THIS IS OUR PROPOSAL TO HUMANITY
TH OF EA TH , B T E Y EP & R EO FO PL R E The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theaterâ€™s year-round activities. Public Works is made possible with the generous support of the Ford Foundation and the Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC.
| MISSION The Public has always been devoted to making theater that matters, that helps bind our community together by connecting us to the great issues and dilemmas of our time.
The inaugural year
of Public Works culminated with a three night production of THE TEMPEST at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs came together to create an unforgettable civic experience that set the standard for Public Works productions to come.
Public Works, a major new initiative of the Public Theater, seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.
Working with partner organizations in all 5 boroughs, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops, take classes, attend performances, and, most importantly, to join in the creation of
ambitious works of participatory theater.
| COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Strong Community Partnerships form the Bedrock of Public Works 1. DREAMYARD provides transformative arts education for Bronx youth through school-based and out-of-school programs and supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action. 2. DOMESTIC WORKERS UNITED is a city-wide organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, organizing for power, respect, and fair labor standards in the domestic industry. 3. THE CHILDRENâ€™S AID SOCIETY helps children to succeed and thrive by providing comprehensive support and critical services to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods.
4. FORTUNE SOCIETY is a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization, founded in 1967, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration thus strengthening the fabric of their communities. 5. BROWNSVILLE RECREATION CENTER is a branch of the New York City Parks Department. With extensive resources for youth and seniors, the center offers a vibrant space to tap into pursuits artistic and athletic alike.
Queens Manhattan 2
THEATER BELONGS TO
THEATER has the
POWER to CHANGE LIVES
Our approach is founded on a 360° transformational experience of theater: of, by, and for the people. SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, THE PUBLIC & JOE’S PUB
SEEIN GT <-----
CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Lear deBessonet addresses the ensemble at a Public Works monthly potluck dinner.
G THEATE R SIN -US
TER -----> DIS A C HE
PRODUCTIONS/ THE TEMPEST
Elijah (9) & Elizah (6) Olivo from DreamYard at the Tempest first rehearsal and potluck.
OF COMMUNITY BUILDING Patrick Mathieu from Fortune Society rehearsing for his role of Gonzalo in the Tempest
Public Works is animated by the idea that
theater is a place of possibility, where the boundaries that separate us from each other in the rest of life can fall away.
Lear deBessonet, Director of Public Works
DREAMYARD youth participate in intensive workshops on performing Shakespeare, led by artists from The Public’s Shakespeare Lab. Parents of DreamYard students also meet for a weekly Shakespeare acting class.
Acting Classes Dance Training
IT ED <-DREA MYARD <--
DANCE & THEATER CLASS
We collaborate with each partner to create ongoing activities throughout the year
C SO AID
ACTING DANCE SINGING MUSICALTHEATER PLAYWRITING & POETRY
--> BROWNSV Y T ILL CIE ES O S E
RS IO EN
-->FO RT UN
ACTING PLAYWRITING CLOWN TRAINING PRODUCTION
IE N TY U <-RS E DOM K ESTIC WOR
Play Readings READINGS AND DISCUSSIONS COMMUNITY MEAL ATTENDING THEATER
DOMESTIC WORKERS UNITED members gather the first Saturday of each month for play-reading and luncheon group. A different classic play is discussed while sharing a home-cooked meal. Members also attend performances at The Public on a monthly basis. THE CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY CHORUS Members take part in monthly Master Classes with Public Theater Artists in acting, dance, musical theater, and singing. Youth also engage in a weekly playwriting and poetry class.
Shakespeare Workshops ACTING PARENT SHAKESPEARE CLASS
FORTUNE SOCIETY members participate in weekly acting classes that culminate in performances for Fortune Society peers, colleagues, teachers, and friends, as well as special workshops in clowning, production, and playwriting. BROWNSVILLE RECREATION CENTER Senior Citizens from the Brownsville Recreation Center (NYC Parks Department) participate in a weekly dance and theater class led by an artist from The Public.
The Bronx is The Public, Queens is The Public, Brooklyn is The Public— the idea of The Public is that it’s the people’s theater. Jason Duchin, The DreamYard Project
Public Works has helped us come one step closer to achieving our mission to use the arts to inspire youth, public schools & communities. Robyne Walker Murphy, The DreamYard Project
(left) Norm Lewis (Prospero), Atiya Taylor (Miranda), and young members of the community ensemble rehearse a musical number for The Tempest.
(right) One of the dozens of times the room broke into spontaneous applause during the first rehearsal for The Tempest.
The Community Ensemble making creative compositions inspired by the story of The Tempest.
| COMMUNITY BUILDING
Affinity Groups offer space for intergenerational
building leadership & development.
CURRENT GROUPS INCLUDE: HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE AMBASSADOR COMMITTEE COMMUNITY LED CLASSES
Public Works aims to
restore and build community
by connecting people through theater– both performing it and experiencing it–and reminding us that we’re all in this together.
The full Community Ensemble on the steps of The Public Theater.
At the prospect of dancing in the Tempest, at first I said to myself, ‘there’s no way you can do this! You have been to the rehearsals, but there’s no way you can do it.’ But then I just keep coming and keep coming and keep coming...
(left & right) The Community Ensemble rehearses the finale of The Tempest, where all 206 performers appeared on stage together.
Alfreda Small, Brownsville Recreation Center
Seniors from the Brownsville Recreation Center rehearse their featured dance for The Tempest.
| THE TEMPEST
| THE TEMPEST
Todd Almond and the Community Ensemble
Cameo Group Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Norm Lewis as Prospero
This was a
LOVE LETTER to Shakespeare, certainly, but really
to the city of
| THE TEMPEST
Ms. Vivian Jett with the BRC Seniors
Weâ€™re inviting the whole city in to celebrate themselves. The Community Ensemble
Laura Benanti with Xavier Pacheco and Atiya Taylor
When weâ€™re doing our job right it creates stronger bonds between the human beings who make up this city.
This is what The Public Theater has always stood for, and Public Works is a beautiful and dramatic extension of that idea. Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater
Oskar Eustis at the first Public Works meet and greet.
This is our proposal to humanity.