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Theater for the New City Presents OPEN 'THO SHUT


Open 'Tho Shut begins on Saturday, November 14 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM.

Theater for the New City Presents OPEN 'THO SHUT

On Saturday, November 14 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First Ave., will inaugurate "Open 'Tho Shut," a weekly series of free, live walk-by performances in which acts will be staged live in the theater's set shop for audiences of socially distanced passers-by, who will watch through an open garage door on East Tenth Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. The shop was renamed "The Chopshop Theater" for this series.

The launch is part of "More Ways than Broadway's," a city-wide collection of safe and socially distanced pop-up performances to demonstrate small theaters' readiness and desperate desire to physically reopen and to counteract the perception, based on formal Broadway, that legitimate theaters can't reopen safely. The performances demonstrate an Off-Off Broadway aesthetic that could allow for theaters to open safely at this time.

TNC pioneered walk-by theater in its 2020 Village Halloween Costume Ball October 31, when it reconfigured its set shop with lighting and sound to make it a venue for ten-minute plays. The effort was named "Chopshop Theater." Ten live performances were offered for revelers who might pass by on East Tenth Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues). They watched through an open garage door and were separated from the performers by a waist-high, see-through traffic barricade. Standing spaces for audience members were delineated six feet apart with chalked pumpkins on the sidewalk. Onlookers were urged to move on between performances so that the crowd would not become too large, health-wise., organizer of "More Ways than Broadway's," is a team of artists and organizers working to preserve, strengthen, and grow the cultural vibrancy of the Lower East Side. For "More Ways than Broadway's," the November 14 event, small theaters across the City have been invited to create ingenious events to demonstrate possibilities for creative and safe performance. Popup performances will take place from noon to 5:00 PM that day. This event will support advocacy for re-opening by illustrating concepts for safe performance that go beyond the Broadway model and can help sustain the communities of support who make this kind of work possible. TNC found that this November 14 event was a perfect time for it to launch its "Open 'Tho Shut" Chopshop Theater series.

TNC will require all "Open 'Tho Shut" performers to be tested before their appearances. Temperatures will be taken as they arrive to perform. Hand sanitizer will be provided and microphones will be sanitized between performances. Masks will be provided to any audience members who arrive without their own. Master of Ceremonies will have a separate mic.


Lineup as of 11/8/2020

2:00 - 2:10 Cobu (all-women Japanese Taiko Dance and Drum group)
2:12-2:22 Vinie Burrows
2:24 - 2:34 Richard West, accompanied by Jiggers Turner
2:36 - 2:46 Jenne Vath & The Experimentals (dir. George Ferencz)
2:48 - 2:58 Mark Marcante and Friends in "This Train" (Crystal, Emily, Ben and Justin)
3:00 - 3:10 Penny Arcade
3:12 - 3:22 Zero Boy
Others TBA

These live performances will also be streamed live on TNC's website ( and Facebook page.

TNC hopes to continue these "Open 'Tho Shut" performances every Saturday at 2:00 PM.

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