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June 12, 2011 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Regional theater wasn't a big turn-on for me when I was a theater student in the late 1980s, early 1990s. Off-Broadway was cool; off-off-Broadway was cooler. Those subscription-based behemoths scattered around the country like giant shopping malls sounded dorky to me. My view of the world beyond the five boroughs of New York City was admittedly cramped back then. I didn't realize that the theater that gave me my start, the Public Theater, was part of the very same nonprofit network my callow ignorance was prepared to completely write off. As the Public's literary intern, reading scripts all day in the complex of offices shared by head honcho Joseph Papp and his wife, literary director Gail Merrifield Papp, I had a lot to learn.
January 15, 1991 | JAN HERMAN
The Laguna Playhouse is facing a major test this week over the right to stage "Big River" after being accused of "unethical" behavior by the agency that controls the rights to the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library in New York maintains that the amateur playhouse, which has roughly 8,300 subscribers and a $1.1-million budget, has scheduled a "Big River" revival from May 14 to June 9 without having acquired or even applied for permission to do so.
October 23, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Beyond the fact that it is sensational, the Fountain Theatre's production of "In the Red and Brown Water" by Tarell Alvin McCraney is important for two reasons: It introduces Los Angeles audiences to a dramatic poet in the process of discovering his singular voice and it shows how magnificently one of L.A.'s better small theaters can serve bold new talent. The play, which is part of McCraney's "Brother/Sister" trilogy, brought the 32-year-old African American playwright a good deal of attention when the cycle was produced off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 2009.
January 17, 2004 | Don Shirley
"Embedded," Tim Robbins' satirical comedy inspired by events in Iraq, will move from the Actors' Gang in Hollywood to the New York Public Theater, with previews beginning Feb. 24. An opening date has not yet been set. Meanwhile, "Caroline, or Change," the Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori music drama, will move from the Public Theater to Broadway in the spring, opening May 2 -- in time for consideration for Tony Awards. -- Don Shirley
August 4, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A director fell through a trapdoor during a rehearsal for the Public Theater's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in New York City's Central Park, breaking four ribs and suffering a collapsed lung. The director, Daniel Sullivan, was expected back at rehearsal in a few days. The production's first preview at the Delacorte Theater was canceled, said the Public Theater's artistic director, Oskar Eustis.
March 13, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Montecito couple's $2 million donation pushed fundraising past the halfway mark for the Center for Film, Television and New Media at UC Santa Barbara. The gift from Joseph and Helene Pollock, longtime leaders in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival organization, assures construction of the facility's centerpiece public theater. It will be named in honor of the Pollocks. About $5.75 million has been raised toward the $10-million privately funded center.
March 28, 2006 | From Associated Press
"Macbeth" -- the Shakespeare tragedy no one mentions by name in a theater because of bad luck -- will be performed this summer in New York's Central Park, starring Liev Schreiber as the title character and Jennifer Ehle as Lady Macbeth. The free Public Theater production, to be directed by Moises Kaufman, will begin June 13 at the Delacorte Theater and run through July 9. For tickets, visit
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