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The Public Theater
Photograph: Aislinn WeideleThe Public Theater

The Public Theater reopens in the East Village

The newly renovated Public Theater shows off its new features, including a cocktail bar and lounge, during a block party in the East Village.


Following four years of construction, the Public Theater unveiled its revamped lobby and other new elements (including a cocktail bar called the Library) earlier this month. The Public will fete its new home on Saturday 13 by closing down Lafayette Street for a block party, featuring previews of upcoming works (including David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s collaborative effort, Here Lies Love), live music, and snacks from food trucks such as Korilla BBQ and Rickshaw Dumpling. We asked three folks who’ve worked at the Public to tell us why they love the space.

“ The Public Theater has been my artistic home since 1994. It has always extended a welcome to a wonderfully diverse collection of artists and now has a physical manifestation of that welcome. The lobby has always been beautiful; walking into it now is simply breathtaking.”
—Suzan-Lori Parks, playwright
“ The Public Theater is, and always has been, for the people. The revitalization of our downtown home at Astor Place makes the building more welcoming, vibrant and accessible for all New Yorkers. This is the moment for us to rededicate ourselves to the vision of the Public’s founder, Joe Papp: that art belongs to everybody, that theater should speak to the crucial issues of our times and that a great theater is the surest expression of a great democracy.”
—Oskar Eustis, artistic director
“ The Public Theater is a consistently groundbreaking institution that provides an open door for its artists. From beginning my New York career supporting Liev Schreiber in Henry V, to costarring in Stew and Heidi [Rodewald]’s innovative Passing Strange, to my return as a playwright this season with my sophomore premiere in New York, the Public proves itself to be an incubator and home for emerging, daring artists.”
—Colman Domingo, actor and playwright, Wild with Happy

Go there now! The Public Theater block party, Lafayette St between Astor Pl and E 4th St (212-539-8500, Sat 13 noon–5pm; free.

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