How did you get to know the Innovative Theatre Foundation?
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the Innovative Theatre Foundation.
What, primarily, do you feel you learned?
I learned first hand about the people who make up the Off-Off Broadway community in New York City.
What is unique, in your experience, to the Off-Off-Broadway community?
They bravely make art because they have a burning need to create new and daring works, despite being overworked and under-funded. They amaze me by magically producing on shoestring budgets.
What is unique, in your experience, to the Innovative Theatre Foundation?
The IT Foundation's founding executive directors Shay Gines and Nick Micozzi understand that Off-Off Broadway is a vibrant landscape, populated by the unsung heroes of the New York Theatre Scene. They recognize the need to not only raise awareness of Off-Off-Broadway but to encourage a sense of community.
How do you feel they’re fulfilling that need?
While I was helping put together the nomination party for their annual IT Awards, one thing became very clear to me: each of those people bringing new works to life -- especially in times with little to no funding for the arts -- must feel included to want to be part of a community.
What was your most surprising or unexpected discovery?
Growing up in the South, I once believed the age-old stereotype that all New Yorkers were cold, untrusting, and unfriendly, but I discovered that theatre people in New York are some of the warmest and most giving people anywhere. I discovered how the Off-Off-Broadway scene is very much a community within itself. They understand that the simplest gifts of someone's time and talent can culminate in spectacular results. Every gift of time or talent helps and it flows like good karma.
Please share with us one of the highlights of your internship experience.
I met veteran director Dan Bianchi of Radio Theatre! One of the things that I love about the Innovative Theatre Foundation is its wonderful network for theatre people to meet and interact with. They freely give of their time and support the IT Awards.
So, is it safe to say you felt inspired?
Yes. I try to dare myself to think outside the box and let go of limitations.
Nolan Doran is a Performer and Writer from Cycle 22 of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU.