Joe Papp in Five Acts
Producer Tracie Holder
JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS, a co-production with PBS/American Masters, is the story of New York’s indomitable, street-wise champion of the arts who introduced interracial casting to the American stage and brought us free Shakespeare in the Park, Hair, and A Chorus Line. Convinced that women and minorities, denied power elsewhere in society, could develop it on the stage, Papp became a tireless fighter for the arts who raised enduring debate about our founding ideals and the role of the arts in a pluralistic society. Using his life and work as its prism, the film explores the issues he chose to champion: freedom of expression; democracy in the arts; the definition of American culture.
From 1954 until his death in 1991, Joe Papp brought more theater to more people than any other producer in history.