About Off-Off-Broadway

The birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway, The Caffe Cino
in the West Village.
(Photo courtesy of Doric Wilson.)

In 1958, the lights came up on the 10 x 10 foot stage of the Caffe Cino and Off-Off-Broadway was born.  Since then this influential arts scene has attracted some of the most talented and courageous artists from across the country.

Today Off-Off-Broadway is one of the largest arts communities in the world. Approximately 500 theatre companies produce 2,000 shows featuring the work of an estimated 40,000 artists for 1.5 million audience members each year.


The Off-Off-Broadway Community is made up of some 40,000 independent theatre artists. It is a strong and vibrant community with many opportunities to get involved. The following organizations provide services for Off-Off-Broadway companies and artists:


Community Dish

The Community Dish is a group of Off-Off-Broadway producers and artists dedicated to bringing together members of the NYC Independent Theatre world with the intention of promoting communication between independent artists. While enjoying a meal, the artists in attendance will have the opportunity to speak and debate about their work, as well as how to produce it on a shoestring budget.



Indie Theatre

A website that meticulously keeps track of the myriad new work being presented by indie theaters. It is a forum for discussion about what's on the minds of indie theater artists. And it is a resource for people who want to know more about the work being done by indie theater artists.



ART New York

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) is the service organization for the nation's largest and most culturally diverse theatre community. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York currently serves close to 400 not-for-profit theatres and related organizations. It provides low-cost office space, management-related technical assistance, grantmaking and capital financing assistance, audience development initiatives and is an advocate for the arts at the state and local levels.



The Field

The Field offers programs that help independent artists create new artwork, manage their careers, and develop long-range strategies for sustaining a life in the arts. On a public level, The Field makes the work of hundreds of artists in New York accessible on an intimate basis through several performance series.



Fractured Atlas

Fractured Atlas provides services, resources, and support to liberate a nation of artists. From healthcare to publicity to development grants, we supply critical tools for independent artists and arts organizations so they can focus on their creative responsibilities. By nurturing today's vital but underrepresented voices, we hope to play a role in fostering a dynamic and diverse cultural landscape of tomorrow.



New York Foundation for the Arts

From its inception in 1971, NYFA has functioned as a creative development corporation, helping the arts to flourish in New York State as well as nationally. Each year, NYFA provides more than $11 million in grants and services and offers fellowships to as many as 170 New York State originating artists. They also invest in small and mid-sized arts organizations, seeding the growth of innovative programs and strengthening the artistic community.



For more information about the history of Off-Off-Broadway, check out these great books:

Playing Underground:
A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement

by Stephen J. Bottoms

Off-Off-Broadway Explosion:
How Provocative Playwrights of the 1960s Ignited a New American Theater

by David A. Crespy, Edward Albee


Caffe Cino:
The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway

by Wendell C. Stone

Plays and Playwrights 2006
by Martin Denton





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