I just got an e-mail from David Levine of the CiNE Collective about a new project/paper they’ve created called RE-PUBLIC: The CiNE Collective’s Portfolio for New York’s Joseph Papp Public Theater, in which they re-conceive New York’s Public Theater “for the world you actually live in.”

It begins like this:

“The following portfolio expands on an August 2004 letter of application for the position of artistic director at New York’s Joseph Papp Public Theater. The position became available when George C. Wolfe, the Public’s third artistic director, announced that he was stepping down after eleven years at the theater’s helm. Unbeknownst to CiNE at the time, the Public’s executive search committee had already retained the services of Albert Hall and Associates, LLC, to conduct their search for a new artistic director. While the engagement of for-profit consultants was neither surprising nor objectionable, the explanation, provided by board chairman Kenneth B. Lerer, managed to be both: “It doesn’t make any sense,” Lerer told the Village Voice, “to do this search in public.” Now, think about that for a second. It’s called the Public Theater.The building is leased from the city for one dollar a year. So what’s in a name?”

By overhauling The Public’s branding, their marketing, their fundraising, their architecture, their outreach, their administrative structure, and their programming, CiNE asks “What does it mean to be a public theater, in New York, in the twenty-first century?”

Or in other words: “What would a RELEVANT theater actually look like?”

RE-PUBLIC was commissioned by and published in THEATER magazine 35:3 (Duke University Press). It’s available for download at:

CiNE was founded in 2003 to examine the conditions of spectacle and spectatorship across a wide range of media. Its membership includes writers, visual artists, designers, researchers and accountants. Recent and ongoing initiatives include ‘NIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER at Gavin Brown’s Passerby; MESSALINA at SPF; and ACTORS AT WORK, an ongoing intervention with SoHo Think Tank, slated to close in August ’06.

For the purposes of this published portfolio RE-PUBLIC, CiNE is:
Wayne Chambliss, Co-founder, Nomea, LLC
Judy Chang, Dramaturg
Gordon Dahlquist, Playwright
Jim Findlay, Founder, Collapsable Giraffe
Prem Krishnamurthy, Principal, Project Projects
David Levine, Author and Project Lead
Doris Mirescu, Director
Gus Powell, Gus Powell Photography
Writer and Project Lead: David Levine.
Supplemental research provided by Jamee Freedus

NB: Culturebot has not yet read this paper in its entirety. We’ll get back to you when we finish reading it.

2 thoughts on “RE-PUBLIC”

  1. brendanconnelly says:

    What we need – and by we I mean people who think the theater they see is awful for the most part (when actually theater has the potential to be the most exciting and immediate of arts) and the structure of the Theater World is in a large part the problem – are immediate acts to express our frustrations… collective actions, disruptions, vandalisms that voice these frustrations which i know I share with most of my fellow theater-makers….I want CiNE to create a list of actions. For the first time I feel in that position where you really WANT to do something but you don’t know how. Can you help? Or is this essay – published in an exclusive magazine – just an angry academic diatribe.

  2. CiNE says:

    Ah yes, actions.

    The trick is–and this is the trick we tried to pull with the portfolio–is that MANIFESTOS and ACTIONS tend to marginalize themselves, if they don’t take into account the realities of the situation, and we have no desire NOT to learn from the 60s. None of CiNE’s proposals are impracticable; indeed, some might find our embrace of current exigencies almost cynical (see PLAYGOER’s blog)–and likewise, we prefer to keep our list of ACTIONS to ourselves, and let them proceed quietly, gnawing at the body from the inside out…

    So look for ACTORS AT WORK, chestbursting in August, 2006.

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