'OFF Stage' is Tour of Off-Off-Bway History and Plays

OFF Stage: the West Village Fragments, presented by the Peculiar Works Project, will be a site-specific multi-venue performance that will travel along historic West Village streets.

Presented from September 21st through October 7th, the event will feature short scenes from over a dozen landmark Off-Off Broadway plays. The traveling performance will take three tours per night (at 7:00, 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.) on a 2-hour "performance heritage trail. "Along the way, audiences will experience an original multidisciplinary performance punctuated by short scenes from over a dozen landmark plays at the actual sites where they were originally performed. Each and every tour will end at Judson Memorial Church where there will be a reception," according to press notes.

Among the plays and playwrights included will be: Kenneth Brown (The Brig); Diane di Prima (Monuments); Rosalyn Drexler, with music by Al Carmines (Home Movies); Maria Irene Fornes (The Successful Life of 3); Paul Foster (The Recluse); Robert Heide (The Bed; West of the Moon); William M. Hoffman (Goodnight, I Love You); Claris Nelson (The Rue Garden); Richard Schechner and The Performance Group (Dionysus 69); Gertrude Stein, with music by Al Carmines (In Circles); Doric Wilson (And He Made A Her); and Lanford Wilson (The Madness of Lady Bright).

Directors represented in the project will include Tim Cusack, Julie Hamberg, Jeff Janisheski, Anna McHugh, Christopher Mirto, Renee Philippi, Gabriel Shanks, and David Vining. Stops will include: Caffe Cino, Provincetown Playhouse, Washington Square Methodist Church, Judson Memorial Church, Circle-in-the-Square (Downtown), Cherry Lane Theater, Sheridan Square Playhouse, and Jefferson Market Garden (Women's House of Detention).

A company of 50 actors will perform scenes from the plays.

"Born of the Pass-the-Hat circuit, Coffeehouse Theater, and Anti-War Protest actions, the Off-Off Broadway movement found its heart and soul in Greenwich Village. Over the past few years, some important downtown theater venues, such as Circle in the Square, Sullivan Street Playhouse, Variety Arts, Perry Street Theater, Gene Frankel Theater and the Provincetown Playhouse, have been demolished or are targeted for destruction. With "OFF Stage," Peculiar Works will voyage into the birth of NYC's alternative theater movement: Off-Off Broadway. And in that voyage will draw attention to the hidden secrets behind the incredible spaces that New Yorkers walk by everyday—important sites that have supported so many significant plays and colorful characters.

OFF Stage: the West Village Fragments' long-term mission is to persuade the city to install permanent plaques at each historic Village location in order to commemorate its artistic legacy. 'It's impossible to stop all the change,' notes PWP's Co-Artistic Director Ralph Lewis. 'The reason you have to do these sorts of events is to remind people that when you do change, don't forget that there used to be these important places and events here. It's also a way to draw attention to some of the material that influenced our desire to be part of this community as well as to draw attention to all of these old spaces that no longer exist.'"

Tickets are $15, and $10 for students and seniors; TDF is accepted.  Call 212-529-3626 or e-mail off@peculiarworks.org for reservations.

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