Special Episode: Gail Merrifield Papp on ‘Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at the Public Theater’


On today’s episode, Matt Tamanini is in conversation with Gail Merrifield Papp the longtime Developer of New Plays and Musicals at The Public Theater and the widow of the Public’s founder Joe Papp. In the book, Gail discusses the early days of free Shakespeare in Central Park to new plays, such as “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” “Hair,” and “A Chorus Line.”

Gail paints a comprehensive picture of the ways that The Public was driven by Joe’s ambition to create a democratic theater whose artists and audiences would reflect the city’s population. Also highlighted are unfamiliar aspects of his many battles with the establishment, the scourge of AIDS, and much more.

“Today on Broadway” will return tomorrow as we will recap all of the news that we missed over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Purchase ‘Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at the Public Theater’: 

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