This building is the headquarters of the Public Theater, a New York City arts organization founded as The Shakespeare Workshop in 1954 by Joseph Papp. The Public Theater's mission is to showcase the works of up-and-coming playwrights and performers. The Public Theater building is located at 425 Lafayette Street in the former Astor Library in the East Village section of Lower Manhattan. The venue opened in 1967, mounting the world-premiere production of the musical HAIR as its initial offering. The Public houses five theater venues – the Shiva, the Martinson, the LuEsther Hall, the Anspacher and the Newman – as well as Joe's Pub, a popular cabaret-style setting used for various types of performances.