Pittsburgh Public Theater
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Pittsburgh Public Theater, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a professional theater company. Led by Producing Artistic Director Ted Pappas and a board of trustees, Pittsburgh Public annually produces a six-play subscription series that mixes classics, works from Broadway, and musicals. Pittsburgh Public Theater has been in continuous operation since 1975, first on Pittsburgh's North Side and since 1999 in the O'Reilly Theater, in the heart of Downtown's Cultural District.
1974: Joan Apt and Margaret Rieck start Pittsburgh Public Theater with Ben Shaktman as General Director. The City of Pittsburgh offers Allegheny Theater to The Public rent free. Grants from 37 corporations, foundations and the state arts council, along with 934 individuals, fund the theater's $370,000 budget. With a grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and a design by Peter Wexler, a flexible stage and audience space with movable scaffold seating for 350 is created.
1977-78: Season expands from three to five plays.
1980-81: Season expands from five to six plays.
February 1982: Ben Shaktman resigns, effective June 30. Dennis Babcock replaces Howard J. Millman in the position of Managing Director.
1982-84: Larry Arrick serves as Artistic Director.
1984: Designed by L.P. Perfido Associates, theater is renovated to increase seating to 471, increase technical capabilities, and enlarge lobby space.
April 1984: William T. Gardner is named Producing Director.
April 1985: Helena Ruoti makes her Public Theater debut in Becoming Memories, written by Arthur Giron and directed by Lee Sankowich.
April 1987: The Public presents its first benefit performance for the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force.
June 1989: Dan Fallon joins The Public as Managing Director.
1989-90: The Public has an all-time high subscription base of 16,185.
January 1992: Twenty-five Pittsburgh couples celebrating 50 or more years of marriage are honored at production of I Do! I Do!. Board president Joseph M. Wymard announces The Public's intention to move from the North Side into a new facility Downtown to be built by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
April 1992: William T. Gardner, Producing Director for eight seasons, dies unexpectedly of a heart attack.
August 1994: Stephen Klein is appointed Managing Director, to share leadership.
1994: Ted Pappas directs first production at The Public, the musical Wings.
1994: Programmed by the Education Department, the first Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest for students takes place.
1997: Over the Tavern by Tom Dudzick breaks previous Box Office records.
September 1998: The organization launches the public phase of its $12.8 million capital campaign. More than $8.5 million has already been raised during the behind-the-scenes phase. $10 million is earmarked for an income-producing endowment.
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