Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And the 2010 nominees are...

The 2010 Nominees were announce at a sold out event in the West Village. James Scruggs, Nicky Paraiso, Tzipora Kaplan, Doug Strassler, Jay Aubrey and Linda S. Nelson had the honor or announcing the nominees to the very enthusiastic crowd.


Christine Rebecca Herzog, Itsuko Higashi, Jubil Khan, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Kaela Crawford, Julia Giolzetti, Caitlin Mehner, Alison Scaramella, Stephanie Strohm, Pink!, Down Payment Productions

Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte, Michael Dalto, Stephanie Wright Thompson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones
Jenny Bennett, Melissa D. Brown, John Graham, John J. Isgro, Courtney Kochuba, Kyle Minshew, Amanda Nichols, Katherine Nolan Brown, Jed Peterson, Sean Reidy, Miranda Shields, Douglas Taurel, Nate Washburn, The Disorder Plays, Milk Can Theatre Company

Joie Bauer, David Bishins, Gina Nagy Burns, James Patterson, Chris Skeries, Harris Yulin, Janet Zarish, The Glass House, Resonance Ensemble

Daniel Abeles, Craig Jorczak, Jacob Murphy, Anna O'Donoghue, Laura Ramadei, Claire Siebers, Too Little Too Late, Red Elevator Productions


Dan Berkey, Remission, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

Michael Graves, The Report of My Death, One Armed Man, Inc. in association with Oracle Theatre, Inc. and Faux-Real Theatre Company

David Harrell, A Little Potato and Hard to Peel, ADH Enterprises

Erin Markey, Puppy Love: A Stripper's Tail, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

Brian McManamon, It or Her, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

Avery Pearson, Monster, Really Sketchy and terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

Jesse Zaritt, Binding, Theatre C and terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival


Michael Cyril Creighten, MilkMilkLemonade, The Management & Horse Trade Theater Group

Amir Darvish, Psych, Cake Productions

Kyle Haggerty, The Hypochondriac, the cell theatre company

Douglas Scott Sorenson, The Hypochondriac, the cell theatre company

Evan Thompson, Loyalties, Unity Stage Company

Paco Tolson, The Brokenhearteds, I Mean! Productions


Jess Barbagallo, MilkMilkLemonade, The Management & Horse Trade Theater Group

Nikole Beckwith, MilkMilkLemonade, The Management & Horse Trade Theater Group

Jessica Crandall, Agamemnon, LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club

Jennifer Harder, MilkMilkLemonade, The Management & Horse Trade Theater Group

Elaine O'Brien, Granada, Polybe + Seats

Anna O'Donoghue, Too Little Too Late, Red Elevator Productions


Frank Anderson, The Return of Peter Grimm, Metropolitan Playhouse

Marc Bovino, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones

Joe Curnutte, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones

Christopher Domig, A Mysterious Way, Firebone Theatre
John Halbach, Children At Play, CollaborationTown

Harris Yulin, The Glass House, Resonance Ensemble


Elizabeth A. Davis, Emily, An Amethyst Remembrance, Firebone Theatre

Elyse Mirto, Next Year in Jerusalem, WorkShop Theater Company

Susan Louise O'Connor, Children At Play, CollaborationTown

Tanya O'Debra, Radio Star, Horse Trade Theater Group and Tanya O'Debra

Kristen Vaughan, The Desk Set, Retro Productions

Stephanie Wright Thompson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones


Nina Ashe, Manhattanpotamia IV, The Hyperion Theatre Project

Jonothon Lyons, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Austin McCormick, Le Serpent Rouge, Company XIV

Christine O'Grady, Children of Eden, Astoria Performing Arts Center

Kim Weild, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Jesse Zaritt, Binding, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival


Daniel Brodie and Jonothon Lyons, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Heather Cohn, The Lesser Seductions of History, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Lila Neugebauer, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones

Alex Roe, The Return of Peter Grimm, Metropolitan Playhouse

Brian Smith, Pink!, Down Payment Productions

Kim Weild, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks


Tim Cryan, Welcome to the Woods, The International Theatre Laboratory Workshop

Charles Foster, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Gina Scherr, Le Serpent Rouge, Company XIV

Joel Silver, Pink!, Down Payment Productions

John Tees III, Down Range, Delano Celli Productions

Christopher Weston, The Return of Peter Grimm, Metropolitan Playhouse


Stephanie Alexander, Pink!, Down Payment Productions

Brooke Berry and Mark Mears, Psych, Cake Productions

Olivera Gajic, Le Serpent Rouge, Company XIV

Viviane Galloway, The Desk Set, Retro Productions

Julianne Kroboth, Craven Monkey and The Mountain of Fury, Piper McKenzie

Lisa Zinni, Killing Women, kef theatrical productions


Daniel Brodie, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Rebecca Cunningham, The Desk Set, Retro Productions

Michael P. Kramer, Children of Eden, Astoria Performing Arts Center

Zane Pihlstrom, Snow White, Company XIV

Brian Scott, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Amanda Stephens, Pink!, Down Payment Productions


The Broken Chord Collective, Thunder Above, Deeps Below, Second Generation Productions, Inc.

Stowe Nelson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones

Shane Rettig, Alice in Slasherland, Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company

Philip Rothman, Proof, Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions

Jeanne Travis, The Desk Set, Retro Productions

Mark Valadez, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Performance Lab 115


C. Andrew Bauer, Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Daniel Brodie, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Heather E. Cunningham and Casandera M.J. Lollar, The Desk Set, Retro Productions

Daniel Heffernan, The Glass House, Resonance Ensemble

Jonothon Lyons, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Zane Pihlstrom, Snow White, Company XIV

Matt Tennie, Alice in Slasherland, Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company

David Valentine, Alice in Slasherland, Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company


Michael Kosch, The Return of Peter Grimm, Metropolitan Playhouse

Jonothon Lyons, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Andrew Mauriello, Radio Star, Horse Trade Theater Group and Tanya O'Debra

Carl Riehl, Laika Dog in Space, New York Neo-Futurists

Colonna Sonora, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Toy Box Theatre Company

Mark Valadez, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Performance Lab 115


Lorraine Cink, Emilia’s Wish in The Disorder Plays, Milk Can Theatre Company

Cheryl L. Davis, BMW in The Disorder Plays, Milk Can Theatre Company

Amy Herzog, Christmas Present in Too Little Too Late, Red Elevator Productions

ML Kinney, What If… in The Disorder Plays, Milk Can Theatre Company

Bethany Larsen, The Third Date in The Disorder Plays, Milk Can Theatre Company

Jonothon Lyons, The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble


James Comtois, Infectious Opportunity, Nosedive Productions

Stacy Davidowitz, Pink!, Down Payment Productions

Ashlin Halfnight, Balaton, Electric Pear Productions

Adam Kraar, Empire of the Trees, Wizard Oil Productions

Tanya O'Debra, Radio Star, Horse Trade Theater Group and Tanya O'Debra

Crystal Skillman, The Vigil or The Guided Circle, Impetuous Theater Group & The Brick Theater


Binding, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

Craven Monkey and The Mountain of Fury, Piper McKenzie

Diagnosis of a Faun, LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club

Haunted House, Vortex Theater Company

Manhattanpotamia IV, The Hyperion Theatre Project

Remission, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

The Soup Show, New York Neo-Futurists


Caroline, or Change, The Gallery Players

Children of Eden, Astoria Performing Arts Center

Romance Romance, The Active Theater

Rootless: La No-Nostalgia, terraNOVA Collective’s soloNOVA Arts Festival

The Cradle Will Rock, Theater Ten Ten

Top of the Heap, The Gallery Players


Fêtes de la Nuit, WeildWorks

Pink!, Down Payment Productions

Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Mad Ones

The Desk Set, Retro Productions

The Return of Peter Grimm, Metropolitan Playhouse

The Tenement, The Associated Mask Ensemble

Congratulations to all of the 2010 Nominees.

Fifth Annual IT Awards Ceremony
Monday, September 20, 2010
Location: TBD

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Question or, Really I just wanted to be Diane Keaton

Hi everyone! Off-off Broadway superstar, Kevin Townley, here! If you’ve never heard of me then you’ve just proved my point, so the laugh’s on you.

I am honored to have been included in the illustrious roster of guest bloggers here.

I’ve been listening to the new Laurie Anderson album, Homeland, a lot this week. In the track Another Day in America she references Kierkegaard’s idea that life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.

This resonated with me a lot the night I wrapped up a five-hour photoshoot with my dear friend and collaborator, Hanna Cheek, where we had to simulate sex and a stabbing in our underwear. As an isolated moment in time this made absolutely no sense at all, but in retrospect my whole life had been leading up to this moment.

I grew up in Boulder, CO, and after graduating from high school I had decided to pack my Teletubby luggage and move to New York City. To prepare myself for the move I decided to rent movies about swinging city life. I watched every Woody Allen movie (this was 1996, so they hadn’t nosedived yet) and dreamed of being invited to the lush dinner parties of Upper East-siders where we’d all be wearing high-waisted chinos, deriding Heidegger and listening to Bix Beiderbecke records. Really I just wanted to be Diane Keaton.

On one of the last days before I moved, I was at the Boulder Public Library, leafing through a big hardcover book called something like The Paramount Story, all about the film studio. On one page about midway through the book there was a huge black and white photograph of Diane Keaton smoking a cigarette on the steps of a brownstone, wearing a trench coat over a plaid button down shirt and tight jeans tucked into a pair of knee-high boots. It was a still from a movie called Looking for Mr. Goodbar and she was the coolest person I’d ever laid my eyes on. This movie seemed essential arsenal in my quest to become a sophisticated New Yorker and Diane Keaton. I rented it that night and was completely traumatized…for life you might say; the one poster in my house is an original one-sheet of Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Those of you who have seen this troubled and troubling film will understand why; everyone else, go watch in on Netflix Watch Instantly (it’s not available on DVD).

The film was based on the best selling novel of the same name by Judith Rossner and tells the story of a young woman tangled up in a double life. The Netflix film description says:

Diane Keaton plays young teacher Theresa Dunn, whose initially innocent search to find the man of her dreams escalates into increasingly promiscuous and dangerous encounters with men she meets at bars. An outwardly caring nurturer living a banal existence by day, she thrives on the thrill of her evening trysts, which eventually involve drugs and violence. As she's spinning out of control, she vows to clean up -- but not before one final rendezvous.

Pretty grim stuff.

A few years ago I joined a rock band called Bambi as a singer and was asked to try my hand a writing lyrics. I had no idea what to write about, so I just decided to write about things that I liked: Jane Goodall, The Bride of Frankenstein and…Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

My good friend, Jimmie Marlowe, the band’s guitarist, took my lyrics summarizing the Goodbar story and turned them into a plaintive rock ballad inspired by Barry Manilow’s 'Mandy'. We performed it a lot over the next few years and it was always very popular at our shows. After completing an album we were all trying to decide what to work on next and Jimmie suggested we try our hand at a concept album. “Why not try adapting Looking for Mr. Goodbar into a concept album?” he suggested. The story resonated with all of us; we’d all had our share of wild nights in New York, made some fun but stupid choices and were all lucky enough to live to tell the tale. We spent the next few months tinkering around with the idea, making some headway, but, as with many artists, with no real deadline to keep us in check nothing concrete really came of it.

Then one day I got a call from Tom Ridgely, one of the co-founders of my theatre company, Waterwell, asking me if Bambi would like to collaborate with them on a project. “You guys are so theatrical already, it might be fun to put what you do into a more narrative structure; something that’s not quite a rock show and not quite theater.” I was excited by the idea and told him about our Goodbar project. There were a few moments of silence and then he said, “Well I’m not sure if that’s quite it, but let’s talk about it more.”

Before we could really discuss other options, Tom called to let me know that our friend Freedome from the City Parks Foundation had contacted him wondering if Waterwell had any ideas to pitch for SummerStage’s 25th Anniversary season. Goodbar was a go. We held an eight-song presentation for Freedome and he booked us. “I don’t know what you guys are doing, but I love you and trust you. See you in August.”

If we were going to crack open our hearts and skulls for this project we were aiming for a life beyond August, but this was the lighted rag we needed under our asses to kick this project into gear and completed.

I really had no idea why we were choosing to re-imagine this old chestnut from the ‘70s, aside from a dark teenage fixation. If we were going to expend the required amount of time and energy into hauling this project into being, there ought to be a reason. To paraphrase Victor Hugo, material that is not universal and timeless isn’t really worth exploring.

Whenever Waterwell embarks on a new project we try to find a central question that we can continuously come back to in order to make sure we’re on the right track. For Goodbar I had stumbled upon a proverb that the Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, used in a lecture I’d head: “Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain; what is the most important thing?”

We all reread Judith Rossner’s strange third-person-omniscient novel, fired up my old VHS copy of the movie and wrote fifteen new songs in under eight months.

As is often the case when you collaborate with a bunch of creative kooks, the project you each hold so dearly begins to take on a life of its own, dictating to you what it wants to be and your job is to hold on; not too loosely and not too tight.

One thing we all seemed to agree on was that we did not want this to be Looking for Mr. Goodbar: The Musical! Any source material from the ‘70s has the potential to become a kitsch-fest, and there was something deep, dark and timeless about the material, which kept calling us back to it. Plus, we’d all seen our share of Off-Broadway and Broadway “rock musicals” which had missed the mark; just more showtunes played on the electric guitar, sung by trained conservatory voices with stick-on faux-hawks. We had something more along the lines of Kte Baush’s Hounds of Love or The Who’s Tommy in mind.

Bambi is an actual rock band and we wanted to revisit the lost art of the concept album. What we aim at is closer to a classical oratorio than anything else; something with deep, resonant themes that‘s all music all the time; no contrived scenes, just rock and roll with enough abstracted holes in between songs so the audience can fill in the blanks with themselves.

We did want to be true to the story though, which had a few plot points and six main characters, so we enlisted the help of the stellar video artist, Alex Koch. We decided that we’d need a feature-length video element to help us clarify the story and characters we’re portraying. It seemed a logical next step to enlist the help of actor friends to appear in the video and through a few crafty emails we were able to get Ira Glass, Bobby Cannavale, Dave Hill and other New York notables to lend their time and talents to the project.

For the roles of the main character, Theresa, and her killer Gary, however, Hanna and I decided to step up to the plate. We figured if we were going to take on such dark material we ought to put our money where our mouths were. This meant recreating the final, blood-curdling murder scene.

So I grew a creeper moustache and met Hanna and the crew at a friend’s apartment this past Sunday night. In keeping with the story, I simulated a sex scene with my dear friend, tied her up with a phone cord and stabbed her to death (Hanna’s currently alive and well performing another show in Canada). The cameraman suggested that he shoot the actual stabbing from her perspective. He didn’t want to get fake blood on his nice shirt though, so he stripped down to his undies (I was already in mine) and I straddled him with a switchblade in hand while our director, Arian Moayed, stood by, flinging fake blood at me from a jam jar with a tablespoon as I pretended to stab him to death.

My life is weird.

We still have a few weeks of rehearsal; choreographing and staging the show, which will premier at East River Park on August 20th.

It’s interesting to see how little seeds unknowingly planted in the past begin to spring up years and years later.

The show will continue to grow and change, and who, really, can say what will happen to our baby? Who can really spend too much time worrying about what will happen next when we’re all having such an amazingly fulfilling time creating something together?

Death is certain; the time of death is uncertain; what is the most important thing?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indie Theatre Week


INDIE THEATER WEEK is here!  With 3 can't-miss events!

First up, it's the  
LIT Mixer

Are you ready to party?

We in the Indie Theater Community work hard. Very hard.

But we're also the most fun.

Let's prove it.

Come to the LIT MIXER!
As part of the undergroundzero Festival at PS 122
And Indie Theater Week

Friday July 16th
11:00pm - 1:00am
PS 122 - 150 First Avenue

Join your favorite indie theater folks for a night of drinks, dancing, and mingling.

See you there!


Next, join us for the -

Innovative Theatre Awards Nominee Announcement Party:

at the historic Off-Off-Broadway Venue
Demo Hall / Carmine St. Center at Our Lady of Pompeii
located at 25 Carmine Street (corner of Bleecker)

Monday July 19th
from 7pm to 10pm

For more information, please visit http://www.nyitawards.com
Finally, please join The Community Dish, The Innovative Theatre Foundation,
The League of Independent Theatre and United Stages

for the
2nd Annual Indie Theatre Midsummer Classic
(Softball Game and Picnic)

Saturday, July 24th
noon to 4pm
Field #1 of the Great Lawn in Central Park

(bring your own) - noon to 1:00pm
Softball Game - 1:00pm to 4pm
Drinks at a nearby pub TBA - 4pm til they run out of beer & hot wings

Your team captains Tim Errickson and Michael Criscuolo ask that if you have equipment to please bring it and to be prepared to share a glove with a neighbor.

It is a great way to celebrate the summer, share community spirit and engage your fellow OOBers in a little friendly sporting rivalry. 


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guest Blogger of the week: Kevin Townley

Thank you to last week's blogger Michael Criscuolo.

We are happy to announce next week's Guest Blogger: Kevin Townley

Kevin Townley is a writer, singer, improviser and actor who has performed in elementary school cafeterias, Hollywood blockbusters and everywhere in between. A mainstay of the downtown New York theatre scene, he has worked with such legends and notables as John "Lypsinka" Epperson (My Deah), Harry Koutoukas (Ring of Death), Wynn Handman and Suzanne Shepherd. He’s performed his one person show Let’s Get Lost: Ameila Earhart Sings the Blues at Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova and The Gershwin Hotel. As a member of the acclaimed theatre company Waterwell, Kevin has written and performed in the off-Braodway shows Marco Millions (based on lies), The/King/Operetta and #9. Along with the British cult band, The Tiger Liliies, he appeared in the international hit Shockheaded Peter. He can be seen on your TV screen in several episodes of Law & Order, not to mention playing a young Eddie Izzard in Ivan Reitman's My Super Ex-Girlfriend. He sings in the band Bambi, who, in collaboration with Waterwell, are developing a rock adaptation of Judith Rossner's Looking for Mr. Goodbar for SummerStage. Kevin also co-hosts and produces The Talent Show, a monthly variety show, which has showcased the talents of Ira Glass, John Hodgman, Dave Hill, Paul Dinello and Jeff Garlin, to name just a few. The Associated Press has called him "Magnetic" and "Fabulous".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Wishlist for the New York Theater Community

Contributed by our Guest Blogger of the week, Michael Criscuolo

Theater fans, if you're like me then you've probably experienced one (or more) of the following:

  • You've seen a bad show
  • You've been in a bad show
  • You've felt like your time was wasted by said shows
  • You've felt frustrated by all of this and powerless to do anything about it

And, if you're like me, you've daydreamed a million times about how you'd change things (for the better, of course) if you were in charge.

Today, because I can, I'd like to indulge the side of myself that fantasizes about such things (thank you, NYIT Awards blog). It's been a while since I've had a blog of my own where I could hold forth on such matters. And my friends are sick of listening to me natter on about the following.

So, without any further ado, I give you my wishlist for the New York theater community. Just a little missive outlining some measures I'd take if I had a say in anything.

  • I wish that actors would take their bios more seriously. For real. I know that most actors would rather be caught dead than write their bio. And when forced to do so they often come up with something my grandmother would've sharply called "smart aleck-y." But hear me out on this. Read the following totally irreverent bio that I just made up and tell me what you think:

Jane Smith has appeared in numerous Off-Off Broadway productions you probably haven't seen at a plethora of theaters that are mostly defunct. She doesn't have an MFA but still thinks she's a good actor. She owes everything, especially her ass, to Hamster.

You've read that bio countless times. Maybe you've even written it. And yeah, it's funny. When you're drunk at a party. But, in every other context, you know what I think whenever I see a bio like that? That the actor who wrote it doesn't take themselves very seriously. And they're not interested in having other people take them seriously. You see, I think bios are as important as your headshot and resume. They are another way of presenting yourself to the public. And more people will see your bio than will see your P/R.

So, with that in mind: what would you want a total stranger – who’s possibly going to see you act for the first time – to know about you? That you like cheese? That you’ve been in a bunch of stuff no one’s seen? That your cat’s name is Buster? I think not. Next time you’re about to write “that bio,” take a minute to think about the kind of impression you really want to make on people. You might reconsider.

Personally, I always try to write the kind of bio I like reading: one that tells people what I’ve done. In terms of acting and the biz, what you’ve done is who you are. And, as far as I’m concerned, if you don’t present yourself professionally, no one’s going to treat you that way.

  • I wish that actors and directors would take curtain call more seriously. I know you’ve seen this one before. You’ve just spent two hours watching a really good show: good acting, good directing, good everything. Lights fade to black. You take a deep, edifying breath. Rapturous applause starts. The lights come back up, and...

The entire cast ambles back on for the sloppiest, most lackadaisical curtain call you’ve ever seen in your life.

Nobody knows who to take the bow off of, so everyone just kind of bows when they feel like it. It’s all very slapdash and hasty. The actors look embarrassed and eager to get it over with. Then they walk off in all directions without uniformity. It’s obvious to everyone that the director threw the curtain call together about two minutes before the house opened.

To which I say: unacceptable.

I know. You’re probably thinking I’m a crusty old crank right about now. But listen to what I’m about to say: the show deserves a good curtain call. Why? Because it’s part of the show. And it is as indicative of the show’s overall quality as anything else in it.

The actors deserve a good curtain call too. Why? Because they earned it by going onstage that night and putting their proverbial ass on the line in front of a roomful of strangers. The curtain call is the only chance most of those audience members will ever get to show their appreciation for the actors.

The audience wants to show appreciation (usually). The actors like to be appreciated (no matter how embarrassed they are by it). Everybody needs the curtain call. And a good one reflects well on the show. Don’t shortchange everyone by throwing it together at the last minute. Put it together during the last week of rehearsal and practice it at every run-through up to opening. Going the extra mile on this will put you head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. (And individual bows for the leading players aren’t a bad idea either – I’m just saying...)

  • I wish more theaters would open the house at 7:30. This one is more for all the Indie Theater companies out there since, for the most part, their Broadway and Off-Broadway counterparts already do this. To me, this is a simple thing that conveys a powerful message: opening the house at 7:30 tells people that you’re prepared and ready to do the show.

Remember all the times you’ve gone to see your friend’s show, only to arrive at 7:45 to find the house not opened yet and all the actors and crew people running around trying to get ready in time for an 8:00 curtain? Sure you do.

And do you remember what you thought every time you saw that? I’ll bet you do.

I know what I think every time I see that: Uh-oh.

As in: God only knows what the hell we’re in for tonight. This is not a good way for any audience member – or cast member, for that matter – to start the show.

Now, I know what you’re going to say: Listen, Mr. Crusty Old Guest Blogger! Things happen before a show sometimes. Things go wrong. Equipment doesn’t work. Actors are late. You can’t plan for these contingencies – you can only address them when they happen!

Yeah, yeah – I know. But that doesn’t mean you can’t open the damn theater and let people in. Its part of the accepted social contract of doing theater: audience members expect the house to be open when they show up. So they can take their time settling in, going to the bathroom, reading the program, doing whatever. If the house opens at 7:55 and the show starts at 8:00, the audience has to rush to do all of these. Or even worse (as I’m sure they would tell you): they have to figure out which of these they have time for before the show starts and which one can wait for later.

And let me tell you: if they choose to wait until after the show to go to the john, it’s going to be a long night for everyone.

Plus, it’s a good thing to do for the cast and crew. Once the house opens, they all have a chance to settle themselves in for some pre-show quiet time, focus, prepare, and just generally be calm before the show starts. If everyone is running around doing this, that, and the other right up to curtain, there’s very little time left for anyone to focus on the task at hand. Dare I say that’s totally unfair to one’s cast and crew? I will dare.

I could go on like this for hours, but you get the gist of what I’m saying: I’m basically a crank.

Seriously, though. I’m a detail guy. Because, to me, little details are always what make the larger whole more interesting and memorable. And I think that everyone who does theater should pay more attention to details like the one’s I’ve mentioned above. Because ignoring them only makes the unattended gaps in the larger whole more obvious.

Interesting and memorable will always bring audiences back to the theater, as well as theater artists and practitioners. Unattended gaps will not.

Thanks for letting me bend your ears a bit, theater fans. I now return you to your regularly scheduled guest blogging.

Guest Blogger: Michael Criscuolo

We're excited to announce our guest Blogger of the week, Michael Criscuolo.

MICHAEL CRISCUOLO is an actor and a writer. Off-Broadway: Willy Nilly (Actor's Playhouse), Tartuffe (The Pearl Theatre Company), No Applause, Just Throw Money (Theater for the New City), 365 Days/365 Plays (The Public Theater). Indie Theater: The Ninja Cherry Orchard, Q & A: The Perception of Dawn, Babylon Babylon (The Brick Theater), The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror (Nosedive Productions), As You Like It (Boomerang Theatre Company), 3800 Elizabeth (The Welding Club), Merry Mount (Metropolitan Playhouse), FOX(y) Friends (Sponsored By Nobody). Regional: Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Opera House Theatre Company. Film & TV: Byron Invented Boredom, Sweet and Lowdown, The Horror Story, Terror on Highway 91, A Stoning in Fulham County. Michael has been a contributor to nytheatre.com since 2001, and has also been published in American Theatre magazine. He was honored as one of nytheatre.com's 2008 People of the Year, and is a Master Mason of The Brick Theater. Training: NYU.

Join the party to celebrate our 2010 nominees!

The Nomination Announcement is just around the corner...

On Monday, July 19 at Our Lady of Pompeii (25 Carmine St) from 7pm to 10pm!

Tickets are only $15 and benefit the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. You can get your tickets here.

The public announcement starts at 8pm, so come early, get a drink, get your picture taken and rub elbows with some of the most talented and exciting theatre artists in New York City.

Support the efforts of the New York Innovative Theatre Foundation in honoring Off-Off-Broadway…and win prizes at the same time.

Tickets are now available for purchase on the IT Awards website or can be purchased at the event on Monday July 19th at Our Lady of Pompeii.

Tickets are $2 each
Or get 6 tickets for $10
Or you can get 13 tickets for $20

Raffle prizes include:
Tickets to Great Theatre and Events including:
Atlantic Theatre Company, Film Forum, The Colbert Report, Second Stage and much, much more!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Thanks to Rebecca Comtois for guest blogging last week!

And, since we've been guest-blogging for six months now, I want to take a moment to thank ALL of our guest bloggers this year. It's been incredible to read the insights of our community and see the conversations you've all sparked.

We have more to come, but will be taking a short break from guest blogging this week for the holiday and the Nominee announcement party. We'll be posting minimally (I'd guess you could call it blogging...) in the interim.

Have a lovely and safe holiday!