West Boca Community Theatre To Celebrate The Legacy of Joe Papp This June

Theater icon Joseph Papp, aka Yosl Papirofsky, was the creator of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater.

By: May. 29, 2024
West Boca Community Theatre To Celebrate The Legacy of Joe Papp This June
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He revolutionized theater as we know it and now Joseph Papp, born ‘Yosl Papirofsky', will be the subject of a memorial/tribute concert on June 22nd at 7 pm, on what would have been his 103rd birthday. Celebrating Yosl – The Legacy of Joe Papp – A Musical Celebration will be presented by YI Love Jewish (a division of Yiddishkayt Initiative) at the West Boca Community Theatre in Boca Raton.

Celebrating Yosl will be hosted by YI Founder and CEO, world renowned actor and Jewish cultural activist Avi Hoffman, who was mentored by Papp in the 1980's. The concert event will feature live, virtual, and pre-recorded celebrity testimonials.

“Joe Papp did more to revolutionize the world of theater than any impresario in the world,” says Hoffman, himself an internationally recognized entertainer and founder of YI, a global provider of Jewish cultural programming. Hoffman and his mother, retired author, journalist and Columbia University Professor Miriam Hoffman, became friends and colleagues of Papp in NYC in the 1980s, when they launched the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre. 

After Papp's death, they continued a close association with Joe's widow, Gail Merrifield-Papp, and his daughter Susan Papp-Lippman, who serves on the YI Board of Directors. 

Papp's vision led him in 1957 to establish Free Shakespeare in Central Park. Ten years later, he created The Public Theater in the building that was formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a haven for newly arrived refugees. The building was saved from demolition through Mr. Papp's efforts after a long negotiation with the City of New York. It became the permanent home of the New York Shakespeare Festival/Joseph Papp Public Theatre (The Public) and is currently designated as a New York City Historical Landmark. 

At the Public, an innovative model was used for creating a new dynamic way of producing plays in a workshop-style manner that had never been tried before. The concept involved bringing writers, directors, designers, and actors together in one place to brainstorm and create the foundations for new and groundbreaking productions. Some of the iconic Broadway shows to evolve from these workshops include the original productions of Hair, A Chorus Line, and Runaways.

One of the signature events of Celebrating Yosl will feature Hoffman's re-creation of Joe Papp at the Ballroom – a recounting, in Papp's own words (based on transcripts, quotes, and material from the Papp Archives), of his Brooklyn Yiddish upbringing, his political struggles, and his reconceiving of the creative process. Hoffman will also share his own personal recollections of his relationship with Papp. 


Celebrating Yosl:  The Legacy of Joe Papp – A Musical Celebration will take place at 7 pm on June 22nd, 2024, at the West Boca Community Theatre, 12811 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33498. Tickets are $36 for the live event and $72 for VIP/Special Seating and Backstage Access. To purchase tickets: https://tinyurl.com/3ze4jw89.

Celebrating Yosl:  The Legacy of Joe Papp – A Musical Celebration

June 22nd at 7 pm
Tickets: $36/$72 (VIP Special Seating/Backstage Access)
To purchase tickets: https://tinyurl.com/3ze4jw89
West Boca Community Theatre
12811 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL  33498

About YI Love Jewish:

YI Love Jewish is a division of Yiddishkayt Initiative (YI), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization that builds Jewish engagement and forges multi-cultural connections through an immersive and varied range of programming for audiences around the globe. From performing arts, publishing and education to language, philosophy and literature, YI offers a global clearinghouse of Jewish culture and entertainment staffed by experts in subject matter and production. The organization works with a wide range of organizations, including the University of Miami's Sue and Leonard Miller Center and the George Feldenkreis Program in Contemporary Judaic Studies and Federations, JCCs, synagogues, Hadassah chapters, Hillel chapters, men's groups, women's guilds, special interest clubs, youth groups, summer camp programs and educational institutions.


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