Update: December 2012 

Update header
DECEMBER 2012                              News from Off-Off-Broadway                                  Issue 91
Doug Strassler, Editor                                    www.nyitawards.com  

From all of us here at the Innovative Theatre Foundation, we wish you all a joyous holiday season filled with happy surprises and cheerful memories and the happiest & most successful New Year.

Donate to Secret Sandy


The Innovative Theatre Foundation is proud to announce that it will once again bring the "Indie Theatre USO" to children and families affected by Hurricane Sandy. The weekend before Thanksgiving OOB artists accompanied the Children's Health Fund to spread a little joy to Far Rockaway families who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. We brought teaching artists and crafts to be creative with the kids and for them to take home.

We are now gathering supplies for Secret Sandy. Of particular use are crayons, coloring books, paper, colored pencils, and washable markers.  


LAST DAY to order
Handwritten letters from SANTA!

Do you have nieces, nephews, children of your own or friends with kids?

Or friends who act like kids?

If so... give them a special holiday gift that will excite their imagination, tickle their funny bone and enhance their Christmas experience.

  • Handwritten and personalized
  • Addressed to your child
  • Postmarked from the North Pole
$5 Personalized typeset letter to your child
$10 Personalized handwritten letter to your child

During this Magical and exciting time of year, children are anticipating their visit from Santa and the joys and surprises of Christmas morning. Enhanced their Christmas experience with a handwritten, personalized letter from Santa, addressed to your child and postmarked from the North Pole. Even the most skeptical child will believe the authenticity of this special keepsake.

All proceeds benefit the IT Foundation. And if you are really in the giving spirit, you can help us spread the word about this service.



Top 10 Tips for 2012
  1. Focus on Customer Serivce
  2. Use Facebook/Twitter to Market your show
  3. Know your Audience
  4. Use social media to share news and not just sell tickets/fundraise
  5. Empower your team -- use everyone involved to market your show
  6. Make your subject line irresistible
  7. Take time for rest/vacation
  8. Manage your email with a email management system
  9. Value your small successes
  10. Remember to have FUN!!!!!

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


  • Congratulations to White Horse Theatre Company for 10 years!
    Join their 10 Year Anniversary Party
    Monday, January 14th from 6:30-9pm
    in the Library at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park
  • Charitable Giving Incentives in Danger
    From American's for the Arts: December 31, 2011 saw the expiration of several tax provisions that require congressional renewal. The Senate Finance Committee approved a slimmed down extenders package, but several key incentives are now in danger of disappearing. Read more...    and contact your Congressional Representatives.

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.  

We asked some of OOB's most prolific theatre goers to give us their end of year wrap up and talk about some of their favorite shows of the season and trends they noticed this year.

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

BlogSpot  When you're not producing, registering, performing in, or judging shows, please stop by FULL OF IT! 


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by Christopher Borg

In Memoriam: Ryan Colwell
This past July, we were shocked at the loss of a beloved member of our Community, when Ryan Matthew Colwell, 32, of Brooklyn, passed away in his sleep from unknown causes just a few days after his birthday.

Ryan had worked extensively throughout Chicago and here in New York. In 2005 he collaborated with peers to form The Narcissists under which he has performed the solo shows Remembering the Future and Johnny Bad vs. Jackie True: A ruffian poet and his muse, and directed the ensemble monologue show C. Commute.

Since 2007 Ryan had worked with Toy Box Theatre Company as co-artistic director and production manager but continued to act, appearing as Poggio in their production of Tis Pity She's a Whore (2010 Nominee for Outstanding Original Music), The Stud in Woyzeck, and Lance, the villain in The Short Fall.    

It is always tragic when we lose someone so early in their life. His sudden passing is reminiscent of another shocking loss in our community in 2011, when the passing of the beloved Aaron Baker devastated the family at Williamsburg's The Brick Theatre.

Ryan was born "three days after the firecracks" in 1980 in Rockville, Connecticut, then moved to Kansas in 1988. He graduated from Blue Valley North High School in 1998 and from the University of Kansas in 2002 with a B.A. in Theater & Film. He moved to Chicago then to New York City to pursue a career in acting but his passion and gifts in the theatre led him to write, direct and produce as well.

I talked with Jonathan Barsness who was Ryan's Co-Artistic Director at Toy Box Theatre Company about his memories and thoughts of Ryan.

CB: What was Ryan like to work with?

JB:  He was absolutely fantastic as a producer. He was extremely organized and level-headed. He was the budget master and the keeper of the calendar, and he always managed to stay objective and never got carried away by the stress of production. He was "that" guy. He was a good actor, but he really enjoyed being in charge of the production being a producer and production manager.

CB: What was he like personally?

JB:  He was very patient. He didn't have any enemies and could get along with everyone who met him - egotistical or difficult actors or designers, small budgets lots of stresses, he was always calm and extraordinarily diplomatic, he always managed to keep things calm.

CB: I'm sure it his been difficult without him, what kind of impact has his passing had on Toy Box?

JB:  Absolutely devastating. We don't make a lot of money operating Toy Box Theatre....we were good friends who enjoyed working together...its been six months and we are getting back on our feet and figuring out how to move forward; both on a practical level - Ryan was the organizer- and also the emotional level...but this is a strong group of friends.

Ryan's obituary said "Ryan loved his life, his family and his many friends. He valued truth and sincerity and was gracious, genuine and funny. He was a true gentleman, a role model and an inspiration."

He is missed.

At this time of year it is nice to reflect on all we have, on our family, friends and chosen-families on Off Off Broadway and beyond.  Take a moment to thank them for their hard work and let them know how valuable they are. 

Love, Peace and Joy to you all.


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Show your community spirit and support the IT Awards with T-Shirts, hats, photos & DVDs from the 2011 IT Awards ceremony, and books about OOB and NYC Theatre.
You can get yours now at our shop.


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Header Photos (L to R)

Neighborhood Productions' Tar Baby; terraNOVA Collective's P.S. Jones & the Frozen City; Laughistan, LLC's BUMBUG. 

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

2012 Innovative Theatre Foundation


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