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Thursday, 21 April 2011 13:48

Gail Merrifield Papp and Time Warner to Be Honored at The Public Theater's 2011 Summer Gala











April 21, 2011 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) announced today that the 2011 Summer Gala will honor Gail Merrifield Papp and Time Warner Inc. for their dedication and commitment to The Public Theater.  The Gala will be held on Monday, June 20 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and will include dinner under the stars, a performance of All’s Well That Ends Well, and a cast party immediately following the performance. The benefit event is being chaired by Public Theater Board Members Hilary Feshbach, Liev Schreiber, and Sam Waterston.

“Gail Papp is one of the true unsung heroes of The Public Theater.  As leader of our literary department from 1965 to 1991, she was responsible for the development, nurturing and creation of countless shows, perhaps most famously The Normal Heart and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  As a Board Member since 1991, she has been the conscience of the theater, unfailingly pointing us to the core values of the work as we seek to carry her late husband’s legacy forward,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.

“Time Warner has been an extraordinary partner for our Public Writers Initiative, investing amazing amounts of time and focus on creating a new, diverse generation of artists for the American theater,” continued Eustis. “They are outstanding corporate citizens, and we are proud to honor them.” 

The Public’s annual Gala is one of the more unique events in New York City.  Past Gala attendees include President Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg and other top government officials; CEOs and business leaders of Fortune 500 and other major corporations; established leaders of the social community; young trendsetters and a wide range of celebrities, including Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Meg Ryan, Martin Short, Kevin Spacey, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Edie Falco, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Cynthia Nixon, Kathleen Turner, Ethan Hawke, Julianna Margulies, Tom Hanks, and Alec Baldwin.

The 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season features Measure for Measure, directed by David Esbjornson, in repertory with All’s Well That Ends Well, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Shakespeare in the Park runs June 6 - July 30 at the Delacorte Theater. 

GAIL MERRIFIELD PAPP (Honoree) worked in book publishing and at Lincoln Center Theater before joining the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1965. She created the Department of Play and Musical Development at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, where she and her staff helped to develop many new  works, including Cuba and His Teddy Bear which attracted Robert DeNiro back to the stage, the five-time-Tony Award-winning musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the first Cabaret at The Public, and The  Normal Heart, Larry Kramer's political play about AIDS,for which she received the 1988 Arts and Communication  Award from the Human Rights Campaign. She and her staff also established a number of new programs for the theater, including Film at The Public, Language/Noise, the Ten-Minute Musical Project, and Playwriting in the Schools.  Gail Merrifield and Joseph Papp were married in 1976.  In 1994, Ms. Papp was the research collaborator for Helen Epstein's biography, Joe Papp: An American Life, published by Little, Brown & Co. and Da Capo Press. Ms. Papp was also a consultant to Kenneth Turan's Free For All: Joe Papp, The Public and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told, published by Doubleday in 2009.

TIME WARNER INC. (Honoree), a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks, filmed entertainment, and publishing, uses its industry-leading operating scale and brands to create, package, and deliver high-quality content worldwide through multiple distribution outlets. Aligned with its businesses, Time Warner’s philanthropic mission in the arts is to support work that reflects the voices and experiences of audiences all over the world.  Through its New Works/New Voices Fund, the company partners with best-in-class nonprofit organizations that identify, nurture and celebrate storytellers of all backgrounds and career levels. Time Warner's strategic partnerships have resulted in the creation of such groundbreaking programs as the Storytelling Advancement Fund at the Sundance Institute and The Public Writers Initiative at The Public Theater.

All’s Well That Ends Well Gala Pricing for Monday, June 20:

$100,000 Papp Table(s)

·      All the benefits of a Shakespeare Table plus:

·      VIP seating throughout the evening

·      Six additional tickets (10 in total) to Opening Night of Measure for Measure performance and 

·      Opportunity for you and 25 guests to have The Public Theater’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis
join you in your home for a summer 2011 pre-performance conversation before attending the
show (Opening Nights excluded)

·      Recognition from the podium

$50,000 Shakespeare Table(s)

·      All the benefits of a Delacorte Table plus:

·      Premium seating throughout the evening

·      Two additional tickets (six in total) to Opening Night of Measure for Measure performance and   

·      Four Tickets to the show of your choice during the Fall 2011 season (pending availability)

·     Opportunity for you and 10 guests to attend a show during The Public’s Fall 2011 season and 
have a champagne toast with the cast following the performance (to be scheduled on a mutually 
beneficial date for the donor, cast, and theater

$25,000 Delacorte Table(s)

·      All the benefits of a Belvedere Table plus:

·      Preferred seating throughout the evening

·      Four Tickets to Opening Night of Measure for Measure performance and celebration

$15,000 Belvedere Table(s)

·      Table seating for 10 at the pre-performance dinner

·      Seating for 10 to the performance of All’s Well That Ends Well

·      10 tickets to the post-performance celebration with the cast at Belvedere Castle

·      Recognition in the Gala invitation as a Vice Chairman and listing in the Gala’s printed program

$5,000 Shakespeare Ticket(s)

·         Seating for one at the pre-performance dinner

·         One premium ticket to the performance of All’s Well That Ends Well and the post-performance reception

$2,500 Delacorte Ticket(s)

·         Seating for one at the pre-performance dinner

·         One ticket to the performance of All’s Well That Ends Well and the post-performance reception with the cast

$1,500 Belvedere Ticket(s)

·         Seating for one at the pre-performance dinner

·         One ticket to the performance of All’s Well That Ends Well and the post-performance reception with the cast

For more information regarding the 2011 Summer Gala, please call (212) 539-8547, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes, Interim Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Well; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.

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The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for

The Public Theater’s year-round activities.

Bank of America is the proud Season Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park. 

The Public’s 2010-2011 downtown season is made possible with the generous support of both The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and The Ian Madover and Arielle Tepper Madover Family Foundation. 

Time Warner is the Supporting Sponsor of The Public’s 2010-2011 season.

Major support for The Public Theater is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Susan Stein Shiva Foundation, the George T. Delacorte Fund at the New York Community Trust—Fund for Performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and by Warren Spector and Margaret Whitton.

Additional generous support is provided by the Horace W.

Goldsmith Foundation, The Shen Family Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

New York Magazine is the official print and online sponsor of The Public Theater’s 2010-2011 downtown season.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency.

Special thanks to Continental Airlines, the official airline of The Public Theater.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:43