A Principled Opportunist

Free for All
Joe Papp, The Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told
Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp
Doubleday, $39.95, 575 pp.

Joe Papp. Those staccato monosyllables still evoke within me a mixture of dread and delight, nearly twenty-five years on. I first met Papp in 1986, when I happened to walk into his office at the Public Theater at just the right moment and he hired me to work on a new project. Over the next two and a half years, I found him both terrifying and fascinating, almost a compendium of the Shakespearean characters whose lines he could quote at will: mercurial as Puck, imperious as Julius Caesar,...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


About the Author

Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill, a frequent contributor, is the co-author (with Joseph Papp) of Shakespeare Alive! and a 2010 graduate of Yale Divinity School.