Sometimes, there actually is truth in advertising.
The Public Theater is not merely the institution’s name; it also doubles as a mission statement, in terms of whom the theater is for.
To quote New York’s Parker family: “With great power comes great responsibility.” And as one of the few arts complexes with more than two stages under the same roof — and given its nonprofit tax-breaks from the city — The Public’s great producing power comes with a great responsibility to use its great resources for good…for every member of the public at large.
Which is why I endorse a recent trend in how The Shiva Theater is programmed; its ground-floor location makes it the most accessible auditorium in the building, an ideal home for the likes of Teenage Dick and now Dark Disabled Stories.
There’s a symbiotic relationship between the content of these plays and The Shiva’s form, a big tent that aims to cover all of the public at The Public.