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The Public’s Domain

The Public Theater turns 50.

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Five years before she became Rachel in the brightly colored fake Manhattan of Friends, Jennifer Aniston snared a role in a play called For Dear Life at the Public Theater—which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. There have been more august (if ultimately less-well-paid) alumni of the Public—Tony Kushner, Eric Bogosian, Suzan Lori-Parks, the late Raul Julia, Savion Glover, and, of course, George Wolfe come to mind—and many of them will be on hand for the big celebration on January 30. The Public’s original mission was to bring high culture (Shakespeare) to the masses (its first playhouse was the amphitheater in the East River Park). Then came The Cherry Orchard with an African-American cast, a Richard Foreman production of The Three Penny Opera, A Chorus Line, Angels in America, and Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk.


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