Update: April 2013 


Update header

APRIL 2013                              News from Off-Off-Broadway                                  Issue 95
Doug Strassler, Editor                                    www.nyitawards.com  

Honorary Awards Applications
Now Available Online

Applications are due Monday, May 1, 2013 @ 6PM 


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 Ellen Stewart 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!





You can't do it all alone, marketing and public relations for Off-Off-Broadway is a group effort. Want to reach beyond Friends and Family? Well, embrace Friends and Family! Put their network to work for you, empower them to help with marketing and sell tickets.

Stressed out, not enough time, hire help! Hire a publicist, hire a marketing expert, hire someone to do your social media.  KampFIRE is offering 1/2 price mini-sessions, one hour intensive Marketing Konsults to help you hone your outreach and ensure you are targeting and reaching the proper audiences.
For more helpful marketing tips check out  Kampfire Kounsel or the Kampfire Films PR website.




  • Arts Advocacy Day
    Arts Advocacy Day took place April 8-9 in D.C. Yo-Yo Ma gave the keynote Nancy Hanks Lecture, which is very much worth a watch 
  • World Theatre Day
    And if you missed World Theatre Day's Around-the-Globe Chain Play live, you still watch it 
  • LIT Endorsed Candidates
    The League of Independent Theater has made its first round of endorsements: Scott Stringer for Comptroller, Eric Adams for Brooklyn Borough President and Jimmy Van Bramer for City Council District 26 in Queens.
  • Pop-Up Journalism
    Things are stirring in the arts journalism world with a new pop-up model called Engine 31 that received some attention at the recent Humana Festival. Check it out. 
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.  
Internship Applications Now Available


Work with us, learn with us! Intern with ITF in 2013!

We are currently accepting applications for our internship program for our 2013 season The Innovative Theatre Foundation Internship Program offers a rich and challenging experience for qualified college students, graduates and young professionals who are actively pursuing careers in professional theater.


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Header Photos (L to R) 
Schmucks Theatre's BlackbirdRetro Productions' A Day In the Death of Joe Egg; Kipuka Theater's La Marie-Vison; &  Brick Theater's Mass  
Check out nyitawards.com for info on more
great shows currently running OOB.

In This Issue
Honorary Award Applications
Kampfire Kounsel
Community Corner
Intern with us!
The Blog
Spotlight On: .Kamala Sankaram



Kamala Sankaram

by Christopher Borg

According to her twitter account Kamala Sakaram is an opera singer, a composer, an accordionist and an insomniac, which may account for her impressive output of work as an artist.

Kamala was nominated last year for Outstanding Original Music for the production of Miranda, produced by MirandaCo in association with HERE Arts Center, a production that received the 2012 IT Awards for Outstanding Sound Design (Matt Schloss) and Outstanding Production of a Musical and was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design (Nick Francone). The New York Times said of the production "Miranda is strikingly original, mainly because its principal vocal lines, which Ms. Sankaram sings in the title role, are inventively shaped, full of character and emotionally direct and authentic."

Kamala was recognized again for her work on the piece as she was just awarded a Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theatre Wing on March 24th and performed a song at the ceremony. Check out the video

Jonathan Larson was the famed composer of Rent who died as his ground-breaking show opened on Broadway.  His dream was to infuse musical theatre with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality. The Jonathan Larson Grants were created "with the understanding that without the grants that supplemented Jonathan's meager income, Jonathan might never have written Rent" and have supported more than eighty composers, lyricists, and librettists at the start of their careers for the past 16 years. The recipients are chosen by a panel of experts in musical theatre, many of whom are prior recipients.

Kamala created Miranda, a steampunk murder mystery opera, as a resident artist at HERE Arts Center.  As a composer, Kamala Sankaram's music has been performed as part of American Opera Projects "Opera Grows in Brooklyn" series, at HERE Arts Center, the Stone, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival, among others. She had the featured commission on the 2009 21C Liederabend, selected as one of Time Out's 10 Best Classical Concerts. She was the 2012 Composer-in-Residence at the Eugene O'Neil Theater and has received numerous grants.

As a performer, Kamala Sankaram has collaborated with and premiered pieces by the Philip Glass Ensemble , the Wooster Group, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, eighth blackbird, Phil Kline, David T. Little, Corey Dargel, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tristan Perich, Fred Ho, the Dogs of Desire, and Anti-Social Music, among others.

I caught up with this musical insomniac genius to ask her a few questions:

CB:  What was your experience like working on Miranda?

KS:  Miranda was my first musical, and I definitely learned a lot! I think working in downtown theater has taught me to be very flexible, and how to make something grand without necessarily having a lot of resources at my disposal. The whole experience has made me very humble to be working in a field full of such dedicated and talented people.

CB: What an honor to be recognized by the American Theatre Wing! Those folks give out TONYs!

KS: As for the Larson Award, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would win! It's such a validation of my reasons for coming to NY and wanting to work in the theater in the first place. And it's gratifying to know that even when you're working on a shoestring, the work can still be good, and there are people out there who will appreciate it.

CB:  Anything you are working on now?

KS:  Right now, I'm working on a new show called Thumbprint collaborating with the acclaimed playwright Susan Yankowitz. It's the story of Mukhtar Mai, the first woman in Pakistan to successfully prosecute an honor crime. It goes into production next January as part of the PROTOTYPE Festival...it blends Western and Hindustani classical music.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Kamala has created voice characters for the Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, and Studio Mouse.

On April 21st the Tri-Centric Orchestra, the resident ensemble of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation, premiered three compositions for a 16-piece ensemble including Kamala.  Her piece, "Dark Flow," based on the astrophysical phenomenon wherein galaxy clusters are pulled by an unseen force.

If you want to check out more of her work, you can head uptown to the Guggenheim! From April 28-30 she is joining choreographer Manou Phuon for Khmeropedie III, a dance based on the movements of the white-handed Gibbon as a part of the Guggenheim Museum Works in Process.

You can learn all about Kamala and explore her work at her website:  www.kamalasankaram.com.



2013 Innovative Theatre Foundation


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