Public Theater

Public Theater

425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, 10003
Anspacher Theater (275), LuEsther Hall (160), Martinson Theater (199), Newman Theater (299) and Shiva Theater (99) people


Joseph Papp founded The Public Theater in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop. The organization moved into its current home on Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan in 1967.

The Public Theater building was under risk of demolition until the Public persuaded the city council to sell them the building for use as a theatre. As a result, the building was granted New York City landmark status in 1965, and architect Giorgio Cavaglieri converted it into a theatre in 1967.

The company’s inaugural production in its new home was the world premiere of Hair, which also marked its first non-Shakespeare offering. The building is comprised of five performance spaces: the Anspacher Theater (which has a 275-seat capacity), LuEsther Hall (160 seats), Martinson Theater (199 seats), Newman Theater (299 seats), and Shiva Theater (99 seats).

The Public complex also include office spaces; the restaurant and bar The Library; and Joe’s Pub, a cabaret-style venue used for smaller musical revues and soloists. The company also operates the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, which has been home to free Shakespeare in the Park productions during the summer since 1954.

How to get to The Public Theater off Broadway

The Public Theater is closest to the Astor Place subway stop on the 6 line and the 8 St - NYU stop on the R and W lines. The closest bus stop is Lafayette St./Astor Pl. on the M1 line.

Restaurants near The Public Theater

Popular restaurants near The Public Theater include Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Vic's (Italian), and Atla (Mexican). The Public also has an in-house bar and restaurant, The Library (American).

Map and travel info

Public Theater 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, 10003
Get directions
Nearest Subway StationAstor Place Station

Past productions at Public Theater

The Ally

Nov 16, 2023 - Dec 17, 2023