Update March 2009 

Update header
MARCH 2009                               News from Off-Off-Broadway                                 Issue 43
Emily Sandack, Editor 

Forum on Small Theatres
Brings Ideas For Change

On February 17, 2009 Manhattan Community Boards 1 through 5 jointly hosted a Public Forum on The State of Small To Mid-Sized Theaters. Hundreds of attendees crammed into the Player's Club to show their support for the community, share their experiences and begin the discussion about "Developing Strategies in this time of Crisis and Opportunity."

Read more about it....

Find out what you can do now

Read this personal account of the event by Dave Edson

Check out the resource page that includes transcripts of the forum, audio recordings, YouTube videos and other important links.

Report on CB3's Arts Task Force meeting by Paul Nagle

Friday, March 27th
How are you celebrating World Theatre Day?
Since 1962 the International Theatre Institute has celebrated World Theatre Day every year on March 27th.  The goal is to "promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts in order to consolidate peace and solidarity between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts."

56 years later and this international celebration is just starting to take hold in the U.S. World Theatre Day is a grass roots effort that allows local theatre practitioners to develop local traditions around this theme. So what do you say OOB - are you game? 

Find out more....

2009 Honorary Award
applications are available online

We are pleased to announce that applications for the 2009 Honorary Awards are available online now and are due by 6pm on May 1, 2009. 

* The Artistic Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant artistic contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community;

* The Stewardship Award, presented to an individual or organization demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support and leadership;

* The Caffe Cino Fellowship Award, presented to an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work. This award also includes a grant ($1,000-$5,000) to be used toward an Off-Off-Broadway production.

Does your company need storage?

So do we! The IT Foundation needs storage space and we are wondering if there are any companies in our community that might want to be our roommate.

If you are interested, please email us at info@nyitawards.com.

We promise we won't leave hair in the sink.

Flying Frisbees! Moving Moments: The 2008 DVD is on sale now, and includes all the outrageous moments from the 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Awards Ceremony, plus backstage interviews with recipients and presenters including: Edward Albee, Lisa Kron, Bill Irwin, Martin Denton and Rochelle Denton, Judith Malina and more.
Buy your DVD here

Ceremony, red carpet, and backstage photos of you and other star OOB artists all dressed up and looking swell: Over 2,500 photos to choose from in the  2008 Photo Gallery.

Keep track of all of your important dates with this fun and fancy 2009 wall calendar featuring some of Indie theatre's hottest artists and their outstanding productions.


What did you think of the Public Forum on The State of Small to Midsized Theatres? 

We're talking about it on our Staff Blog!

We regularly post personal entries and updates on both our Blogspot and MySpace pages. Those of you who are already familiar and comfortable with RSS feeds are welcome to subscribe or follow us on either format.

When you're not registering, performing, or judging shows, please stop by the IT Awards Staff Blog!

Header Photos L to R:

Wreckio Ensemble's production of Rooftops, LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club's production of Shekinah, Billie Holiday Theatre's production of The High Priestess of Dark Alley, and eavesdrop's production of Finishing House.

For info on great shows currently running OOB, check out our website.



by Morgan Tachco  

Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage

Banana Bag & Bodice, 2007 IT Award nominee for Outstanding Production of a Play for The Fall & Rise of The Rising Fallen go epic in their newest production: Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage, a Banana Bag & Bodice SongPlay.
After two and a half years in development, this Bay Area Critics Circle Award nominated production, which premiered at Ashby Stages in Berkeley Ca, May/June 2008, makes it's New York premiere March 31st at The Abrons Arts Center.
Flawed heroes, sympathetic monsters and haughty professors collide as this hefty poem is rescued from the grasp of 1,000 years of highbrow analysis and transformed into a defiantly raucous musical. Presented by San Francisco's infamous Shotgun Players and New York's infectious Banana Bag & Bodice, this new SongPlay is an irreverent dissertation on art versus criticism in blood soaked Scandinavia!
The production features the work of many of the same BBB company members of The Fall & Rise of The Rising Fallen (FRTRF): Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage is written by Jason Craig, co-artistic director Jessica Jelliffe performs, lighting design by Miranda Hardy, set design by Banana Bag & Bodice, dramaturgy by Mallory Catlett (director, (FRTRF)), and is directed by Rod Hipskind (performer, (FRTRF)).
From writer Jason Craig: "Beowulf - A Thousand Years Of Baggage' started in 2007 when Shotgun Players artistic director Patrick Dooley commissioned Banana Bag & Bodice company members Dave Malloy and Jason Craig to create an original music-based theatre piece. From a place of irreverence and whim, they decided to tackle the oldest poem recorded in the English language. The result of this idea is a defiantly raucous SongPlay adaptation of the classic medieval epic Beowulf. Our version of the tale examines not only the events of the poem itself (heroes, monsters, retaliation, underwater battles, horses, swords) but also academia and the history of criticism that has sustained and stifled the poem for years. At the heart of the piece is the question of how art survives criticism, as the character Beowulf attempts to reclaim the purity of his tale. Banana Bag & Bodice's trademark approach to text, mixing quotidian slang with a poetic voice and music, fits perfectly with the poem's oral tradition and the bards in the meadhalls of long ago. The production includes a cast of seven actors- monsters, academics, warriors, kings and dancing ladies- and an eight piece orchestra including viola, bass clarinet, two trombones, harmonicas, guitar, piano, accordion, upright bass, percussion and saw. Our dramatic, imaginative set and light design incorporates 40 box fans, 5 fish tanks and a wrestling ring."
Still don't know what a SongPlay is? Here's how to find out: 

Shotgun Players present
Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage
a Banana Bag & Bodice SongPlay
March 31 - April 18, 2009
The Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street @ Pitt, New York City
Tickets: $20 - $25 available on Ovationtix.

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