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On Monday, September 21, 2015 The Innovative Theatre Foundation, the organization who for the past 11 years has been dedicated to celebrating Off-Off-Broadway, announced the 2015 recipients at its annual event. Celebrating eleven years and thousands of nominees, the New York Innovative Theatre awards took place at Mason Hall at Baruch Performing Arts Center. 

The 2015 New York Innovative Theatre Award Nominees represent 145 individual nominees, 57 productions and 55 theatre companies. In the past 11 years, the IT Awards have honored nearly 2,000 artists, 550 productions and 500 companies.

Host was Jason Kravits (ADA Richard Bay on ABC's Emmy Award Winning Drama "The Practice"), presenters included luminaries from the theatre community: K. Todd Freeman (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Peter Aguero (Moth StorySLAM host), Ray Klausen (production designer), Stanley Allen Sherman, Andrew Block (TDF), Ben Stanton (lighting designer, Fun Home), San Kusnetz (sound designer), Jon Goldstein (composer), Marshall W. Mason (Circle Repertory Company founder), David Auburn (playwright), David Greenspan (playwright and actor), Mindy Cooper Grenke (director, choreographer, performer),  Igor Goldin (director), Vallejo Gantner (PS 122), Alice Ripley (actress), Woodie King Jr. (New Federal Theater), and various members of the Off-Off Broadway Community.

Special awards were presented in the following categories:

Artistic Achievement Award Recipient: Marshall W. Mason

Ellen Stewart Award: HERE Arts Center

Caffé Cino Fellowship Award: Theatre 167

Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award: Andrea Alton

Outstanding Stage Manager: Juni Li

2015 ** Recipients **:


**Much Ado About Nothing, Smith Street Stage, Inc.** 

Olivia Caputo, Michael Vincent Carrera, Mary Cavett, John Patrick Doherty, Austin Durant, Maxwell Eddy, Patrick Harvey, Alexandra Henrikson, Jonathan Hopkins, David Pegram, Lauren Pennline, Georgina Richardson, Sam Rosenberg, Will Sarratt, Kim Taff, Sophia Tupy, Corey Whelihan**


** Sylvia Milo The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory **


** Dan McVey - Pretty Babies, Elsinore County **


** Mel House - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center **


** Matthew Trumbull - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead**


** Emily Koch - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center **


** Isaac Bush - The Mountain, The Circle Theater of New York **


** Isaac Byrne - In Vestments, Theatre 4the People **


** Nicole Pearce - The Law of Return, Newsom Zipoy Productions **


** Debbi Hobson - Unmentionables, Nylon Fusion Collective **


** Carolyn Mraz - The Twelfth Labor, Loading Dock Theatre Company **


** Jeanne Travis - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead **


** Stephanie Cox-Williams - (Gore & Blood Effects) R & J & Z, Hard Sparks **


** Phyllis Chen & Nathan Davis - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory **


** Lisa Bruna - Invasion from Estrogenius: Andi's Night, manhattan theatre source **


** Micheline Auger - Donkey Punch, Ivy Theatre Company **


** Night - The New Stage Theatre Company **


** Merrily We Roll Along - Astoria Performing Arts Center **


** In Vestments - Theatre 4the People **

For more information, CLICK HERE.




With over hundreds of shows presented at FringeNYC Festival and at Edinburgh Fringe, it’s hard to be in the know about what’s worth seeing. Even worse is having missed the show everyone is talking about post festival. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the Fringe Encore Series will present some of the most critically-acclaimed and crowd-pleasing shows from both festivals. But more importantly, it pinpoints and cultivates the theater talent of tomorrow.

From September 10th to October 30th, the Fringe Encore Seriesand SoHo Playhouse will present eighteen productions from the FringeNYC Festival and five from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Split between the Main Stage and the Huron Club at the Playhouse, these two dozen shows have already received accolades from the likes of The New York Times, Metro NY, Time Out New York, The Scotsman, TheaterMania, among others.

Highlight selections for the 2015 series include: a one-act drama based on real events surrounding the grey areas of consensual sex written by Kat Woods (Belfast Boy) and starring Will Merrick (Skins, About Time); a new musical about choosing the next Pope with Stephen Christopher Anthony (Book of Mormon), Alexa Green (Wicked), Jason Veasey (Lion King) and more; a biographical look at the life of John Walters’ muse, Divine; a moving drama about dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s suicide, which received the of FringeNYC 2015 Overall Excellence in Acting award; a compelling one-woman show depicting Eleanor Roosevelt’s lesbian relationship; and many more.

The 23 productions were hand-selected by seasoned professionals in the NYC theater community including Britt Lafield (Founder and Producer of the Fringe Encore Series, overseeing the NYC selections), Darren Lee Cole (Producer Fringe Encore Series, Artistic Director SoHo Playhouse, overseeing the Edinburgh selections), Scott Morfee (Producer of the Barrow Street Theatre), Michael Sgouros (Owner and Producer of The Players Theatre), and Brenda Bell (Artistic Director of Literally Alive Theatre).

Felicity Seidel's Lucky Chick makes the cut!

"This city is full of amazing young theatrical talent. Unfortunately there are not a lot of resources for those individuals to access when it comes to the practical aspect of producing, moving and growing a show for a larger audience… This year's selections are as varied as they are talented. Where else can you see a brilliant one woman show about Eleanor Roosevelts' lesbian lover, an incredibly touching play about mental illness and suicide, a hilarious musical about picking the Pope in addition to amazing storytellers and some of the best clowning you will see outside of a circus tent. These show's need to be seen by a bigger audience. We provide them with the theater and framework to discover more about their show, more performances to invite audience and industry and expert feedback on every aspect of the production process from our industry advisers… and by doing so, cultivate the next generation of professional theatrical talent in this city."

Terry Baum's "HICK" remains a FringeNYC favorite

Cole concurs, “The series serves as a unique and needed development stage for emerging artists and ideas. It has become one of the finest ways to discover future hits. From edgy, funny, dramatic, and engaging, what I love about the Edinburgh shows is that they are original and each takes a risk in their own way. That's what Fringe is about and my involvement with the Encore Series has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career.”  

The Encore Series’ mission of creating a platform for sustainable theatre is evident in the amount of shows that have seen commercial viability after successful runs in the Encore Series. “Jamaica Farewell” was a selection in 2007, and is still performed internationally, with praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Sun Times, The Edinburgh Times, among others. Others have earned Drama Desk Nominations including “Krapp 39” and “Rap Guide to Religion.”

A full schedule of shows can be found by CLICKING HERE.


Watch above as Terry Baum discusses her play, "Hick: A Love Story" with LocalTheatreN.com.

All shows selected from NYCFringe will range in price from $18-$25, and those selected from Edinburgh Fringe will be $25. A three-show package will be available $45.

Tickets will be available at: www.sohoplayhouse.com.

Meet "Orphans" Playwright Lyle Kessler September 4th in Huntington, Long Island. 

Looking forward to my visit to Huntington to see the wonderful company of actors in ORPHANS”

Lyle Kessler

Actor, playwright, screenwriter, director and master acting coach/teacher Lyle Kessler will paying a visit to Huntington, Long Island's Conkin Barn on September 4th for the final performance of his hit play, "Orphans," playing at the Conklin Barn from August 20th to the 5th of September. The evening will conclude with an audience Q&A session with Mr. Kessler.

This production marks the return of the award-winning team of Bonney/King Production. Bonney/King Productions were winners of Broadway World’s 2014 award for Best Actor, Play and Director for their production of “Prisoners and Criminals” also performed at the Conklin Barn in Huntington.

Orphan’s tells the story of two young abandoned brothers living together in a Philadelphia apartment towards the end of the last century.  The true nature of their existence is revealed in harrowing, funny, and poignant ways when Harold, a mysteriously wealthy businessman enters their lives. 

ORPHANS first premiered in 1983 with Joe Pantoliano (Soprano’s) and Lane Smith (My Cousin Vinny) in originating roles.  It was nominated for a Tony last year for “Best Revival of a Play” that starred Alec Baldwin and Ben Foster (3 10 to Yuma). It has also been adapted to the screen and starred Albert Finney, Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson. 

Tickets to this production are available now and will sell out fast. Pleas read below for details and reserve your tickets early.

Opening Thursday August 20th for a limited 12 performance run.

Thursday thru Saturday August 20th, 21st, 22nd at 8:00 pm

Thursday thru Saturday August 27th, 28th, 29th at 8:00 pm

Wednesday thru Saturday September 2nd, 3rd. 4th, and 5th at 8:00 pm

Sundays August 23rd and 30th at 3:00 pm.

Venue:  Conklin Barn, 2 High St (off New York Ave./ across from Appliance World), Huntington NY  11743.

Tickets:  Purchase online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1766086

contact Barbara Gasparik at 631-484-7335

Visit “ORPHANS” Facebook at www.facebook.com/OrphansLongIsland


Academy Award winner BENICIO DEL TORO to be honored at the 2015 HOLA Awards

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), the nation’s longest running active arts advocacy Benecio Del Toroorganization for Latino actors, is pleased to announce that it will honor Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro with the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award.

He will join “Orange is the New Black” star Selenis Leyva, “Jane The Virgin” star Andrea Navedo, “Blue Bloods” star Marisa Ramírez, and others at the Sixteenth Annual HOLA Awards Gala and Benefit.  Selenis Leyva in Orange Is the New Black (2013)

The HOLA Awards will take place on Monday, October 14, 2015 at 6pm at The Battery Gardens, located on the waterfront overlooking New York Harbor in Battery Park (opposite 17 State Street in lower Manhattan).

Benicio del Toro will receive the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award. Del Toro won the Academy Award for his role in Traffic. Other film credits include Che, The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy and Escobar: Paradise Lost. Upcoming films include The Little Prince, Sicario, Weightless, and A Perfect Day.

Andrea Navedo will receive the inaugural 2015 HOLA Elizabeth Peña Breakthrough Artist Award. The award is named after HOLA founding member Elizabeth Peña, who passed away in October 2014. Navedo, an HOLA member, is a veteran of television and film. She is currently playing Xiomara Villanueva in The CW’s “Jane The Virgin”. Selenis Leyva will receive the 2015 José Ferrer HOLA Tespis Award. Leyva, a former HOLA Award theater winner, is a veteran of stage and screen. She is best known for playing Gloria Mendoza on the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”. Marisa Ramírez will receive the HOLA Excellence in Television Award. Ramírez can currently be seen playing Detective María Báez in the CBS series “Blue Bloods”.

HOLA is collaborating with R.Evolución Latina on the Dare To Go Beyond Award, an honor for one who is an inspiration to the Latino community and who gives back to it. This year’s inaugural honoree is director, playwright, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). In addition to winning the Oscar for Birdman, Dinelaris wrote the book for the Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical On Your Feet!, opening in Broadway this fall. He is also the Co-Executive Director of the Oberon Theatre Ensemble. Special citations will be given to filmmakers Rocío Llado (for her feature film La novia del libertador), and Julio Ortega and Nitsy Grau for their feature film Medardo).

In addition to the above awards HOLA will also continue its annual tradition of honoring the best of Latino theater in New York with noncompetitive awards encompassing multiple winners in each category. HOLA is at the forefront in recognizing the high caliber work being offered across New York’s growing and thriving Latino theatrical stages.

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is an arts service/advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the presence of Hispanic artists in entertainment and media through the cultivation, education and recognition of emerging artists. HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of the full spectrum of Latino culture and heritage in the entertainment and media industries. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. A limited number of individual tickets are available at $150 (if purchased before August 31, 2015) and $175 (if purchased from September 1, 2015 onward).

CLICK HERE for More information.



If you haven't noticed, the Summer theatre festivals are upon us. And they are not just arriving, they are arriving almost at once!

This is not to say that theatre festivals are exclusively a Summer event, but in the next few months (having started in mid June), there will be hundreds of festival productions to choose as FringeNYC, Thespis, Midtown International Theatre Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival and quite a few others make their 2015 debut. These offerings will include everything from plays in development to finished works looking for production deals from off Broadway producers, independent theatre companies and more.

If you think making it big is a long shot, think again. Urinetown, The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told, Sistas and The Imbible are all productions that started humbly at the festival level and made the jump to the big league, some with seemingly realtive ease.

The Imbible, as an example, recently (just last Thursday, June 18th) celebrated its 100th performance since debuting at the FringeNYC Festival in 2014. For The Imbible, it began with a few festival dates, continued through Fringe Encore and quite litereally never stopped. They found a home at Soho Rep and are still going strong. For more on The Imbible or to purchase tickets, click here: http://imbible.org/.

This year, even before some of the festivals open, we are seeing and hearing about some interesting and potentially groundbreaking theatre sitting in the wings. Theatre with a cause or a social message is nothing new, but things change and so does the message. A few of these shows haven't even begun casting, but the buzz has already created the stage for some great expectations.

In less than one month, The Thespis Festival, which is fast becoming one of the fasted growing and biggest theatre festivals in the New York area, opens with over 60 productions that will run into late September at the beautiful Hudson Guild Theatre on the Westside. The festival offers both equity showcase and non-equity productions in just about every genre you can imagine, but it is aleady showing some promising works in the making.

Anthony Inneo's "You Just Don't Get it, Do You?" is a strong and powerful story about the recent "great recession" that makes a social commentary about the banking and financial industries in a sort of Quentin Tarantino manner. This is a play that appeals to a very base, anger-laden and emotional reaction that comes at the heels of  losing your life's saving to corporate stupidity and greed.  Yet it is written with great passion, understanding and intelligence by Mr. Inneo. Imagine your golden years destroyed financially and what you would want to do about it and you will quickly catch a glimpse of where this staged dramedy can go. The show is currently in pre-production and will open on Labor Day weekend.

Another socially themed work is Carol W Berman's "Parking Lot 63," a chilling and touching piece also opening at Thespis an dealing with abuse, sexual slavery and prosititution. Dr. Berman, who is a New York City psychiatrist, is also an accomplished playwright and artist with several works under her belt. She is looking to tell a story that hopefully will draw attention to a subject that is seldom discussed, but certainly merits our attention. Her play opens in mid-August also at the Hudson Guild.

But there is an abundance of great new works we can catch right now. 

Now running through July at The Paradise Factory is The Planet Connections Festivity, "New York’s premiere socially-conscious arts festival." This Festival is designed to "invoke the power of art in motivating philanthropy, community outreach and social change" and offers quite a range of productions that are produced to directly benefit different causes.

You can find a full list of their productions BY CLICKING HERE, but we've featured a few highlighted productions below:

Buddhas Are Screaming In China - “A play about love, luck, loss, and Elephants.”

Benefiting: Big Life Foundation

Written and Directed by: Maggie Surovell | Choreographed by: Jill Echo

Buddhas are Screaming in China (written and directed by Maggie Surovell and choreographed by Jill Echo) is a play about love, luck, loss, and Elephants. Hai’ou is studying the conservation of endangered species when she is forced to confront her mother who buys ivory Buddhas for good luck.  As we follow Hai’ou’s journey, we witness a family of life size elephant puppets trying to survive. Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street. Run Time: 50 minutes

Tuesday, 6/23/15, 8:00pm, Saturday, 6/27/15, 12:30pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 6:00pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 8:00pm, Sunday, 7/5/15, 6:45pm, Tuesday, 7/7/15, 7:15pm


In Our Own Voice: Women Veterans Tell Their Story

“The hardest part is coming home.”

Benefiting: Women for Women International

Written by: Beverley Coyle - Directed by: Colleen Britton

What do you do when you’re a young woman and a recent veteran – when the hell of war is being eclipsed by the hell of coming home?IN OUR OWN VOICE is a lively and funny but devastating interchange between young women who’ve just come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. They know way more about war than their families want to know they knowVenue: Paradise Factory, Downstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street - Run Time: 60 minutes

Wednesday, 6/24/15, 4:30pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 5:00pm, Thursday, 7/2/15, 8:45pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 6:00pm, Thursday, 7/9/15, 8:00pm, Saturday, 7/11/15, 1:45pm BUY TICKETS HERE


Lost In Place - “A look back at today with the hindsight of tomorrow.”

Benefiting: Coalition for the Homeless

Written by: Secondhand Theatre Company | Directed by: Secondhand Theatre Company

Conceived and created by the ensemble:
Jenn Calhoun, Nicolas Carra, Ashley Ford, Lesley Shannon, Brandon Hollely, Eunyoung Bona Jung, Evan Kincade, and Liberty O'Dell.

Lost In Place is a collaborative exploration by the Secondhand Theatre Company, a look back at the “Now” through the neo-vaudevillian orators of a future generation. Return to the birth of storytelling with us! Dance around fires while aiming a playful, yet critical eye at our modern society. Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street. Run Time: 90 minutes

Saturday, 6/20/15, 11am, Sunday, 6/21/15, 12:00pm, Monday, 6/29/15, 4:00pm, Saturday, 7/4/15, 12:00pm, Monday, 7/6/15, 9:15pm, Friday, 7/10/15, 6:30pm BUY TICKETS HERE


When the Party’s Over

“Bon voyage, champagne and caviar!”

Benefiting: World Wildlife Foundation

Written by: Glory Kadigan
Directed by: Eric Mercado

Broadway actress Anna takes her mother Adriana on an Alaskan vacation in the hope of repairing their terse relationship. It’s “all aboard” as the ladies sail off, but Anna and the other passengers get more than they bargained for on their magical glacial adventure as Anna encounters ghosts from the past - Venue: Paradise Factory, Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street - Run Time: 90 minutes

Schedule: Thursday, 6/18/15, 4:30pm, Monday, 6/22/15, 8:45pm, Sunday, 6/28/15, 3:45pm, Friday, 7/3/15, 6:00pm, Saturday, 7/11/15, 7:00pm, Sunday, 7/12/15, 11:00am - BUY TICKETS HERE


Women and Children - “For years these guys thought they were on a sinking ship. Turns out it was a lifeboat.”

Benefiting: SAGE Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Elders

Written & Directed by: Michael Boothroyd

After years of dodging obstacles, from prejudice, inequality, plaques, and grindr, a group of NYC gay men realize they landed on their feet. However, when a straight-man, separated from his wife and children, interrupts their dinner, they struggle to make sense of the choices they made and the paths they took.

SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 6/17/15, 7:45pm, Sunday, 6/21/15, 2:00pm, Tuesday, 6/23/15, 9:30pm, Wednesday, 6/24/15, 4:30pm, Tuesday, 7/7/15, 4:00pm, Thursday, 7/9/15, 6:00pm - BUY TICKETS HERE


For more information about other upconming festivals, please check back shortly.