New York Shakespeare Festival Panel

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A Midsummer Night's Dream window card for New York Shakespeare Festival, 1964

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

From card catalog: Dr. Esther Jackson, Nan Martin, Joseph Papp talk about the NY Shakespeare Festival and the role of the theatre in US future. Mr. Papp, festival's founder, also talks about what theatre does for society. Questions and answers.

Program is informally titled, "Changing Times, But is There a Change in Theater?"

Announcements. Program led by John Booth. Martin explains why she loves the NY Shakespeare Fest so much. Jackson discusses the broad changes taking place in society, specifically student protests. Gives examples of ways in which playwrights address these anxieties, but admits that theater has remained mostly aloof, exploring peripheral aspects of life. It's the function of theater to show us the human condition at the time. Enriching education. Joe Papp discusses education, teaching children to describe feelings. Normal development of the senses. Appreciation of the arts. Stories about the interest educators and students have in the theater in 1904. Changing audience, changing theater. The audience will influence the style of plays that are written. Bringing people to the theater who don't usually go, bringing the theater to people. Specific outreach plans.

Questions: Will the quality of the audience improve this year? Change in programming, direct interaction with the community. How are the plays changes? Shortened through internal cuts, rather than entire scenes. No message play ever attracts an audience that is not already convinced? (Jackson) Propaganda, yes, but all plays have content. Representation of life should be accurate and philosophically sound. Funding (Papp).

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 5775
Municipal archives id: T665