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Monday, 05 August 2013 17:35

Public Theater and the Shakespeare Society Now Accepting Applications for 2013-14 Shakespeare Works Artist Residencies

The Public Theater


Panel Discussions Hosted By The Public Theater

August 5, 2013 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) and the Shakespeare Society (Artistic Director, Michael Sexton; Executive Director, Betsy Davidson Pickering) are now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Shakespeare Works Artist Residencies, part of the Shakespeare Society’s Shakespeare Works program. The residencies will culminate in panel discussions about Shakespeare’s plays, hosted by The Public Theater. The first two panel discussions will take place on Monday, September 30 and Monday, December 2 at 425 Lafayette Street.

“The Shakespeare Society has been a wonderful part of New York’s cultural landscape for many years now, and The Public is delighted to be partnering with them in this venture,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “We share a belief that Shakespeare has much to offer American artists and audiences, and our deep friendship with Michael Sexton promises that this will be a fruitful collaboration.”

The cornerstone of the Shakespeare Society’s Shakespeare Works program is a series of weeklong artist residencies that provide actors and directors with the opportunity to work on a play by Shakespeare without the constraints and pressures of a full-scale production. The Shakespeare Society provides participating actors and directors with modest stipends, study materials, rehearsal space and access to academic experts, voice and text coaches and artistic advisors. Although some workshops serve as prologue to full productions, the program is designed to give participants the time and space to learn, experiment, and explore the plays with a freedom that producing theater companies can rarely provide. Applications for the Shakespeare Works Artist Residencies can be found at

"Shakespeare Works residencies encourage the artists to dig into the plays, searching for layers, for language and for what matters personally to them,” said Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton. “They offer directors in particular a unique opportunity to do some of that deep digging before deciding on period, sets, costumes, casting and cutting. Partnering with The Public Theater - where Shakespeare is deep in the DNA - means the world to us and will help us serve a wide and diverse group of artists.”

An artist-driven program, the Shakespeare Works Artist Residencies provide actors and directors with an opportunity to learn from each other while deepening their knowledge of Shakespeare, and fostering collaboration between artists and academics. They also provide critical support to partnering theaters by offering additional time for actors and directors to develop ideas and expand their knowledge of the plays prior to the design, rehearsal and production process. At the end of each residency, the participants gather for a panel discussion of the play and the week’s work in front of a live audience.

Past participants include directors Martha Clarke, Rebecca Taichman, Davis McCallum, Erica Schmidt, Tom Ridgely, Jesse Berger and Sam Gold; actors Michael Cumpsty, Elizabeth Marvel, John Douglas Thomson, Seth Numrich, Bill Camp and Michael Stuhlbarg; academic advisers James Shapiro, Karen Newman, Richard McCoy and James Bednarz; voice and text advisers Deborah Hecht, Elizabeth Smith and Kristin Linklater; and artistic advisers Doug Hughes, Michael Greif, Michael Kahn, Richard Easton, Barry Edelstein and Ron Daniels.

THE SHAKESPEARE SOCIETY’s aim is to bring Shakespeare to all New Yorkers through a variety of cultural, educational and artist development programs, including: Major Evening Events, in which performers join scholars, directors and authors onstage for a lively blend of performance and commentary; Shakespeare Talks, interactive onstage conversations with artists, academics and educators; Shakespeare Works, NYC’s only program designed exclusively to support the work of actors, directors and theater companies in their efforts to bring Shakespeare's plays to life; Shakespeare In Schools, serving New York City’s students and teachers with active, performance-based approaches to the study of Shakespeare’s plays; and The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble, a year-long collaboration with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children for 50 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from the South Bronx, who study, learn and perform a fully produced Shakespeare play every school year.


Completed in October 2012, the revitalization of The Public Theater’s downtown home at Astor Place physically manifests the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects and constructed by Westerman Construction, the project encompasses enhancements to the building’s interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, The Library at The Public, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.


Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day.  Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.  The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions.  The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.

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