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André De Shields Rings in Fourth Annual 'Free Night of Theater' Launch

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for not-for-profit theatre and its New York partners the Arts & Business Council of New York, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers, the League of Independent Theater, The New York State Council on the Arts, and Theatre Development Fund presented TCG's fourth annual Free Night of Theater launch today in Union Square.

The program was introduced as a three-city pilot program in 2005 to raise the general awareness of America's not-for-profit theatres and attract new and non-traditional audiences. This year the national program is making more than 55,000 tickets available to 650 theatres in over 120 cities in 26 states.

A complete list of the 120 participating cities and theatres is available at www.freenightoftheater.net. Free Night NYC is offering more than 8,000 free tickets to over 100 theaters across the city inaddition to hosting parties, as well as pre and post-show discussions,all designed to increase word of mouth about the program and to celebrate the diverse work of the NYC theatre community. A list of the participating theatres is attached.

Renowned Broadway actor André De Shields (who can be seencurrently in The Flea Theater's production of CATO) opened the program with a stirring performance of The Age of Aquarius from HAIR (the show that gave him his break in Chicago), and talked about the richness of theatre for both performers and audience.  He was followed by TCG executive director Teresa Eyring, who spoke about the growth of the Free Night program and the extraordinary work of the NYC managing partners. 

Eyring introduced Kate Levin, NYC's Director of Cultural Affairs who presented Eyring with a proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg,recognizing October 16 as Free Night of Theater NYC Day!  The programended with a rousing performance by Korean break dancers, BallerinaWho Loves B-boy, who can be seen soon performing at 37 Arts Theatre.Theatre Communications Group's (TCG) mission is to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional, not-for-profit American theatre. TCG initiatives include a variety of artistic, management, internationaland advocacy programs.

Its many publications offer a national resource for reference, opinion and debate on theatre and the performing arts today.  TCG serves nearly 500 member theatres nationwide and has 17,000 individual members and university, business and trustee affiliates.  More information about TCG is available at www.tcg.org.


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