Monday, January 24, 2011

I Want YOU for the Indie Theater Companion


Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Martin Denton.

I'm very excited to be talking with you as this week's Guest Blogger on Full of IT. Thanks to Shay, Morgan, and all the rest of the amazing NYIT folks for inviting me to be here.

I'm going to begin with an invitation. Please visit the Indie Theater Companion on And please join us by writing an article for the Indie Theater Companion.

What is the Indie Theater Companion, you ask? Well, it's the newest member of NYTE's family of free online resources serving the theater community. It's the culmination of about 30 months of nurturing and hatching on the part of Rochelle and myself. It's a dynamic collection of articles by and about the indie theater world; a place where indie artists talk about themselves and what's on their minds while the rest of the Internet gets to eavesdrop. It was inspired by Leslie Halliwell's mammoth Filmgoers' Companion and Danny Peary's delightful coffee table book Close-Ups. It's a comprehensive and credible site for information about indie theater artists and indie theater companies--a place where artists who generally work under the radar will find a permament home ON the radar, where people can learn about who they are and what they do and why they're so special.

ITC (as I like to call it, for short) combines the breadth and collaborative nature of Wikipedia with the social interaction of the blogosphere, all within a curated controlled framework that ensures that all content is created by bona fide practitioners in the field and is accurate. The good folks here at NYIT called ITC "a true resource for our community" in their round-up of the Top Ten Events Affecting OOB in 2010.

ITC really got started about a year ago, when two of the prime movers over at 50/50 in 2020, Andrea Lepcio and Cindy Cooper, recruited about three dozen people to write a series of profiles of women playwrights. Their contributions became the cornerstone of ITC. It was wonderfully exciting to read these pieces as they came in. We'd given out guidelines to everyone as to what we were expecting, but--because these writers are such talented and inventive individuals--what we got exceeded by a mile what we were hoping for. The writers of these initial pieces included a lot of names you'll recognize, like Austin Pendleton, Jeffrey M. Jones, and Saviana Stanescu, and we're so grateful to them for getting ITC rolling.

Many more articles have followed. Chris Harcum is spearheading a section on performance artists, and so far he's brought us profiles by Mark Lonergan, Jeff Lewonczyk, and Alex Roe. Alice Reagan is about to launch a section on women directors. I've started working on a section devoted to indie theater company profiles. And as word has spread, other indie luminaries have started to contribute. This week alone we got new pieces in from Leslie Bramm, Case Aiken, and Daniel Talbott.

So this is where you come in. I am inviting you to write a profile of an indie theater artist or company for ITC. Choose someone--an actor, director, playwright, producer, stage manager, designer--whose work you know well: someone about whose work you can write fluently and knowledgably, someone whose merits and gifts you're ready to share with the world. ITC profiles answer the questions:
  •  who is this artist (or company)?
  • what is their work like?
  • why is their work notable?
Email me to let me know who you will write about BEFORE you begin! That's mainly so I can make sure that your subject hasn't already been claimed by someone else; we don't want duplicate profiles right now.

Please note these guidelines before you choose:
  1. Pick someone you can write about easily. ITC profiles are not interviews and they shouldn't require a lot of research. (Do check your facts, though.)
  2. Do not pick someone you are too close to. We need to be somewhat objective. So you can't write about your wife or your boyfriend, and if you're an artistic director, you can't write about your own company. But you can and should write about someone you've worked with and/or admired over the years.
  3. Like all of NYTE's projects, ITC is a grassroots endeavor that depends on volunteers to make it happen. But we want to acknowledge and thank all of our contributors, and so for every ITC article that you write, you will be entitled to one week of free banner advertising that will run on every ITC page on
  4. Most important: email me before you start to write! I'll send you more detailed guidelines and info about how to proceed when I hear from you.
The best way to get a feel for the ITC's style and feel is to read some articles. So please do!

And if you have a good idea of who should write the profile of YOU -- I want to know that, too. Send me an email with that info, and we'll get the ball rolling.

The goal is to have every indie theater artist and indie theater company in the ITC. The sooner the better. I can't wait to hear from you.


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