GableStage Announces World Premiere of Joe Papp at the Ballroom

By: CultureOwl
Performing Arts
GableStage Announces World Premiere of Joe Papp at the Ballroom

As the first production of GableStage’s 23rd season, The Price, draws to a close after being met with rave reviews, the award-winning theatre has announced the second production of the season, Joe Papp at the Ballroom. A world premiere, Joe Papp at the Ballroom features world-famous actor Avi Hoffman and Tony-nominated Director Eleanor Reissa in a limited-engagement production that honors New York theatre visionary Joseph Papp. 

In alliance with Yiddishkayt Initiative (YI Love Jewish) and sponsored by The Sue & Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami, Joe Papp at the Ballroom will run from Dec 17th through Dec 31st. Joseph Papp, referred to as the “single most creative and controversial figure in American theatre” by Newsweek, would have been 100 years old this year.

The new musical is inspired by the first and only autobiographical concert series that Joseph Papp, founder of Shakespeare in the Park and New York’s Public theatre, performed at the Ballroom in SOHO in 1978. Revisiting Papp’s Brooklyn Yiddish upbringing, audiences will get a glimpse into the political and personal struggles Papp faced and his approach to the creative process.  

“Joe Papp’s belief that theatre should be accessible to all, that it should be like the public library (free and open to all) continues to resonate deeply – not only to those actively engaged in the art form, but for everyone questioning what ties a community together and what deepens our collective spirit,” says GableStage Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport. “Avi Hoffman as Joe Papp traces one man’s life from humble beginnings to extraordinary heights – all through dreaming, believing and executing. It’s an inspiring, everyman story – and I love that this production is based on a historic event: the only performance series Joseph Papp performed himself,” says Newport. 

Actor Avi Hoffman is honored and excited about his role as Joseph Papp and the collaboration that went into the adaptation of Papp’s original work. “Since being introduced to this piece by Joe Papp’s widow Gail and his daughter Susan, I have had the great fortune to work on adapting and developing this original musical piece about the great ‘Yosl Papirofsky,’ aka Joseph Papp, whom I considered a mentor,” says Avi Hoffman. I am grateful to be able to work with newly named Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport at GableStage, my long-time friend, Director Eleanor Reissa and Joe Papp’s daughter, Susan on this exciting adaptation,” says Hoffman. 


Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. 

Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Special performances on Dec. 24 at 2:30 p.m. & Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m. 


Ticket holders can enjoy the show in person or via stream from a location of their choosing. Streaming of Joe Papp at the Ballroom will be available from Dec. 22 to Dec. 31.


Tickets to Joe Papp at the Ballroom start at $35 plus fees with discounts available for artists; students; groups; subscribers and military service active members, veterans and families, as well as members of the Biltmore Hotel. 

Visit online at, by phone at (305) 445-1119 or email

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