The Way Forward: Theater’s Evolution in Moments of Change: A Three-Part Series Presented by 92Y and Town & Country Magazine, Curated by the Public Theater / A Three-Part Series Presented by 92Y and <em>Town & Country</em> magazine<br />Curated by The Public Theater - 92Y, New York

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The Way Forward: Theater’s Evolution in Moments of Change

A Three-Part Series Presented by 92Y and Town & Country magazine
Curated by The Public Theater

A year of social isolation and political upheaval has changed the way we think about theater. How did we get here? And how will the theater evolve in the wake of Covid-19?

Join us for a free three-part digital series of conversations exploring the past, present, and future of theater during moments of social inflection, curated by The Public Theater. Moderated by Stellene Volandes, Editor in Chief of Town & Country and Editorial Director of Elle Decor, these conversations pose fundamental questions about the art form. What are the historical forces that created the modern theater, and how in turn has theater’s role in our society helped shape our culture at large? How has the last year upended the way artists work? Who will carry theater into the future?

Making a gift today helps shape the stories of tomorrow. Please consider donating to The Public Theater and support the care of our artistic community and the creation of groundbreaking theater for generations to come.

Mar 17, Part I: Past — We Have Been Here Before

Oskar Eustis and Patrick Gaspard with Stellene Volandes

We Have Been Here Before will feature Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater, and Patrick Gaspard, Cultural Ambassador and Former President of the Open Society Foundations, in an intimate 1:1 conversation, discussing how theater has uniquely responded to — and been shaped by — periods of social change and challenge. From Athenian drama, to protest performance, to the role of storytelling in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and beyond, Oskar and Patrick will explore how theater is both changeable and constant.

Apr 26, Part II: Present — Culture and Crisis

Oskar Eustis, Nataki Garrett, Maria Manuela Goyanes, and Kwame Anthony Appiah with Stellene Volandes

We are in a moment of evolution in the American theater — reconceiving the very nature of our work amid a worldwide pandemic. It is a period of meaningful and sustained reckoning, one that asks: Who is your true community? How do we create better, more inclusive organizations? What do we want to give to the next generation of artists and audiences? How can our government better support the arts workers who tell our country’s story? Join Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes, and cultural theorist and philosopher Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah for a conversation about the how they have adapted their leadership and deepened their practice in 2020-21.

May 28, Part III: Future — Where Do We Go Now?

The future belongs to artists. WHERE DO WE GO NOW? presents an unbridled forum for a group of innovative and incisive artists, playwrights, organizational partners, and visionaries to gather and explore what comes next. Participants include Public Theater Resident Director/Associate Artistic Director Saheem Ali (Merry Wives; Romeo y Julieta; Shipwreck; Fires in the Mirror); celebrated playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog; 365 Days/365 Plays; The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3); White Noise); brilliant theater and film director/devisor/dramaturg Mei Ann Teo (Dim Sum Warriors; The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin; Building a Character); and innovative director/playwright/activist Stevie Walker-Webb (Ain’t No Mo’; One in Two; Whipping Man). As we return to a reality where wide-scale live performance is once again possible, what do the artists — the drivers, doers, and dreamers of the form — want the world to look like? Join us to discuss theater’s next act.

92Y needs your help. We are facing tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19. Your ticket purchase helps sustain our beloved institution and supports the creation of new, online programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to our community. Please consider donating today at Thank you.


Online programs:
An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.

In-person programs:
Please wear a mask unless you are fully vaccinated. Adults must be fully vaccinated in order to attend an in-person 92Y Talk, Concert or other full-capacity performance. Your vaccination status will be checked upon arrival.

Saheem Ali

Saheem Ali is a proud immigrant from Kenya. He is the Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of The Public Theater …

Mei Ann Teo

Mei Ann Teo (they/she) is a queer immigrant from Singapore making theatre & film at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice …

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks is a multi-award-winning American playwright and the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama …

Stevie Walker-Webb

Stevie Walker-Webb is an Obie award winning Director, Playwright, and Cultural Worker …

Oskar Eustis

Oskar Eustis has served as the artistic director of The Public Theater since 2005 …

Nataki Garrett

Nataki Garrett is Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s sixth artistic director …

Maria Manuela Goyanes

Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company …

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU …

Patrick Gaspard

Patrick Gaspard is the former president of the Open Society Foundations …

Stellene Volandes

Stellene Volandes is the Editor in Chief of Town & Country and the Editorial Director of Elle Decor

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Please note that all 92Y regularly scheduled in-person programs are suspended.