Joe Papp in Five Acts at Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center Tuesday, Jan. 7

Every summer, thousands of people line up in New York’s Central Park to grab tickets for a free Shakespeare performance. A similar thing takes place annually during Shakespeare Theatre’s Free for All and in other cities around the world. But it wasn’t always this way. In 1954, Joseph Papp started the Shakespeare Workshop, a mobile theater that brought free Shakespeare performances to all five boroughs of New York. Thirteen years later, Papp opened the Public Theater, which has developed dozens of award-winning plays, from Hair and A Chorus Line to The Normal Heart and Angels in America. Filmmakers Tracie Holder and Karen Thompson unpack Papp’s legacy as an theatrical leader and tireless fighter for the arts in their documentary, Joe Papp in Five Acts. With interviews with Public Theater alumni like Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and James Earl Jones, the film preserves Papp’s legacy as an artist and activist. The film shows at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $12.50. (202) 518-9400. washingtondcjcc.org.

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