The Public Theater, in association with the Aspen Institute Arts Program, presents a Public Forum event that will explore the question: Does Culture Make Us Who We Are?
In 1771, Thomas Jefferson made the provocative claim that “a lively and lasting sense of filial duty” was impressed more effectively by King Lear than by “all the dry volumes of ethics and divinity that were ever written.” To coincide with the Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s great play, starring Sam Waterston as Lear, the Public Forum will explore Jefferson’s insight.
A brilliant panel will consider: How do Shakespeare’s plays – and the rest of the arts – make us who we are? Do they shape our values? Do they inform our identities? What are the implications for our public policy?
In first-ever association with the Aspen Institute, the Public will welcome a lineup that includes noted author and New York Times columnist David Brooks; Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, the dean of the Tisch School of the Arts and the vice-chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer at New York City Ballet and the new director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program. The conversation will be moderated by Jeremy McCarter, the director of the Public Forum. The full lineup will be announced closer to the event.
The program will take place in the Public’s Newman Theater on Monday, November 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets will be $25 for the general public ($20 for Public members).