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Off-Off-Broadway

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Off-Off-Broadway
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{{Use mdy dates|date=August 2017}}Off-Off-Broadway refers to theatrical productions in New York City that began as part of an anti-commercial and experimental or avant-garde movement of drama and theatre. Off-Off-Broadway theatres are smaller than Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres, and usually have fewer than 100 seats,NEWS,weblink Off-Off-Broadway, Way Back When, Theatermania, December 2, 2018, October 4, 2004, Wright, Charles,weblink December 2, 2018, though the term is sometimes applied to any show in the New York City area that employs union actors but is not under an Off-Broadway, Broadway, or League of Resident Theatres contract. It is also often used in connection with shows that employ non-union actors.

History

The Off-Off-Broadway movement began in 1958 as a "complete rejection of commercial theatre".{{Sfn | Viagas | 2004 | p = 72}} Michael Smith gives credit for the term's coinage to Jerry Tallmer in 1960.JOURNAL, Smith, Michael, The Good Scene: Off Off-Broadway, TDR (journal), The Tulane Drama Review, 1966, 10, 4, 159–176, 10.2307/1125218, Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" theatre were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, particularly the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. This DIY aesthetic also led to creative acts of object repurposing by playwrights and directors, who cobbled together sets from materials scavenged from local streets.{{sfn|Malewitz|2014|p=51}} Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church. Other theaters of note that presented many plays were Theatre Genesis, New York Theatre Ensemble,NEWS,weblink In and Around Town, Ruth, Gilbert, New York Magazine, March 2, 1970, March 28, 2015, 13, 3, 9, The Old Reliable,BOOK,weblink Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement, Stephen James, Bottoms, The University of Michigan Press, 2004, Ann Arbor, MI, 292, March 28, 2015, 978-0-472-03194-8, 10.3998/mpub.22965, The Dove Company, The Playwrights Workshop,WEB,weblink PDF, Robert Patrick Papers : ca. 1940-1984, New York Public Library, December 3, 2018,weblink July 10, 2018, May 2004, Winters, Jennifer L., and Workshop of the Players Art.NEWS, Berman, Audrey, Christopher Lloyd! Stacy Keach! Jessica Tandy! It's the 1973 Obies!,weblink December 3, 2018, The Village Voice, May 3, 2011,weblink July 10, 2018, May 24, 1973, At its coalescence, Off-Off-Broadway was known for its experimental nature. Brooks McNamara wrote that over time, Off-Off-Broadway work lost some of its experimental spirit, instead beginning to imitate the "characteristics of off-Broadway, which had gradually moved toward reshaping itself in the image of Broadway, though often producing works that were unsuitable for commercial theatre."JOURNAL, McNamara, Brooks, Brooks McNamara, Broadway: A Theatre Historian's Perspective, The Drama Review, 2001, 45, 4, 125–128, 10.1162/105420401772990360, An Off-Off-Broadway production that features members of the Actors' Equity Association may be an Equity Showcase production intended to allow actors to be seen by potential future employers. Equity maintains union rules about working in such productions, including restrictions on price of tickets, the length of the run, and rehearsal times. Professional actors' participation in showcase productions is frequent and comprises the bulk of stage work for the majority of New York actors. There has been an ongoing movement to revise the Equity Showcase Code, which many in the community find overly restrictive and detrimental to the creation of New York theatre.NEWS, Garrett, Eisler,weblink Breaking the Code?, The Village Voice, August 28, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071109084522weblink">weblink November 9, 2007, December 3, 2018, In 1964, Off-Off-Broadway productions were made eligible for Obie Awards, and in 1974, the Drama Desk Awards began evaluating such productions with the same criteria as it used for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.WEB,weblink About the Drama Desk Awards, Drama Desk Awards, March 28, 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150325074058weblink">weblink March 25, 2015, mdy-all, The term indie theatre, or independent theatre, was suggested as an alternative for "Off-Off Broadway" by playwright Kirk Bromley during a speech at the 2005 New York Innovative Theatre Awards.BOOK, Istel, John, Jenkins, Jeffrey Eric, The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2005-2006, 2007, Limelight Editions, New York, 978-0879103460, 261, The Season Off Off Broadway,

References

{{Reflist}}

Sources

  • {{Citation | last = Bottoms | first = Stephen J | year = 2004 | title = Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement | place = Ann Arbor | publisher = University of Michigan Press | ISBN = 0-472-03194-5}}.
  • {{Citation | last = Curley | first = Mallory | year = 2013 | title = Tales of Off Off Broadway | publisher = Randy Press}}.
  • {{Citation | last = Viagas | first = Robert | year = 2004 | title = The Back Stage Guide to Broadway | place = New York | publisher = Back Stage | ISBN = 0-8230-8809-X}}.
  • BOOK, Malewitz, Raymond, 2014, The Practice of Misuse: Rugged Consumerism in Contemporary American Culture, Palo Alto, CA, Stanford University Press, 9780804791960, 10.11126/stanford/9780804791960.001.0001, harv,

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