali continues his audio exploration of William Shakespeare’s canon with a new production of ROMEO Y JULIETA, collaborating with playwright Ricardo Pérez González on an adaptation of noted scholar Alfredo Michel Modenessi's Spanish translation. Actor Lupita Nyong’o plays Julieta, with Juan Castano as her Romeo, in this bilingual Spanish and English production that will bring one of history’s most famed lovers to your homes and phones in a stunning new audio play.

Under The Radar

Over the last 17 years, The Public’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL has grown into a landmark of the New York City theater season and is a vital part of The Public's mission, providing a high-visibility platform to support artists from diverse backgrounds who are redefining the act of making theater.

Public Forum Presents Creative Activism: A Day Of Art, Ideas, And Action

Full-Day Summit – September 23

With less than 50 days until the 2020 Election, the need to activate our civic power has never been stronger. Public Forum will help you harness your power for change with CREATIVE ACTIVISM, a day-long summit of art, ideas, and action featuring some of the leading creatives and community organizers in our country. 

Kiki & Herb: Seeking Asylum!

Premieres September 24 at 7:00PM EST 

Created by Justin Vivian Bond and Kenny Mellman

This season, The Public offers an antidote to all our isolation anxiety with the “bombastic, razor sharp & triumphant return” (W Magazine) of the incomparable Kiki & Herb. After major successes at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway, and on the International Concert Circuit, cabaret legends Kiki and Herb took a break from the live performance grind to explore other opportunities.

Under The Greenwood Tree

Premieres October 7 at 8:00PM EST

Original Public Works Documentary
Broadcast on ALL ARTS, The WNET Group's arts and culture broadcast channel and streaming platform.

UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE, a new documentary from The Public Theater created with Art Docs and premiering this fall in partnership with ALL ARTS, focuses on The Public Theater’s 2017 Public Works musical production of As You Like It, which was performed by 200 New Yorkers of all ages and boroughs, and was named one of the Top Ten shows of 2017 by The New York Times

Venus Smiles Not In The House Of Tears

Premieres October 9 at 8:00PM EST

World Premiere Joe’s Pub New York Voices Commission
Created and Performed by Samora Pinderhughes and Jack DeBoe
Directed by Christian Padron and Kassim Norris
Choreography by Amanda Krische  
Performed by Taylor Boyland, Rachel Gill, and Amanda Krische
Produced by Jesse Sachs

VENUS SMILES NOT IN THE HOUSE OF TEARS is a transformative concert event, written and produced by Samora Pinderhughes and Jack DeBoeVENUS is an intimate, radical experiment in multi-genre storytelling, full of “pathos-laden melody and heart-rending harmonies” (New York Times). 


Four-Part Podcast Production to be Released on October 16 at 12:00PM EST 

New York Premiere Audio Play
By Anne Washburn
Directed by Saheem Ali

In a co-production with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

This fall, as the election draws near, tune in to a searing and searching new audio drama from acclaimed playwright Anne Washburn about America’s present-day divisions, seen through the eyes of the very recent past. 

Say Their Names

The Public Theater will be converting the facade of their historic home at 425 Lafayette into a blank canvas for an artist installation. SAY THEIR NAMES will honor, remember, and include at least 2,100 names and accompanying sentences of Black lives murdered at the hands of the police.

The Seed Project

Large-Scale Visual Projection Project to Cover the Facade of The Public

This is a rare moment of intense shared experience across our country. Given the antiracist uprising in the U.S. and the global pandemic, the theaters in the Public Works National Cohort feel called to reimagine how to be of service to their communities. This cohort of community artists is activating their creativity to reimagine spaces for collective artmaking and believes that there is strength and joy to be found in envisioning the future together. 

A Pre-Election Night Public Forum: We The People

Premieres on November 2 at 8:00PM EST

Public Forum continues a beloved Election Night tradition with a new twist, and a new date! This season, WE THE PEOPLE will take place online the night prior to the election and will feature performances and commentary. 

Make Me Down: Songs For Making it Through Alive by The Hawtplates

World premiere visual EP now available

Created by The HawtPlates: Jade HicksKenita Miller-Hicks, and Justin Hicks

Last seen in 2020’s Under the Radar Festival, The HawtPlates presented Waterboy and the Mighty World, remixing songs made famous by Odetta Holmes to explore heroism through the life of Bass Reeves. Commissioned by The Public Theater, The HawtPlates (Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, and Jade Hicks) present MAKE ME DOWN, a new 17-minute visual EP with music that again engages the spirit of Odetta's work and proffers the notion that sometimes, songs are meant to keep us going.

Toshi Reagon’s Post-Election Concert

Premieres November 4 at 7:00PM EST

Joe’s Pub Concert

Toshi Reagon is a singer, musician, composer, producer and curator, who has been described by Vibe magazine as "one helluva rock'n'roller-coaster ride" and by PopMatters.com as "a treasure waiting to be found, Reagon is a one-woman celebration of all that is dynamic, progressive and uplifting in American music." 


New Season of Free Masterclasses Goes Digital in October

The #BARS Workshop is a lab series created by Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs. #BARS will go digital in October 2020 with Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, and Chris Walker hosting monthly online masterclasses with incredible guest artists that will be free and open to the public. 

Watch Me Work

Live on select Mondays at 5:00PM EST

Watch Me Work is a performance piece, a meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session, featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. Traditionally hosted on the mezzanine of The Public Theater Lobby, this new version continues the program via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams.

Brave New Shakespeare Challenge

Inspired by the courageous ways the world community is responding to this challenging time by creating performance, song, conversation, and connection, The Public Theater is inviting the world to use Shakespeare’s words to connect with friends, family, and communities, all from their homes. Every other week, across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they focus on a different passage or scene from Shakespeare and invite everyone to join in and create.

Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe's Pub at The Public opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space and superior acoustics to perform and develop new work. Joe's Pub consistently presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. 

Mobile Unit

Mobile Unit brings free Shakespeare to community centers, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and other destinations throughout New York City's five boroughs all year long. Over the years, the Mobile Unit has served thousands of audience members across the city and country with critically-acclaimed productions. We are proud to announce MOBILE UNIT IN CORRECTIONS, Mobile Unit's premier long-term program that continually brings theater into the daily lives of incarcerated communities through video learning. At a time when most institutions are on lock-down, inmates are at high-risk for COVID-19 and have extremely limited access to communities outside of the facility. It is important to Mobile Unit and The Public Theater to provide an outlet for inmates in our community and across all communities to express and connect with art and theater.

Public Forum

Live on Zoom: October 13, November 16, and December 14 at 7:00PM EST

PUBLIC FORUM, now in its tenth season, brings together surprising combinations of artists, audiences, and experts to explore the issues and ideas raised on our stages. Through one-of-a-kind events, Public Forum engages both the world of our plays and the world at large with some of the most original thinkers of today.

Public Shakespeare Initiative

PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE INITIATIVE offers a wide range of programming which includes Public Shakespeare Presents evenings, intimate Public Shakespeare Talks, Artist Development Programs, and Education Programs, specifically the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble. The Public Shakespeare Initiative’s programs engage audiences, develop artists, educate young people, support their teachers, and, in all, are as multidimensional as the community of Shakespeare-lovers we serve.

Emerging Writers Group

EMERGING WRITERS GROUP is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. In just 10 years, it has nurtured numerous playwrights who have gone on to have their plays staged at The Public and elsewhere around the country. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group.

Join In Today

Join in today as a Public Supporter or Partner with payment plans starting at $8.33/month. Your gift helps to break down any barriers of access and inclusion, inviting audiences around the world to participate.

Team Public

Introducing Team Public, a new way to stay connected and engaged with the Public’s artists, staff, programming, events, and so much more. Team Public is part of our larger membership program. It is FREE and open to all. You will receive weekly calendar updates, downloadable content, artist spotlights, a monthly newsletter, historical fun facts, and special invitations to events and discussions. 

Public Theater Funders