Thursday, November 29, 2012

Brilliant and Resilient


Contributed by Cyndy Marion 


2012 was a year in theater of being resilient, resourceful and affordable. It was a year of small theaters pulling together more than ever and pooling their resources via co-productions, sharing space, sharing resources, sharing talent and ideas. It was the year of the LITFund—a brilliant idea from The League of Independent Theatres, where Off-Off-Broadway theaters donate a small portion of their ticket sales (5 cents a ticket) in order to generate a theater reserve fund accessible to all member theaters. It was the year that small theaters had to find ways of keeping rehearsals and shows going in spite of the setbacks of Hurricane Sandy and many even rallied to the cause of those in need by hosting fundraisers and events to benefit those who lost their homes. It was that year that the new Signature Theater began offering subsidized $25 tickets allowing many who normally could not afford to attend Off-Broadway productions to do so. I hope that this becomes a trend with other theaters—and that more patrons will step forward and provide the funding needed in order to make this happen.

Theater should not only be about big stars and making money, it should be about creating community—and in order for this to happen, theater needs to be accessible to everyone in the community. Thank you to Signature for leading the charge--hopefully other theaters will follow suit. In times of crisis, Off-Off-Broadway artists rise to the challenge—we are resilient, resourceful and committed to our mission of making theater. We are ready for whatever comes our way and also ready to help those around us.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Embarrassment of Riches

Contributed by Hillary Cohen


Independent theater in New York City was an embarrassment of riches in the 2011-2012 season. Greg Horton and Renee Claire Bergeron may have received the 2012 IT Awards for their outstanding performances, but they were definitely not the only dynamic duo I saw Off-Off-Broadway this year.

Jay Potter was so totally believable as the eponymous patriarch in The Play About My Dad, I genuinely feel like I’ve met the playwright’s father. I staged managed a show featuring his cast mate, Geany Masai, several years ago, but her embodiment of her character was so complete, I still felt like she introduced me to someone I never would have met otherwise.

That shock of surprise also happened for me at Reckless last Christmas. I knew the plot before attending, but somehow Jan-Peter Pedross’ acting was disarming, I was disappointed by his character’s unflattering past all over again. Jason Jacoby flipped through his multiple supporting roles with amazing dexterity, each with his own dynamic personality and posture.

Speaking of dexterity, Emily Gleeson and Lizzie Vieh were stunning as the broken shards of one suicidal woman’s consciousness in Sarah Kane's challenging final play, 4.48 Psychosis. I was impressed by how smoothly they worked together through an emotional rollercoaster script.

Iyaba Ibo Mandingo did not share the performance space with another actor for his autobiographical one man show, unFRAMED. He confidently served as poet-playwright, subject, and star – finishing the set decoration as he went!

These are, of course, just a few of this year’s excellent performances. I am constantly delighted by those moments replaying in my memory even months later and I look forward to seeing what these artists and their companies do next.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Powerful Rarely Produced Play

Contributed by Cyndy Marion 


One production stands out for me this year and it was Retro Productions' revival of The Runner Stumbles at the Arclight Theater. Casandera M.J. Lollar delivered an incredibly moving performance as a nun who falls in love with her parish priest (Christopher Patrick Mullen). Retro's production was simple and powerful, inviting us into the dark, ordered world of the Catholic Church where despite the rigid behavior, the desires of the heart and fervors of the flesh still pulse erupting into a crisis with tragic outcomes. This production touched me deeply in a way most theater has not in a long time. I commend Retro's mission of producing rarely produced plays of the past. Plays that still speak to us today and often say more with the unique perspective they offer.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful

Contributed by Amanda Feldman


In grade school during in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, we were taught to make a list of what we are thankful for. I know I have said it before but I am thankful for the downtown theater community – which for me is really an extension of family. Of course, the best part about my Indie Theater family is how inspired and moved I am by the really wonderful plays that they produce.

Personally when I go to the theater, what I’m especially drawn to is really interesting stories told in unique ways. In additional to the shows that I produced, which of course I’m biased to love, the two productions this year that felt did an extraordinary job were The Honeycomb Trilogy by Mac Rogers, produced by Gideon Productions and Pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill produced by One Year Lease.

On the surface, The Honeycomb Trilogy, which, yes, I know is technically three plays, tells an epic story of an alien invasion. The reason Mac is a genius is not because he was able to craft a fascinating sci-fi story (although he does brilliantly), but because Mac tells a beautiful story about family. The relationships throughout all three pieces of the play are all so vivid, heartbreaking, and real, that they stay with you long after the curtain comes down. I think I mentioned to Sean Williams, one of the producers and an actor in the first play, the only thing I didn’t like about the play is that Mac had to kill off so many characters from play to play that I was sad when the actors didn’t reappear in the next installment of the trilogy. For me this epic adventure, directed flawlessly by Jordana Williams, is everything good theater should be.

One Year Lease’s production of Pool (no water) was exceptional for a very different reason. The story was fairly simple; group of quote/unquote friends get together, there is an accident, and then there is the slow and painful recovery. As often occurs with a group of struggling artist "friends" when one achieves success beyond the others, there is jealously, anger, and resentment. What is so incredible about this production is how it was almost a choreographed dance piece. Using only a few coffee table-like set pieces and the actors’ physicality we were transformed from one location to the next. As the play was told from memory, there was a ton of “he said/she said,” but in part thanks to Ianthe Demos’s incredible direction you were never lost or confused. It was captivating story telling at its best.

To conclude, I am thankful that I got the opportunity to see so much great theatre last year. I am especially thankful to my husband who successfully put my daughter to bed on the nights I was at the theater. And as always I’m looking forward to another wonderful year of theater.

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Amanda Feldman produced The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew, Theives by William Yellowrobe, Jr, Lake Water by Troy Deutsch, Prison Light by Austin Flint, HOTEL PLAYS, The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos by Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell, and Olives And Blood by Michael Bradford. She is the Managing Director of CollaborationTown, A Theatre Company and a Producer with Neighborhood Productions.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Razor Swallowing, a GPS & Awesome Waffles

Contributed by Doug Strassler

One of the neater finds of the past season was actually a new theatrical locale that emerged in 2011, the Canal Park Playhouse. Situated on the border of the West Village and TriBeCa, and not far from the gorgeous views along the Hudson, CPP is a bit of a trailblazer. Using the proceeds of its bed and breakfast part, CPP produces a variety of shows for kids and adults alike (and makes some pretty awesome waffles as well).

In the last year alone, the Playhouse has presented revivals of such top-notch shows as Frank McGuinness’ Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer finalist, The Baltimore Waltz. And their kid-friendly fare included weekend afternoon runs of Sarazad and the Monster-King. An ongoing show that the Playhouse runs features a spook show performed by “rock star” magician extraordinaire Cardone, who completes such mid-boggling acts as razor swallowing and strait-jacket escapes. It’s a sweet but scary throwback to the old shows that used to appear in places like Coney Island. I also had the privilege to see Sherri Eden Barber’s comedy Inadmissible, a behind-the-scenes look at the politics decorating the college admission process, directed by D. B. Gilles. Months later, I can still recall being captivated by Kathryn Kates’ exquisite timing and delivery.

So, too, do I still fondly recall The Navigator, which played the WorkShop’s main stage last spring. Eddie Antar’s play about a down-on-his-luck man and his GPS system which knows too much and maybe just enough had already won a pair of IT awards several years back, but it upgraded the show for its new 60-seat berth. Still small-scale but resourceful, the show was terrific, and replicated the feeling that audience members were indeed stuck in the same car as the show’s leads. Stars Joseph Franchini and Kelly Anne Burns (eerily evoking a GPS) were unforgettable. So much so, in fact, that Franchini even earned a Drama Desk nod for Best Actor last year. I hear talk that Navigator might have even more life in store. This is the little show that could. I can’t wait to see what happens to it next.

That was 2012 in Off-Off theatre for me: full of pleasant surprises in hidden places. Actually, pleasant as these shows were, they weren’t a surprise at all.


Monday, November 19, 2012

My Faves

Contributed by Amy Overman

I was personally involved as an actor, director or producer  in 10 productions of varying sizes during the 2011-2012 season.  And they were all awesome.  But I thought it would be a little inappropriate to write a whole blog talking about the awesome work produced by myself and the artists I was lucky enough to work with (awesome as they were).  So here are my favorite shows, which I had nothing to do with, for 2011-2012:

BrainExplode! (Sneaky Snake Productions/Game Play 2011) was hands down my favorite show.  And I saw it last July, so the bar was set very high for the year.  Awesome concept, script and execution.  Ray Pinter (Stephen Heskett), a video game designer in 1987, via a mysterious dart in the neck, becomes a player in his own action adventure game and has one hour to solve a puzzle or his brain will explode.  Six volunteers from the audience gave simple commands in the style of an old school text based adventure game.  At one point, Ray was standing onstage with a handkerchief belted to his head and his pants in danger of falling down.  All that and emotional growth, catharsis and a cast that rolled with the punches thrown at them by the audience seamlessly.  Written by Richard Lovejoy, Danny Bowes and Stephen Aubrey and directed by Paige Blansfield – I would love to see this script (hint, hint) as I have no idea how they pulled this off. 

Tenderpits, which was created by Nathan Schwartz and Anthony Johnston and performed by Johnston wearing a diaper and a Cosby sweater and featuring a drunken moose and a judgmental parrot.  I can’t really describe this show.  It would sound bizarre and disturbing, and it was, but Anthony’s performance was so honest and so lovable that at the end of the show you just wanted to hug his sweaty, diapered self.

Batz (created by Erik Bowie & Josh Mertz) A man arrives at work to find his computer broken and starts reading an old Batman comic book.  Slowly everyone around him takes on the parts in the action.  Remounted from the original production at the Brick and being compacted onto the tiny stage at Joe’s Pub turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the show exploded with energy, literally leaping off the stage and out into the audience.  A running gag about no one wanting to play Robin and sets and props, made out of office supplies, growing more and more elaborate with each passing story.  Plus, a woman playing Batman (Melissa DeLancey) and a near iconic level performance by Bob Laine as the Penguin.

Honorable mention to the flying snakes of Flying Snakes in 3D.  Because sometimes you just want to throw tiny rubber snakes at the stage and with this show, you could.

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Amy Overman is the Artistic Director of the Dysfunctional Theatre Company (www.dysfunctionaltheatre.org); her recent work with them includes directing Of Dice & Men as part of the Brick’s Game Play festival, acting in and producing the serialized play Unlicensed, which ran for 8 months at UNDER St. Marks and performing in the horror comedy Brew of the Dead II: Oktoberflesh, also at UNDER St. Marks. Outside of Dysfunctional, Amy has acted, directed and produced all around the indietheatre scene and is a Master Mason of the Brick.  Currently she is working on I Shall Forget You Presently, an original piece created from the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, which will be presented by Dysfunctional as part of the Tiny Theater Festival at the Brick (www.bricktheater.com).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Harsh Realities Served with a Pie in the Face

Contributed by Vincent Marano

In college during the plague years that was the Reagan presidency, my friends and I competed in forensic tournaments where students did excerpts of plays for fun and glory. Called either Single-Interpretation of Drama (one person show) or Duo-Interpretation (for a two hander) the goal was to get the gist of the play across in 10 minutes, in the most entertaining way possible.  Most schools would pick one or two edited scenes. Our school pioneered the approach of boiling down the entire work into one scene, beginning with the first line of the play and ending with the last line. The intended effect of editing the drama this way, according to our team captain, was that the character’s should “laugh, laugh, laugh… then they all die.”

Looking at New York plays this and last season; on and off –off Broadway, the stylistic hybrid of low comedy and high tragedy seems to be the norm.  From August: Osage County to Detroit, from MotherF**Ker With a Hat to Clyburne Park, playwrights are jamming as many yuks into the torturous lives of their characters as possible.

Whether it’s borderline absurdist-Gran Guingnol of Martin McDonagh or dystopian giggle-fest of the next Anthony Rapp Fable, playwrights (and their directors) find the funny bone in decapitation and the smile in electroshock therapy. 

While one could argue that this trend just mirrors the general gallows humor that pervades a world in recession (both economic and social). I think that this choice is more one of dramatic expediency. For a play to get noticed it is not enough to be well-crafted, about important ideas, charged with a wealth of human emotion; it has to be brutal and irreverent. Essentially, drama with BO. Our collective tolerance for violence, our collective indulgence of the crude and vulgar, and our collective obsession with art that wallows in “the edgy, the raw, the primordial,” makes the subtle and the cerebral the stuff of the Classics shelf at the Drama Book Shop. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Site Specific

Contributed by Hillary Cohen


I recently met a very early-career director who described her area of interest as “site specific” work. That has got to be the biggest trend I noticed amongst the registered shows this year. The New York independent theater community has largely embraced non-traditional performance spaces, but it also produces shows that are “site specific” in the sense of the wry exclamation “Only in New York!”

Even as Jeff Lewonczyk audaciously suggested we take a few years off from Shakespeare, Off-Off-Broadway companies made equally brave runs at re-imaging the Bard and introducing typically Radio City Christmas Spectacular-bound audiences to smaller-budget theater. Downtown Art brought us a two-installment rock musical mash-up of Romeo & Juliet and Gangs of New York called Bowery Wars with age-appropriate casting for the young lovers sprawling over a walking tour of Lower East Side alleys and sidewalks. Theater 2020 produced a family-friendly version of the originally quite bawdy script for Comedy of Errors in domesticated Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park featuring adorable puppets.

Off-Off-Broadway performed in storefront windows, in an unpartitioned warehouse, and in a butcher shop. If there was a theme uniting any of these very different shows, it certainly wasn’t tone or content, but the daring confidence to “go there”. Poetic Theater opened their production of Goliath with intimate and personal poetry readings by Iraq War veterans very new to the performing arts scene. Harrison Greenbaum (beloved two-time ceremony host and now IT Awards participant) risked heavily incorporating audience participation in his show What Just Happened? and the venerable members of the Talking Band danced naked to illustrate the incisive socio-political critique of Hot Lunch Apostles.

One of my favorite things about the 2012 season was how much of it was unexpected. There was a lot of exciting staging being done…only sometimes on an actual stage.



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trends of OOB

Contributed by Amy Overman

More and more I see theater artists taking the things that excite them in other areas of their life, pulling from film, TV and other media and putting it into their art. 

  1. Monthly shows – Variety shows, burlesque, storytelling, musical reviews, talk shows, plays. Shows coming back at the same time every month, building an audience, bringing together a group of people who come back every few weeks to experience theater.  These type of shows are also the epitome of the immediacy of theater, because the artists who make them are constantly creating.  One of my personal faves is The Skinny with Peter DeGiglio. There’s a different guest from politics or theater (political theater that is) every month, musical performances and at the end, Peter has to answer questions about current events or get a pie in the face.  I love that this could be a web series, but it’s not, it’s a live show.  Makes the pie in the face much more enjoyable.
  2. Scifi & Horror – Science fiction theater was everywhere, most notably in Gideon Production’s  Honeycomb Trilogy.   Blood & horror –Nose Dive’s gore in The Blood Brother’s present Freaks from the Morgue, zombies attacking in my own Dysfunctional Theatre Company’s Brew of the Dead II: Oktoberflesh, and the titular flying snakes of Everywhere Theater Group’s Flying Snakes in 3D.  
  3. Technology/film/etc – Almost every theater I visit now has a projector.  I’ve seen video elements used for something as basic as a static image on the back wall - budget set design!  The most haunting and beautiful incorporation I saw of video was in Bride of the Monster by DMTheatrics, Dr. Eric Vornoff (Tom O’Connor) admired the portrait of his dead wife, a black and white video projected life sized on the back wall of the Red Room.  Seeing him reach out to her face as the image moved ever so slightly was both moving and chilling.  Sound designs are becoming more detailed and layered as CueLab and other programs make shows easier to run.  Which leads me to…
  4. Red Cloud Rising (the Fifth Wall, created by Gyda Arber & Aaron Baker) – This wasn’t a trend because there was nothing else like it, but it’s a production could only happen with the increased use of technology in theater. A show where the play took place on the streets of downtown, the line between actor and audience member blurred and most of the lines of dialogue were delivered via voicemail or text message. The audience was a part of the story, but it a way that was totally organic, not just a request for a suggestion or a single member called out to be pulled onstage. Red Cloud is a prime example of how indietheater is evolving, which for me is one of the most exciting things about being a part of it.
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Amy Overman is the Artistic Director of the Dysfunctional Theatre Company (www.dysfunctionaltheatre.org); her recent work with them includes directing Of Dice & Men as part of the Brick’s Game Play festival, acting in and producing the serialized play Unlicensed, which ran for 8 months at UNDER St. Marks and performing in the horror comedy Brew of the Dead II: Oktoberflesh, also at UNDER St. Marks. Outside of Dysfunctional, Amy has acted, directed and produced all around the indietheatre scene and is a Master Mason of the Brick.  Currently she is working on I Shall Forget You Presently, an original piece created from the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, which will be presented by Dysfunctional as part of the Tiny Theater Festival at the Brick (www.bricktheater.com).

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Theme of Family

Contributed by Doug Strassler

I don’t think it’s any secret that some of the most exciting and innovative theatre going on recently in New York has taken place at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City, the surprisingly accessible performance space that played host to one of the year’s great theatrical triumphs, Mac Rogers’ Honeycomb Trilogy. His three visionary plays – Blast Radius, Advance Man, and Sovereign – all part of Gideon Productions, ran through the first half of the year, but made such an indelible impression that I’ve been talking about them through the second half as well.

The trilogy covers a world upside down, though in ways more metaphorical than literal. I love the way that Rogers uses obviously expert knowledge in sci-fi lore like alien invasions and spaceships to inform more thematic plots about human relationships. Much of the first work dwelled on the bonds between friends and parent and child when tested, and then as the stakes got higher, the greatest relationship was that of brother and sister, played at various stages by Becky Byers, David Rosenblatt, Hanna Cheek and Stephen Heskett. Torn apart by ideology but still bonded by love, the Honeycomb plays used transcended its genre trappings to highlight something far more universal: the ups and downs of family ties.

The theme of family – specifically, how one defines it and who one should remain loyal to also permeates Micheline Auger’s American River, the latest production from the downtown collective Lesser America. Laura Ramadei and Robbie Collier Sublett play lifelong friends who eventually add benefits into the mix. The play, directed by Stephen Brackett, faces a lot of the more hidden, dark corners of the American psyche head-on; both characters have substance abuse issues and loyalty and reliability are neither of the pair’s strong suits. John Patrick Doherty and a hilarious Brendan Spieth completed the never-a-false-move cast, but it’s Ramadei’s searing turn that has stuck out in my mind ever since.

These shows, as disparate as they are, have plenty in common. More than anything, they all put an entertaining face on lost people struggling to find their way. Good thing the companies that mounted these works had their stuff together.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Burying the Unities for Good: How Agitprop Changed My Life

Contributed by Vincent Marano

In theater, the adjective “life-changing,” is clich├ęd and often overused. I remember a lot of great performances; Fiona Shaw in Medea, Al Pacino in Salome, Ian McKellan in Amadeus, and great plays: anything by Mac Rogers, August Wilson or Athol Fugard; just fill in your favorite.  While inspirational, very few plays or performances caused me to stand at the end of a pier somewhere and stare in to the void, wondering about the worthiness of my talent and the wisdom of my career choice.

However, there is one play that stands out, that changed my view of theater forever, that made me want to write and direct; Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice. I am sure nothing I saw that Wednesday matinee (I called in sick) was terribly original; the epic structure of this play about murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco by Dan White, the use of reporters, news clips and TV monitors (two three-story banks of monitors to be exact!) to convey exposition and force the audience into the action. The absurd characters like as a nun-drag queen Sister Boom Boom (played by a young Wesley Snipes) representing the conscious of the homophobic world at the beginning of the AIDS crisis.

Never mind about my outrage over the viability of the Twinkie-Defense, the pyrrhic pointlessness of the assassinations, the suicide-as-coda which deepened the human tragedy even further, it was the deft audience engagement that struck me.  Here was a big, complex, hugely entertaining piece that touch me like no other theater experience I had before.  It incited and indicted the audience, it leaven the atrocity with irony and gave minor characters a grace that transcended the real events it portrayed.

I thought it was just a trick at first. That Ms. Mann’s theatrical verisimilitude had succeeded in galvanizing my spirit and sense of righteous in much the same way a few drinks and no day job got me to argue over philosophical ephemera until 4 in the morning.  Yes, it was political theater, but, it was so much more. Execution of Justice cracked open my soul and allowed me a few minutes to peak in and see what was I missing.  Good or ill, I have been searching for it ever since.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

2012: the Year of Evolution

Contributed by Zack Calhoon

For my money, 2012 was the "Year of Evolution." Producing theatre during the Great Recession has caused theatre-makers in the New York Indie Theatre community to evolve both as an artists and producing organizations to survive. Artistic Boards having discovered that their donors could only be contacted so many times led them to seek out newer and more nimble avenues of project funding. Crowdsourcing sites like Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com, in less than a year, have become the new normal for budding theatre companies who want to finance their upcoming theatrical productions.

Indie Theatre-makers discovered they needed to also start thinking smarter, instead of larger. Consequently, co-productions and the exploration of alternative venues became a big trend this year. Rising Phoenix Rep produced a play, Elective Affinities by David Adjmi, that utilized a personal residence as a performance space rather than a traditional theatre. One of the most successful examples of a producers thriving in this new business model would be the BFG Collective. Boomerang Theatre, Gideon Productions and Flux Theatre Ensemble decide to combine their producing efforts, Voltron-style, to share the space rental costs and maximize the potential of the Secret Theatre in Long Island City.

In fact, it was Gideon Productions' of Mac Rogers' Honeycomb Trilogy, probably more than any other production that sticks out as one of the highlights of my theatre going experiences this year not only because of its extraordinary storytelling, but also because it couldn't have been possible without the built in infrastructural advantages that the BFG Collective theater companies afforded each other (i.e. a place to store their set between productions, aggressive cross-marketing opportunities, and the creation of a larger interweaving web of theatrical artists crossing each other's paths on a nightly basis at one venue). Because all three plays in the trilogy took place in the same house, they were able to keep modifying and distressing Saundra Yaklin's vividly realistic set from the first production Advance Man all the way to the end. This gave the production a wonderful continuity and expansive quality as the audiences got see how the set decoration evolved over the course of Rogers' epic saga.

I'm very excited to see what 2013 has in store for all of us both as a country and as theatre community. I also eagerly look forward to seeing what my fellow Indie Theatre-makers will be working on in the coming months.

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Zack Calhoon graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with BFA in Acting. As an actor he has worked with Boomerang Theatre (where he recently played the title role in Hamlet), Flux Theatre Ensemble, Dreamscape Theatre, Milk Can Theatre, Actors Shakespeare Company, Judith Shakespeare, Resonance Ensemble and Nosedive productions. His plays have been performed and developed by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Boomerang Theatre Co., East 3rd Productions, Living Image Arts, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, New Mummer Group, On the Square Productions, and Dreamscape Theatre. Playwriting credits: The Weird Sisters (East 3rd Productions, Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s PLAYFEST), Breaking Ranks (New Mummer Group), RINO (Core Creative Productions/Resonance Ensemble production at 2012 Brick Theater Democracy Festival, Resonance Ensemble Play commission) and Paint (Semi-Finalist for 2012 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Winner of 2010 Georgia Theatre Conference New Play Award, 2010 Semi-Finalist for a Juilliard Playwriting Fellowship). He is currently working on a commission, Friday at Jimmy’s, for Rising Phoenix Rep. He wrote two episodes for the second season for the award-winning web series, Then we got HELP! (www.thenwegothelp.com). He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Dramatist Guild, Writers Guild of America, East.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

End of Year Wrap Up

In 2012 Indie stages were packed with some amazing productions with incredible performances, innovative concepts and designs, surprising accomplishments and interesting trends. We have asked a group of artists who have been avid OOB audience members this last season to share some of their favorites and enlighten us about some of the trends and themes that they saw on the boards.


We are very interested to see their response and share it with you.






Thursday, November 1, 2012

Disaster Relief for the Arts



Indie theatre companies and artists are feeling the adverse effects of Hurricane Sandy. Here are some funding organizations that might be able to offer you some relief.


If you are need of emergency financial assistance due to Sandy, the Gottlieb Foundation offers relief options.

TDF is offering help for Indie Theatres that need office space

The Drama League is offering their office to artists who need to charge electronic devices (520 8th Avenue, Suite 320)


From the Arts & Business Council of New York
With extraordinarily wide-spread destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, grantmakers across the country will be looking to help with the cleanup and rebuilding. Here are some resources to remember:


From Fourth Arts Block

  • Federal disaster resources will be available to you only if you register at FEMA. Go to www.disasterassistance.gov and register as soon as you have the capacity! [FYI: New York City Arts Coalition is a good resource for arts organizations that have difficulty or questions about registering.] (It is also advisable to take pictures, document any damage, and keep a good record of what you spend post-Sandy.)
  • If you work in performing arts and entertainment and need assistance, reach out to The Actors Fund New York Office at 917-281-5936 or The Actors Fund Work Program NYC at 212-354-5480.They have stated their availability to support!
  • AIC-CERT responds to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public. For 24-hour assistance from trained volunteers, call (202) 661-8068.
  • Here is a list of Volunteer opportunities

ART/NY offers some great relief resources

TCG has a good list of Disaster Management Resources

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has an Emergency Resource page