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Papp, Joseph


PAPP, JOSEPH (Joseph Papirofsky ; 1921–1991), U.S. theatrical producer. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Papp served in the U.S. Navy during World War ii (1942–46). He founded the non-profit Shakespeare Workshop in 1954 and had the name changed to the Shakespeare Festival in 1960 which he directed until 1991.

Papp's off-Broadway productions include Hair (1967), The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971), Short Eyes (1974), A Chorus Line (1975), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf (1976), and Streamers (1976). Papp's on-Broadway productions include, Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971), Sticks and Bones (1972), That Championship Season (1972), Much Ado About Nothing (1972), and The Pirates of Penzance (1980). Papp also produced The Haggadah (1981) for pbs Television.

He taught (as an adjunct professor) at both Yale University and Columbia University and received numerous awards and commendations including Tony Awards in 1957, 1958, 1972, 1973, 1976 and 1981. Papp also received multiple Drama Desk and Drama Critics Circle Awards. In 1979 he received Canada's Commonwealth Award of Distinguished Service and in 1981 the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts. He believed in the theater as a social force as well as entertainment.

[Jonathan Licht]

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