Addon Public 2020
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The Public (El público), also known as The Audience, is a play by the twentieth-century Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca. It was written between 1929 and 1930. The two complete manuscripts which once existed have not been found, and may be lost. All that is known is an earlier draft, missing an act. It remained unpublished until 1978 and did not receive its first professional theatrical production until 1986. The world premiere of the play was directed by Victoria Espinosa on 15 February 1978 at the University of Puerto Rico
The Public was first presented at the University of Puerto Rico on 15 February 1978, where it was directed by Victoria Espinosa. A translated version by Henry Livings (in consultation with the director/designer, Ultz) was first performed on 3 October 1988 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The U.S. premiere opened at the Shepard Theatre Complex in Los Angeles, CA on February 23, 1989 and was presented by Kaliyuga Arts. The production was directed and designed by John Sowle, with costumes by Silvia Jahnsons and incidental music composed by Jules Langert, and featured Robert J. Bennett, Denise Y. Dowse, Roger Gutierrez, Alex Katehakis, Kevin Kirby, Khin-Kyaw Maung, Richard Neil, Steven Patterson, Jane Thurow, Richard Vidan, Courtney Walsh and B. Wyatt in the cast.
Mauricio Sotelo composed an opera based on the play: The Public premiered in 2015 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.
Despite indications that the arts centre would be at the forefront of West Bromwich’s ‘Golden Future' on 9 May 2013 it was announced that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council were in discussion with Sandwell College to potentially lease The Public for use as a sixth-form college. The College’s own sixth-form is oversubscribed with six applicants for every place.
In 2012–13 there were 380,000 visitors to the building from all sections of society – an increase of over 40% from the previous year. The Public’s mission is to be a place where people come to create and make things for themselves and to enjoy other people’s creativity – an echo of Cedric Price’s concept of a Fun Palace. In 2012, The Guardian’s Robert Clark described The Public as “a playground for adults” and that “maybe that’s a good role for a contemporary art gallery to embrace”.
It is also home to 27 small companies as well as the Sandwell Arts Trust, who manage the building. Between them they employ around 120 people with a further 120 digital media apprentices.
An article in the previously critical Express and Star in 2012 demonstrated that The Public was finally winning local people over and had found its purpose, and that the odds of it having become one of the region’s success stories had been quite remote in the recent past.
The Public closed on November 23, 2013.