A night of theater from local artists and their companies featuring guest host, Avi Hoffman as Joseph Papp ‘ Shakespeare in the Park’

Avi Hoffman (l) as Joseph Papp

Boca Raton, Florida

South Florida classical theater fans…get ready for Joe Papp and the Classics!

It’s one night only! In March 2020 at Mizner Park Cultural Center, 201 West Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. The incomparable actor, writer, director, Avi Hoffman, hosts a special showcase of local South Florida companies performing the Classics.

Hoffman will take on the persona of Joseph Papp, the American theatrical producer, director, and founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theatre.

“The life of Joe Papp is truly inspirational,” said Clare Vickery, Director of South Florida’s Grace Arts Center. “Avi Hoffman brings Papp’s vision alive to inspire a new generation to explore Shakespeare and works of his international Contemporaries, to create original art for theater and the public realm!”

Vickery added, that an authentic Shakespeare in the Park — or plaza — is in development with South Florida’s award winning arts organizations’ productions of theatrical excellence.

“Peter Wayne Galman has been pouring himself into young actors and companies for years through his Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida,” said Vickery. He and many of the featured companies have a shared vision to develop a South Florida public theater event.”

“We are preparing a platform that can travel to various locations sharing the Classics and new experimental projects — changing spaces into places where artists and the public gather to be entertained and transform their community through the arts,” said Vickery.

The special evening showcasing classic theater featuring host Avi Hoffman will be in March 2020. Stay tuned!


Avi Hoffman hosts an evening of famous scenes with an excerpt from his New York-bound, one-man show about the American theatrical producer and director, Joseph Papp, founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theatre. In this introduction, Joe Papp discusses his love for Shakespeare and the early days when his festival gave free performances of Shakespeare in various locations around the city, eventually originating the term “Shakespeare in the Park,” a name now used to encompass outdoor theatre productions of the playwright’s works performed all over the world.

Scene 1

Romeo and Juliet”: the first kiss at a masque ball, performed by members of the Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida. Directed by Peter W. Galman, founder and Artistic Director. The Troupe has been touring schools throughout South Florida with one-hour productions of Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, for next Spring a new adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, to take on tour. The company gives workshops to students and professionals alike, in order to practice in depth a facility for the catchy verse and glorious language of the world’s most produced playwright.

Scene 2

Shakespeare’s contemporaries also drew from the Romeo and Juliet legend. Grace Arts FL presents a scene from Lope de Vega’s version of R&J where the star-crossed lovers meet at a party with a thick-headed suitor in the way. In this comical and lyrical scene from ‘Castelvines (Capulets) y Monteses (Montagues)’ translated to English by American playwright, Cynthia Badendyck, Peter W. Galman directs the actors in this delightful tragedy-comedy. While Shakespeare wrote women’s characters for young men to impersonate, Lope wrote female roles for paid actresses in 16th century Spain’s ‘Golden Age of Literature.’ Stay tuned for cultural performances in South Florida communities through a stunning new platform, the MAP- Mobile Art Pavilion.

Scene 3

Photo courtesy of New City Players

New City Players perform a scene from their recent production of “Macbeth,” where a spellbound Scottish general is chided by his wife for being less than a man, as they plot to ascend the throne of Scotland. This production was sold out in its August run at the Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts. Tim Davis, Founding Artistic Director, has produced contemporary classics as well as Shakespeare in the 6 years of his company’s existence.


Emily Ricca Dance Collective shares new choreography interpreting ‘Song of Deborah’ with Grace Arts FL, Creative Director, Clare Vickery, set to an original remix track by Musician Artist, Dario Adames, of ‘Bolero’ and Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit.’ Grace Slick’s lyrics and storied voice belted out this song amid war protests and experimental drugs as America struggled with social justice issues in 1967. Based on ancient Biblical history, a woman’s wisdom leads to battle victory and safety for her people with an unexpected slave girl delivering the final blow. World wars continue in new forms and this piece contemplates wisdom as the ultimate weapon and forms of female empowerment.

Scene 4

Thinking Cap Theatre (TCT) reprises a scene from its classic repertory, perhaps something in a lighter vein from the Tragedy of King Lear, in which a Fool rhymes prettily to get her Boss to realize what a fool he’s been, before putting him a bathtub and letting him go bonkers. TCT completed its 10th Season and 7th at the Vanguard, picking up Carbonell and Silver Palm awards along the way for introducing Classic literature with a contemporary feel, as in this production, in which the journey of Lear is seen under the veil of an institutionalized patient with Alzheimer’s. Nicole Stodard, Founding Artistic Director, unveils her 11th season at the event.

Scene 5

Avi Hoffman returns as Papp the producer of the Joe Papp Yiddish theatre, discussing his Jewish heritage, and stepping into the role of Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice,” which was the first production in the newly built Delacorte Theatre in 1962, starring George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. Perhaps a surprise awaits as Avi seamlessly transits from English to Yiddish when asking to take his revenge for being spat upon and treated like a dog by his Christian tormentors.


Information about Avi’s Work with the Yiddish theatre and his upcoming production will be available in the lobby along with ticket information from all the Presenters and Artists.

About Avi Hoffman

Avi Hoffman was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame in 2016. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Willy Loman in a Yiddish-language production of Death of a Salesman.

He was named ‘Performer of the Year’ in 1995 by New York Press magazine, won a 2001 Ovation Award in Los Angeles for ‘Best Actor in a Musical,’ and has been nominated for ‘Drama Desk’ and ‘Outer Critics Circle’ awards in New York.

As national project director of the ‘Dachau Album: An Interfaith Holocaust Program,’ he was invited to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis. On TV, Avi was featured as Sid Raskin in the Starz series ‘Magic City,’ and has also been seen on Netflix’s ‘Bloodline,’ A&E’s ‘The Glades,’ and ‘Law & Order.’

He starred in the motion picture ‘The Imported Bridegroom,’ and was seen in the PBS documentary ‘They Came for Good: A History of Jews in the USA.’ Avi has performed all over the world and has numerous acting and directing credits.


Arts & Ent. News Featuring Influencers & Brands in SOFLO & Beyond. Articles written by Tandaleya Wilder & Team SGG Media. Content does not = Endorsement.

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