Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson and Board Chairman Warren Spector officially launched the GOING PUBLIC Capital Campaign on Tuesday, March 9 at a ceremonial groundbreaking event attended by more than 150 people including, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, and Board Members Gail Papp, Liev Schreiber and Sam Waterston.
The packed lobby at 425 Lafayette Street was filled with artists who attended the hour-long event to commemorate the next phase of the The Public's long and celebrated history. Attendees included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Gloria Reuben, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, David Henry Hwang, Richard Nelson, Richard Foreman, John Weidman, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jay O. Sanders, Chay Yew, Daniel Sullivan and Michael Greif. BroadwayWorld was on hand to capture the event.
Designed by Polshek Partnership Architects, this highly anticipated renovation will completely remodel the public spaces of The Public Theater and mark the first-ever Capital Campaign in the organization's 55-year history. The Capital Campaign, comprised of public and private funds, has already raised $28 million dollars toward a $35 million renovation. Leadership gifts have been made by the City of New York, Warren Spector and Margaret Whitton, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Arielle Tepper Madover and The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Shiva family.
The construction will revitalize the historic Astor Place building and strengthen the organization for years to come. The plans include an expanded and refurbished lobby (an additional 468 square feet); an exterior entrance staircase with two ADA-accessible ramps and a glass covered canopy; a complete restoration of the theater's historic brownstone façade; a complete upgrade of the theater's heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; an increase in restroom facilities by 350%; an expanded and centrally located box office; a new mezzanine level including a community room/lounge with a capacity for 150 people; improved and expanded concessions service; the incorporation of energy-efficient technology; and improved street visibility including six new poster boxes and exterior lighting.
The Public Theater will continue to offer full programming in the Newman and Martinson theaters and reduced programming in the Anspacher theater during construction. The box office will be relocated to the Shiva Theater on the ground level and will be easily accessible and will operate on a normal schedule. Joe's Pub will continue to provide cutting edge programming during construction but will close temporarily to accommodate the construction of a new entrance later in the process. While the Pub will no longer be serving hot food as the kitchen is being expanded and doubled in size, a full menu of delicious dining options will still be available.
For more information on The Public, visit www.publictheater.org.
Photo Credit: Brian Estrada
The Public Going Public!
Andrew D. Hamingson, Sam Waterston, Oskar Eustis and Liev Schreiber
Reuben Santiago and Michael Greif
Sam Waterston and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Michael Cerveris and Laura Benanti
Audra McDonald and Will Swenson
Sam Waterston, Liev Schreiber and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Michael Cervis, Jay O. Sanders and Maryann Plunkett
David Henry Hwang, Suzan-Lori Parks, Chay Yew and Nilo Cruz
Andrew D. Hamingson, Oskar Eustis, Sam Waterston and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Audra McDonald, Will Swenson and Christine Quinn
Sam Waterston, Gail Papp and Suzan-Lori Parks
Andrew D. Hamingson Breaking the Wall
Kate Levin, Andrew D. Hamingson, Oskar Eustis, Gail Papp, Sam Waterston and Warren Spector