BWW Special Feature: 99 and Under the Radar; There's a Boomerang in the Park...
Welcome to 99 AND UNDER THE RADAR: A LOOK AT INDIE THEATER'S MOVERS AND SHAKERS, BroadwayWorld's new weekly series that showcases standout productions and production companies from the independent theater scene in New York City. Each week, independent producer Michael Roderick will be discussing the latest goings on in the theatrical wings, highlighting those with potentially bright futures.
This Week's Topic: There's a Boomerang in the park and The Birds have a plan to save the birds
The Indie Theatre community is one that always takes full advantage of the summer months. Whether it's a show on a hot crowded sidewalk in July or performance art at a subway stop, Indie artists always discover innovative new ways to bring theatre to those who may have never been exposed. It's what we do well. It's also a very common trait for the Indie community to rally around specific causes and show amazing support for organizations tied to our missions. This week looks at two Indie Summer events that do just that.
First up is Boomerang Theatre Company which is presenting The Tempest in Central Park on the weekends entirely free. It's a pretty amazing thing when a company offers something like this during the summer. Shakespearean productions are often costly and many companies need to charge a good chunk of change in order to even come close to making that money back, but Boomerang sees this as an event that anyone should be able to see. The great part is that due to the location, unlike another theatre in the park, there is no line for multiple hours to get seats. Boomerang mentions to the patrons to bring a blanket and sit where you like. The production then takes place out doors amongst the trees and grass and all for no cost to the audience. If you haven't had a chance to see the polished and incredible work that Boomerang does, this is a great way to get a taste of the talent and get in a relaxing fun filled afternoon with friends and family. From the press release: "A storm brings the passengers of a royal vessel crashing onto the unforgiving rocks of a desolate island paradise. Dark forces and magic lead the castaways and the island's inhabitants in a struggle for revenge, love and freedom. The production, directed by Sara Thigpen, features performances by: Spencer Aste, Kent Burnham, David Carlyon, Bob D'Haene, Jonathan Dewberry, Jason Loughlin, Catherine McNelis, Vinnie Penna, Shannon Thomason, Christian Toth, Amanda Tudor,Luis Vega, and Schylar Westbrook. This weekend, the production wraps up sadly, but there is still time to catch the show before it disappears with the storm. To find out more, click here.
Next is the ever Eco-Conscious 9 Thirty Theatre Company. The BP Oil Spill got the attention of this group right away and when the decision was made to do a bold new production of The Birds in August, they instantly got to thinking about how this could be even more relevant. From the press release: Directed by Aaron Gonzalez, "The Birds is set in a landfill/crow's nest, and inhabited by half-puppet half-man trash art creations, our protagonist's seeks fortune with a plan that hinges on Man's "out of sight out of mind," mentality. The old adage, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," rings true and he prevails by defeating his enemies with their own greed. Performed by: FrEddie Bennett, Patrick Bonck, Matthew Jellison, Nicole Hodges, Kim Ramirez, & Eric Sutton. With Puppetry by Lillian Clements, Costume Designs by Ren Ladassor, Composition by James Stewart, and Set Design by: Aaron Gonzalez" The production will no doubt have some haunting echoes of what we are currently experiencing, but to make this even more relevant and in an act of compassion, the company has devoted the theme of its fundraiser for the project to the birds and other animals that have suffered from the oil spill. From the press release: "A spectacular night to raise money for 9Thirty Theatre Company, one of the country's first Eco Theatres and Tri-State Birds, the main clinic helping animals in the Gulf of Mexico." So not only is this group making a commentary on the scenario, they are also raising money to support a company that is doing something about the problem. There is an old chinese proverb that goes, " A person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the man doing it" in a time when many folks are just sitting by, 9-Thirty is doing something both artistically and financially and that is to be commended. More info on how to support them and attend their special event for The Birds can be found here.
Both of these companies are offering gifts to the community as well as causes they support this summer. Come out and see what they are about.
Read more of Michael's insights at www.oneproducerinthecity.typepad.com.