Arguably the premier not-for-profit theater in the city.. The Background Founded in 1954 by that late colossus of American theater, Joseph Papp, the organization behind the New York Shakespeare Festival resembles the great European national theater companies in its scope and ambition. Now, in the 21st century, it remains as crucial a component of the off-Broadway (and sometimes on-Broadway) scene as ever. The building, which was constructed over the course of 30 years in 1849 as NYC's first public library, is a celebrated city monument.
Facts The Public has five different performance spaces of various sizes and sensibilities--the most recent addition being Joe's Pub, which has the added amenities of food, drink and cabaret.