Gail Merrifield Papp was born in San Francisco into a family with a deep theater lineage. After joining Joseph Papp’s Free Shakespeare Festival in 1965, she became director of New Works Development for the new Public Theater and was responsible for some of its best-remembered productions. These included The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s Tony Award–winning play about the AIDS crisis, for which she received the Human Rights Campaign Arts and Communication Award. Gail Merrifield and Joseph Papp were married in 1976 and worked together until his death in 1991.

Gail is the author of Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at The Public Theater in which she tells the inside story of that marriage and a 25-year partnership that changed the theater forever. In a witty and conversational style that is both exciting and poignant, she reveals how Joe Papp, from a poor immigrant family, went about creating an artistic theater with a democratic mission that continues to inspire today’s artists and audiences.

September 16 @ 7:00 pm8:15 pm
The Music of the Bard: A Celebration of Shakespeare in the Park at 70 With David Amram and Gail Papp and Friends