Update March 2011 


Update header
MARCH 2011                              News from Off-Off-Broadway                                Issue 69
Doug Strassler, Editor 

World Theatre Day is March 27th 


World Theatre Day (WTD) celebrations begin this week. The NYC WTD Coalition has been busy planning even more events than last year.

  • Theatrical Performances: Shows throughout the city where the WTD messages will be read and/or distributed. Check out the listings. If you have a show running March 21 - 27, there is still time to participate, so sign up now.
  • SPLAT Performances: Spontaneous, Public Large-scale Acts of Theatre Performances. In other words... Flash Mobs. These events are super fun, quick, easy and unique NYC experiences. Email us at info@nycwtd.com to participate.    
  • NYC World Theatre Day Celebration: Party with friends and theatre artists from around the world, hear the International Message read by a NY theatre luminary, and watch footage from the NYC SPLAT Performances and from celebrations in other cities from around the world. On 3/27, 4:00pm - 7:00pm at Dixon Place.
  • Making the Political Personal: A brunch and panel discussion of notable New York artists will be hosted by hotINK and moderated by Kevin Bitterman, Associate Director of International Programs at TCG. While this event IS FREE, space is limited and an RSVP is required.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:00am
    at the Lark Play Development Center - 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor  
    Panelists include:

Elmar Maripuu, Canadian Playwright to be featured at HotINK festival of New Plays from Around the World

Barbara Lanciers, Program Officer at Trust for Mutual Understanding

Nilaja Sun, Actor/Playwright/Activist and Solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway hit No Child

Melanie Josesph, Artistic Director, The Foundry Theatre

  • The NYC World Theatre Day blog: NYC World Theatre Day Blog is hosting local, national and international guest bloggers discussing theatre and the international theatre community.
To get involved, email info@nycwtd.com or sign up on the NYCWTD website.
Check out details about the events at www.nycwtd.com.
Check out the blog at www.nycwtd.blogspot.com.
Follow us on Twitter @nycwtd
Friend us on Facebook

Community Corner   


OOB Townhall Meeting TONIGHT (Monday, March 21, 2011)
ICSCS - The Institute for Culture in the Service of Community Sustainability - will be holding a townhall meeting to present an update on the Tax Abatement proposal and several other proposals including 1% for Culture.  

  • The National Arts Club - 15 Gramercy Park South (20th Street) at 6:00 p.m. (meet and greet) / 6:30 p.m. (start time). Please RSVP if you are going to attend this Event by sending an email to: ephillips@demos.org  

OOB Audience Survey The Innovative Theatre Foundation is conducting the fourth part of our OOB research project. This study focuses on OOB Audiences. If you are an OOB Audience member, please take the survey today. If you have a production that will be performing in the next few months, we could use your help. Please email us at info@nyitawards.com.  


Tax Relief for Independent Theatre Companies
Over the last few years, the NYC Community Boards have been working tirelessly to help develop a tax relief proposal that would benefit small-to-midsized performing arts companies. They reached a significant milestone when the proposal garnered support from all 12 of Manhattan's Community Boards. Elected officials have been enthusiastic about the proposal, but asked some important questions that need to be answered. We are reaching out to all OOB theatre companies to encourage them to complete an online survey if they would qualify for the tax abatement. Find out if your company would qualify.  


The Soho Think Tank Finds a New Home
For those of us who have been following the intrepid struggles of the Soho Think Tank - losing their home on Wooster Street, then finding camaraderie and a temporary space at 3LD - will be happy to hear that they have a new home of their own. They will now be taking over the Wings Theatre in the Archive Building. Read more in this New York Times article.

For details about these and other important activities affecting OOB and to see how you can help and get involved,  check out the Community Corner.


10 quick to do's before you start pre-production
  (KampFIRE's NYU class cliff notes)
  1. Get tickets on sale (theatermania, brownpapertickets)
  2. Make a great postcard
  3. Gather lists of friends/neighbors/collegues of all cast/crew ect.
  4. Join an e-mail service like Madmimi.com or constant contact
  5. Make a website via Weebly, google sites, or dreamweaver
  6. Get great professional photography (2-3 people, in costume, staged, 4x6, 300dpi)
  7. Make a Facebook page for your company and an event for your production
  8. Consider social media ads: ie: Facebook/Google low-cost high ROI
  9. Hire a publicist

For more helpful marketing tips check out Kampfire Kounsel or the Kampfire Films PR website.    


Honorary Awards Applications
Now Available Online

Applications are due Monday, May 2, 2011

The Honorary Awards are:
  • The Artistic Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has made a significant artistic contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community*;
  • The Caffe Cino Fellowship Award, presented to an Off-Off-Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work. This award also includes a grant to be used toward an Off-Off-Broadway production.
  • The Stewardship Award, presented to an individual or organization demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support and leadership.

Complete your application today!

* While there is not an application for the Artistic Achievement Award, we encourage community members to email suggestions to the committee at info@nyitawards.com.

Our blog is so hot, it's like
Spring has sprung!

We wrapped up Arts Advocacy month as Norma Munn gave us the lesson in Arts Advocacy 101 and Paul Nagle introduced us to ICSCS.


Already David Diamond told us all about Ellen Stewart's international impact and LaMaMa Umbria. Judith Malina told us the Human Happiness should be our cause and Kathleen Warnock explained how OOB helped her build relationships in Dublin.

International Theatre Month continues as Blessed Unrest shares their international touring experiences. 

Check out the insights from your fellow OOB artists, share your thoughts and participate in the conversation.

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by Shay Gines   


  Mark Finley (right) presents Doric Wilson (left) with the 2007 Artistic Achievement Award


In 1961 Doric Wilson accompanied his friend, actress Regina Oliver to a place called the Caffe Cino, a small coffee shop on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village. Since 1958 a 10 x 10 foot stage at the Caffe had been made available for musicians, poets and performers. Wilson had come to humbly asked for time in the schedule to do a reading of his play And He Made a Her. The amiable proprietor, Joe Cino smiled patiently and asked Wilson what his birth sign was. When he replied, that he was a Pisces, Wilson was presented with a cappuccino and a performance date. "This became the standard operating procedure for having a play done at the Cino," says Wilson. "You simply asked Joe for a date." And thus began Wilson's tenure at the Caffe Cino.


And He Made a Her opened at the Cino on March 18, 1961 and marked Wilson's inaugural New York production. Fifty years later on March 16, 2011 friends and colleagues gathered at the Laurie Beechman theatre on 42nd Street to celebrate Off-Off-Broadway 's original resident playwright.  The evening consisted of a variety of performers including singers, cabaret performances, opera and several scenes and monologs from Wilson's plays. In short it was an evening of Wilson's favorite things; friends from his early years in the city, performers whose work he has followed and actors who have become regulars in the TOSOS cannon. Wilson said that he was honored by the performers who came to pay homage. "Not only because they are all extremely talented performers, but because they are all my friends - some of them almost forever. I am also proud that the actors and some of the singers come from TOSOS, my theater company."


The caliber of the performances was simply outstanding with each more impressive than the last. Michael Lynch got the audience in a funky and festive spirit with an original song "Havin' a Party;" opera singer Zachary Stains performed "All the Things You Are;" KT Sullivan had the audience in awe with 29 from 29, a fast-paced medley of 29 songs from 1929; playwright Chris Weikel gave a moving and humorist rendition of John Wallowich's song "I Live Along Again;" and Joanne Beretta brought down the house with her beautiful performances. In a way it was like watching an old variety show. "If the evening seems to slip and slide on the edge of rampant nostalgia," commented Wilson, "that's what happens when you celebrate a person who just turned 72 years of age."


Each of the performers and audience members came to pay tribute to Wilson and the longevity and profundity of his career. Over the years Wilson has inspired thousands of artists. "I don't know if Doric set out to inspire several generations of playwrights," notes fellow playwright Robert Patrick, "but that has been his role. It is largely due to his model that the custom of Off-Off Broadway became for plays to be independent, audacious, individual, and uncompromising -- four words that had rarely been applicable to plays before..Writers in many lands who did not know Doric existed or that he originated this stance took it as rote. His quiet revolution has been reverberatory."  


Wilson's work, which includes 12 full-length plays, reveals tremendous insight and a tender sense of humor about the human condition. It is not surprising that his plays about the origins of the gay rights movement found its legs in OOB. Shared characteristics like the fact that both sectors work outside mainstream American and have struggled for legitimacy make OOB a perfect conduit for plays seeking to challenge the status quo. They also both share a tenacious "Do It Yourself" attitude, much like Wilson himself. It begs the question if Wilson and his colleagues didn't imprint this personal characteristic on to the DNA of the OOB community.




Check out the Doric Wilson Tribute Video.




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Header Photos (L to R) -     
Mountebanks' production of Trav S.D.'s Tent Show Tetragrammaton; Emerging Artists Theatre's production of The ChiselersLooking Glass Theatre's production of Three By the Sea; and The Teacup Company's production of The Umbrella Plays. 

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



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To take advantage of this offer, email katie@kampfirefilmspr.com and mention this coupon from our Update.


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