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The Public Theater was founded by Joseph Papp as the Shakespeare Workshop nearly 60 years ago. It is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and original works in equal rotation, and hosts Shakespeare in the Park each summer. The theater is located in the heart of Greenwich Village, close to a bevy of shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as NYU, Washington Square, and Union Square. It's six theater spaces host a variety of performances, with drinks, food, and musical acts at the adjoining Joe's Pub. The 4, 5, and 6 lines are accessible one block away at the Astor Place station.
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.