In 2020, a year in which theaters were dark for nine and a half months, Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis earned $1.15 million in pay and benefits, more than any other nonprofit theater leader in New York.
Eustis’ 10 percent jump in overall compensation — disclosed in the Public’s 2020-21 tax return filed with the New York Attorney General — runs counter to the company’s messaging about pandemic pay. In an April 2020 New York Times story about the cancellation of Shakespeare in the Park and planned staff furloughs, Michael Paulson reported that much of the remaining staff “will take up to a 25 percent pay cut. Eustis will take a 40 percent pay cut.”
The tax return, which details compensation for calendar year 2020, tells a different story. Eustis, one of the highest-profile figures in nonprofit theater since assuming leadership of the storied organization in 2005, was paid $901,000, up from $807,000 in 2019. Benefits and deferred pay were valued at an additional $255,000.Continue Reading