Talk:The Public Theater

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The Joseph Papp Public Theater[edit]

The article title was changed in error. Once known as Joseph Papp's Public Theater, the name of this organization reverted to The Public Theater after his death. It is so designated at the entrance of the building and on its official website [1]. SFTVLGUY2 18:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

This issue just came up again, so I wanted to discuss it here. There are no shortage of references to the theater by the (cumbersome) name The Joseph Papp Public Theater, including some in prominent and reputable sources such as the New York Times. I think there are two possible points of confusion (and at the moment I don't have an definite understanding of either). First, it's not clear to me if the theater company was renamed after Papp or if its home building was so renamed. The building is commonly called the Astor Library (its original incarnation), but perhaps it has an official name? Second, the renaming happened after Papp died in 1991, a full 11 years before the 2002 reorganization/rebranding. Is it possible it was The Joseph Papp Public Theater for that decade (and that decade only)? Any sources illuminating these issues would be most welcome. —jameslucas (" " / +) 21:01, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
I find it most interesting and relevant that nowhere on The Public's website do they mention the company being named for Joe Papp, even on their salulatory biography page of their founder. It seems to me that they would know best what the company's actual name is. I do note that some of the Playbill credits do list the company as "Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival", but that mashup of a credit seems to be trying to cover the whole history of the company and the man in one. Regardless, the fact remains that the company itself does not call itself by any name with Papp's name in it. That's pretty darn definitive. oknazevad (talk) 05:37, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
@Oknazevad: I totally agree that currently the company is not The Joseph Papp Public Theater , but I can't say whether or not the building at 425 Lafayette is called that. If it is called such, is it correct to keep that in the infobox? (I really don't know the answer to this.) And regarding the 1990s, it seems pretty evident that there was an official renaming to TJPPT after Papp's death. Regardless of whether or not this renaming was undone (in 2002?), the sentence about the renaming can (and probably should) be retained (albeit with clarification). While we're on the subject, the word Theater was also dropped from practically all branding (again, I think in 2002). Does that get factored in? —jameslucas (" " / +) 11:23, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
@Oknazevad: An article from the 3 April 1992 New York Times makes it seem like the entire organization was being renamed as TJPPT on 23 April of that same year.[1] I don't see any official move away from it, but 2004 was when the Times stopped using Papp's name.
Interesting. Good research. Wonder when and why the stopped using it. Was it a case of it just not catching on, or maybe there turned out to be a legal reason in their charter that prevented a name change that no one noticed for 12 years (more plausible than you think; non-profits operate under very strict rules to ensure that they aren't being used as tax dodges, and yet some aspects are often overlooked). If we can answer that question, I'd think a mention in the history section would be appropriate, but not the infobox or lead, as it's misrepresent the actual name. oknazevad (talk) 01:28, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
@Oknazevad: If I can't find anything sooner, I'm going to ask around at the Public when I'm next there (no later than 15 April). Original research is obviously inadmissible, but it may give us an idea when to look for citable sources. 2002–2004 is looking like the key window, but the lack of evidence in the Times seems odd to me. Will definitely keep you posted on any leads found. Onward to the truth! —jameslucas (" " / +) 03:41, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Oknazevad: No results yet. The guy at the information desk suggested that dropping Papp's name in the early 2000s might have been related to a grant from the Ford Foundation that gave them naming rights to the lobby, but follow-up research indicates that to have happened seven years after the Times stopped using TJPPT.[2]


  1. ^ Witchel, Alex (3 April 1992). "On Stage, and Off: The Public Is Taking Papp's Name". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Souccar, Miriam Kreinin (28 October 2011). "Public Theater gets $2M from Ford Foundation". Crain's. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 

Missing citations throughout[edit]

Added templates; this article lacks sources for most of its content. Please see WP:V#Sources and WP:CITE and other links provided via the templates added to the top of the article for editing guidance. --NYScholar (talk) 22:05, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi - the photo accompanying this article is actually of the Shiva Theater, which is on the first floor of The Public. The caption incorrectly labels it as the Anspacher stage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

There really ought to be a photo of the theater's magnificent facade. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I added a request for a photo. Maybe I'll be able to get one myself next time I pass by. Ando228 (talk) 17:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Recent News[edit]

I do not follow the theater, however I know that there must be more recent information about it than 2015, I have added a reference to current news, however other showing should be listed by those who know more about the facility (talk) 13:55, 15 June 2017 (UTC)Yggdrasil

What you keep adding is so poorly written and obviously biased as to be worthless. For Pete's sake, you can't even add that the work in question is Shakespeare's Julius Caesar? Don't bother. oknazevad (talk) 21:23, 15 June 2017 (UTC)