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VIDEO: NY Public Library for the Performing Arts' Theatre on Film and Tape Archive Celebrates 50 Years

The Focus Center Stage Exhibition runs through February 25, 2023.

The past half-century of the documented history of theatre is on display at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' newest exhibition, Focus Center Stage: 50 Years of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive. Spanning two floors of the Library, the exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of its world-renowned Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), showcasing excerpts from the many productions the division has filmed since its founding in 1970. Featuring Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre productions, the exhibition also includes interviews and dialogues with important figures, rare photographs from the behind-the-scenes work of some of the talented artists dedicated to creating theatre productions, and the TOFT staff and video crews recording them for future generations.

Originally planned for 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic, the exhibition, Focus Center Stage: 50 Years of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive, is scheduled to run until February 25, 2023. It scales two floors at the Library for the Performing Arts's Shelby Cullom Davis Museum, in the corridor gallery section of the building at Lincoln Center.

"With literally thousands of productions from which to select, it was a truly daunting task to curate this exhibition," said Patrick Hoffman, who has served as Director and Curator of TOFT since 2001 and was its Assistant Curator for 8 years prior to that. "First and foremost, we wanted to feature and demonstrate the depth and breadth of our TOFT Archive and its phenomenal collection of video recordings of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre productions."

Watch below as Richard Ridge gets a special tour of the exhibition from Patrick and learns more about TOFT's incredible history. Note: screens displaying performance footage throughout the ehibition remain dark through the tour due to copyright limitations.




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