January 12th from 7-8pm
Lecture by Richard W. Hayes, architectural historian and currently in residence at the MacDowell Colony.
Experimental theatre flourished in New York during the 1960s. Foremost among New York theatrical figures of this era was Joseph Papp, ardent champion of free theatre for the public, who founded the New York Shakespear Festival to offer free performances of the Bard’s plays throughout the city. In 1966, Papp transformed one of the most important buildings surviving from old New York, the Astor Library in the East Village, into a series of theatres for his risk-taking, experimental ensemple. This talk explores Papp’s innovative campaign to entwine theatre with the very fabric of New York and describes a moment when theatre, social change, and historic preservation merged in the creation of the Public Theater.