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Mission Statement

The Private Theatre is a not-for-profit collective committed to celebrating the private experience on the public stage, challenging the way audiences experience theatre.

We forge theatrical collaborations across various cultures, aesthetics and disciplines in order to embrace the artistic impulse wherever we find it.

The Private Theatre endeavors to stage raw, intimate and evocative productions of both new and classical work that explore the human condition and illuminate the thoughts most often left unspoken.


Founded in 1980 by Artistic Director John Gould Rubin, The Private Theatre has been committed to the production of both new and classical theatrical works throughout its history. The company has a tradition of employing non-traditional theatrical conventions and of staging productions in unexpected venues. The Private Theatre’s past productions include:

Our Father by Michael Stephens (1982): The company produced a very early production of this play.

Philoctetes by Heiner Muller (1983): The production marked the US premiere of the playwright.

The Maids by Jean Genet (1985): Beginning its tradition of site-specific productions, The Private Theatre staged this play in the living room in a private home. Nightly performances were held for a 12-member audience.

An Unseen Energy Swallows Space by Travis Preston (1985): Written by one of the founding members of The Private Theatre, this play was workshopped in New York.

The Last American in Paris (1987) : This new work originated at the University of Michigan and was performed at the PAC/SUNY Purchase.

Jesus Hopped The A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis (2000): The Private Theatre produced the European tour, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Fartiste by Charlie Schulman and Michael Roberts (2006): The Private Theatre produced the world premiere of this musical at New York International Fringe Festival. The show was directed by Artistic Director John Gould Rubin and won the award for Outstanding Musical.

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (2010): Staged in the drawing room of an East Village townhouse, this production was filled to capacity nightly during its four-week run. Maintaining the tradition of providing unconventional experiences, the venue was revealed only upon confirmation of reservations. During the performances, audience members were seated throughout the drawing room, which allowed them to witness the unfolding tragedy of the protagonists in a very intimate way. For additional details about this production of Hedda Gabler, visit the production website, www.heddagablernyc.com.



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