17 Facts About Joseph Papp

1.

Joseph Papp established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in Lower Manhattan.

FactSnippet No. 917,758
2.

Joseph Papp founded Shakespeare in the Park, helped to develop other off-Broadway theatres and worked to preserve the historic Broadway Theatre District.

FactSnippet No. 917,759
3.

Joseph Papp was the uncle of choreographer turned music video director Diane Martel.

FactSnippet No. 917,760
4.

Joseph Papp founded the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1954 with the aim of making Shakespeare's works accessible to the public.

FactSnippet No. 917,761
5.

Joseph Papp spent much of his career promoting his idea of free Shakespeare in New York City.

FactSnippet No. 917,762
6.

Joseph Papp rented it, in 1967, reportedly for one dollar per year, from the City.

FactSnippet No. 917,763
7.

At the Public Theater, Joseph Papp's focus moved away from the Shakespeare classics and toward new work.

FactSnippet No. 917,764
8.

Joseph Papp had not kept the rights to produce Hair, and he did not gain from its Broadway transfer.

FactSnippet No. 917,765
9.

Joseph Papp was a Gilbert and Sullivan lover, and in 1980, to commemorate the centenary of The Pirates of Penzance, he mounted a new staging of the opera at the Delacorte.

FactSnippet No. 917,766
10.

Joseph Papp was a pioneer in a commitment to non-traditional casting, using a variety of ethnicities and colors of actors in his new plays and Shakespeare productions.

FactSnippet No. 917,767
11.

The father of a gay son, Tony, Joseph Papp aligned himself with gay and lesbian concerns in at least two specific instances.

FactSnippet No. 917,768
12.

Joseph Papp fostered other theatre throughout New York City, in particular the development of numerous Off Broadway theatres, often contributing funds from successful Broadway transfers, such as A Chorus Line.

FactSnippet No. 917,769
13.

In 1983, Joseph Papp dedicated the newly renovated theatre of The Shakespeare Center with Helen Hayes.

FactSnippet No. 917,770
14.

Joseph Papp's initiative was sparked by the impending demolition in 1982 of the historic Morosco and Helen Hayes theatres, as well as the old Piccadilly Hotel, on West 45th Street.

FactSnippet No. 917,771
15.

Joseph Papp is buried in the Baron Hirsch Cemetery on Staten Island.

FactSnippet No. 917,772
16.

Joseph Papp was survived by his fourth wife, Gail Merrifield Joseph Papp, a partner in the Public Theatre.

FactSnippet No. 917,773
17.

William Finn's 2003 album Elegies: A Song Cycle includes the song "Joe Joseph Papp, " dedicated to Joseph Papp's contributions to New York theatre and personal friendship with Finn.

FactSnippet No. 917,774