JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS
Dir. Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen (84min, USA, 2012).
“(C)aptures a genius in all of his prickly brilliance.” -Bloomberg
The story of New York’s indomitable, street-wise champion of the arts Joe Papp – born Yosel Papirovski – who introduced interracial casting to the American stage and brought us free Shakespeare in the Park, Hair, and A Chorus Line. Convinced that women and minorities, denied power elsewhere in society, could develop it on the stage, Papp became a tireless fighter for the arts who raised enduring debate about our founding ideals and the role of the arts in a pluralistic society.
Using his life and work as its prism, the film explores the issues he chose to champion: freedom of expression, democracy in the arts, and the definition of American culture. From 1954 until his death in 1991, Joe Papp brought more theater to more people than any other producer in history.
Directors Tracie Holder in conversation following the screening.