|Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS|
"I give this gift in honor of the founder of The Public Theater, my friend and mentor Joseph Papp, and in remembrance of one of the theatre's Board members and greatest supporters, my friend Nora Ephron," Streep said in a statement.
"Meryl is as great a citizen as she is an actor," Eustis added in a statement. "Joe Papp founded The Public in the belief that great theatre belonged to all the people. It means an enormous amount to us that the greatest actor of our time supports that mission."
Streep began her professional relationship with the Public more than 35 years ago. Her first roles included Trelawny of the Wells in 1975 and Henry V in 1976, directed by Papp. Most recently she appeared in the 50th anniversary gala at the Delacorte Theater in June where she played Juliet opposite Kevin Kline as Romeo in a benefit reading of the classic play. She also starred in Mother Courage, The Seagull and The Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte as part of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. She won the 2012 Best Actress Academy Award for playing Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."