×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eustis to head Public Theater

High-profile Wolfe said to be tough act to follow

The Public Theater has appointed Oskar Eustis to replace George C. Wolfe as producer of the nonprofit theater.

Announcement had been expected shortly after the presidential election, but when the appointment did not materialize then, speculation turned to possible snafus in negotiations between Eustis and the theater. Director Doug Hughes had been mentioned to replace Wolfe, but took himself out of the running weeks ago.

Eustis has been artistic director of Trinity Rep in Providence, R.I. since 1994, and he comes to the Public job with plenty of administrative and creative chops.

Prior to Trinity, he had been artistic director at San Francisco’s Eureka Theater, where he co-wrote the NEA grant that commissioned Tony Kushner to write “Angels in America.” Eustis directed early workshops of the epic piece and staged its world premiere at the Taper in 1992.

In his various legit posts, Eustis has championed multiculturalism, and is expected to continue the Public’s long-held tradition in that endeavor. World premieres Eustis has directed include Philip Kan Gotanda’s “Day Standing on Its Head” at MTC; David Henry Hwang’s “Bondage,” Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Devotees in the Garden of Love” at Actors Theater of Louisville; and Eduardo Machado’s “Floating Islands” at Mark Taper Forum.

In Gotham, Eustis’s most recent directorial assignment was the Off Broadway musical “Thunder Knockin’ at the Door,” which had a short run Off Broadway in 2002.

For all his kudos, Eustis’s predecessor at the Public was not immune to such disappointments. Two Wolfe-helmed failures, “On the Town” and “The Wild Party,” forced the Public into financial straits.

Eustis is only the fourth person to hold the top spot at the Public. Although the number of productions staged at the theater has diminished in recent seasons, the high-profile Wolfe will be a tough act to follow.

As an artistic director at another nonprofit put it, “It’s like when JoAnne Akalaitis replaced Joe Papp. You want to be the person who replaces the person who replaced Papp.”

More Legit

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content