Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
On With the Show: Fifty Years of the Public Theater
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

This lesson uses video clips from the program NY VOICES: "The Public" at 50, which examines Joseph Papp's passion and commitment to bring theater to diverse communities of New York. For 50 years, the Public Theater has been a showcase for new American playwrights and a nurturing place for generations of actors, writers and directors. You have been assigned to choose the three main productions for the 51st season of the Public Theater. The Board of Directors at the Public Theater has selected Wendy Wasserstein, David Henry Hwang and Sam Shepard as the three playwrights. It is your job to select one of each of their plays and then put together the press packet or Playbill explaining and promoting your choices.

Grade Level:
High School (Grades 9 to 12)

Time Allotment:
3 to 6 one-hour class periods

Subject Matter:
Drama, Public Relations, History, Design, Literature

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
  • Design and create a playbill highlighting the three productions for the next theater season
  • Understand the social, political and/or historical significance of a play
  • Write a biography about the playwright

This lesson was prepared by: Anna Chan Rekate