Devised Theater Initiative

The artists we work with constantly invent new ways to disrupt the recognized systems of making work and our ways of looking at the world. With the Devised Theater Initiative (DTI) , we want to actively carve out space for that disruption – to nurture long-term relationships with theater-makers, instigate that energetic collision of diverse practices and perspectives, and look towards the future of the art form.

The Devised Theater Initiative is a year-round program that invites exceptionally talented theater-makers at all stages of their careers to make their artistic home at The Public. The initiative is committed to the exploration of new modes of creating and supporting work, and the creation of systems to support the full life of a project, from inception to production and beyond.

The initiative supports a range of programs, all geared towards a 360° view of supporting artists.


Over the last 13 years, The Public’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL has presented over 194 companies from 40 countries. It 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. Widely recognized as a premier launching pad for new and cutting-edge performance from the U.S. and abroad, UTR artists provide a snapshot of contemporary theater: richly distinct in terms of perspectives, aesthetics, and social practice, and pointing to the future of the art form. 


The Devised Theater Working Group offers next-generation theater-makers a supportive framework in which to develop their work, engage in consistent dialogue, and be challenged by each other’s aesthetic practice.

DTWG was created in 2014 and the first cohort included Lucy Alibar; Katherine Brook + Shonni Enelow / TELE-VIOLET; DarkMatter; Deconstructive Theatre Project; Daniel Koren; The Mighty Third Rail and PUBLIQuartet; James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis; and Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble.


INCOMING! is UTR’s festival within a festival, featuring in-process works of artistic ambition by the wildly diverse artists of the Devised Theater Working Group.


DTI introduces artists to The Public and develops works for the Public Theater’s mainstage season. The most recent example being Gob Squad’s BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES.


Recognizing that artists need, above all, time and space to create, DTI is committed to creating artist residencies at The Public and through strategic partnerships with organizations around the city and around the country. The first of these is a technical residency with Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble in residence at the City University of New York, City College of Technology.


Created in 2008, The Directors Circle is an informal meeting of a small group of international artistic leaders at host institutions throughout the world, and a platform for focused conversations regarding issues in the field.