Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson returns to the Public to reveal a forgotten chapter of the Public Theater’s own history. More…
It is 1958, and New York City is in the midst of a major building boom; a four-lane highway is planned for the heart of Washington Square; Carnegie Hall is designated for demolition; entire neighborhoods on the West Side are leveled to make room for a new 'palace of art.' And a young Joe Papp and his colleagues face betrayals, self-inflicted wounds, and anger from the city’s powerful elite as they continue their free Shakespeare productions in Central Park. 'Illyria' is a family drama about a different kind of family–one held together by the simple and incredibly complicated belief that the theater, and the city, belong to all of us.
See it if you've liked Nelson's Apple & Gabriel Family plays, are interested in the history of the Public Theatre & familiar with its early artists
Don't see it if you don't like quietly conversational works, don't care about or not familiar with the Public Theatre's early struggles or Robert Moses
See it if become fly on wall (1958) when young Papp beset by financial woes/resistance 2 free Shakespeare; but Papp's relentlessness shines thru
Don't see it if play consists of conversations delivered so softly/off-handedly that it's hard to hear the words & dramatic moments are drained of drama
See it if you like a good ensemble in an intimate setting; you are interested in the early days of Joe Papp and the people in his circle.
Don't see it if The play is slow moving and dull. I was hoping a play about early Papp would be more interesting and meaty. Dialogue is often inaudible.
See it if You are interested in Joe Papp, the beginnings of the Public Theater, and Shakespeare in the Park. About the people that made it happen.
Don't see it if You expect action. Have any difficult hearing conversationally spoken dialogue by actors at a table. Joe Papp who??
See it if arts advocacy/preservationist leanings, Pappism, leisurely storytelling, leaning forward to hear, are your thing
Don't see it if almost inaudible, almost Chekovian, dinner/casting table centered drama, are not your thing
See it if you like dialogue driven plays based on true stories with naturalistic acting, to a fault.
Don't see it if you have a problem sitting for 2 hours and straining to hear "conversational" dialogue, or have no interest in the Public's backstory.
See it if like a conversational piece about a theoretical beginning to Shakespeare in the Park, real characters hypothetical conversations
Don't see it if if you are looking for drama.
See it if you are interested in the history of theater, particularly in the Shakespeare in the Park back story and Joseph Pabb.
Don't see it if you are hard of hearing (sound is challenging) or if you bore easily (it is a bit slow).
See it if Mr. Nelson's conversational plays; historical (1958) story based on Public's early founders when it started with NY Shakespeare Festival
Don't see it if want something as moving as Mr. Nelson's other conversational plays - thought the 2nd scene was his most traditional & moving; slow at end
See it if Wonderful production for anyone interested in theater history. Well written and produced.Nelson wrote and directed a winner!
Don't see it if Do not see if you only enjoy musicals or light dramas.
See it if You want to be in the rooms where it happened . ..with Joe Papp through the growing pains of the Public Theater
Don't see it if You don't feel like listening , they call it conversational
See it if you're interested in history/role of theater in NYC, or NYC and U.S. politics of the 1950s. Evokes NORMAL HEART (albeit far less intense).
Don't see it if you're not up for dialogue-driven play about founding of the Public Theatre, its battles vs. Robert Moses & HUAC, & Papp as force of nature.
See it if You have deep interest in Joe Papp & co, Shakespeare in the Park, or Richard Nelson's playwriting style.
Don't see it if You're expecting a lifelong biographical play. This takes place in a single summer. Or if you don't like quiet, talky, self-contained plays.
See it if You have at least a passing interest in the history of The Public Theater and Joe Papp. You enjoy the day to day struggles of real life.
Don't see it if You need sturm und drang in your theater. You are embarrassed to ask for the assisted hearing devices some may require.
See it if If you are a fan of Shakespeare In the Park or Public Theater, you will find this story of Joe Papp trying to get started riveting.
Don't see it if If you don't care about free Shakespeare or the Public Theater.
See it if You are fascinated by the history of the non-profit theater in NY, particularly the Public Theater.
Don't see it if You find largely conversational plays talky and prefer emphasis on plot over dialogue.
See it if you want to know something about the history of Joe Papp and his milieu
Don't see it if you expect to learn how Joe Papp became successful in his endeavors to bring good theater to the public
See it if Masterful play construction and talented ensemble provide a (true?) historical view of a crucial point in The Public Theatre's existence
Don't see it if Must be curious and caring for The Public AND New York City in the early 1960s otherwise your own score might be 20 points less
See it if you care about theatre in New York City and are looking for great acting and staging
Don't see it if you have no interest in the history of the Public Theater
See it if you want to see a naturalistic style play about a young Joe Papp and his friends in the early days of the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Don't see it if you need a lot of fast action or don't like talky plays
See it if you are interested in the history of the Public Theater and if you've enjoyed Nelson's conversational plays.
Don't see it if you have little interest in theater history or if you're looking for highly dramatic scenes and conflicts.
See it if Theater junkies will appreciate the tale of this great institution's birth. The usual smart and polished direction by Nelson.
Don't see it if Pace is too slow. Cast clearly directed by Nelson to be "real", as in real slow cue pick ups. Cast conveyed a bad acid trip a decade early.