Our Bar Theatre Company Celebrates 10 Years
Don't try to make OUR BAR sober up. It won't. Its environment is essential to its storytelling: it's site-specific theater, set in a bar. And on Wednesday, November 7th at7PM & 9PM, the company will celebrate the start of its 10th Season at Failte Irish Whisky Bar. Each OUR BAR show lives and dies in one night. Climb Failte's stairs, grab the Bud Light included with your $10 ticket, claim your stool and be prepared for, well, anything...
OUR BAR has provided a revolving talent pool of hundreds of New York actors and writers a creative outlet and the kind of camaraderie you might find in a late-night bar. On the first Wednesday of every month, OUR BAR takes over the top floor of Failte Irish Whiskey Bar (located in Murray Hill) and fills it with theater fans of all kinds looking for Broadway talent without the Broadway ticket price. Using a different theme each month, the company creates a completely original show in the span of just two weeks.
Throughout the years, OUR BAR has explored almost every situation imaginable. It is bizarre as it is sincere, bawdy as it is biting. There have been succubuses, centaurs, mole people; even a human-squid hybrid with a penchant for pranks. There have been marriage proposals, saved friendships, unrequited loves, and, yes, an actual Irish Wake. Countless characters have downed dozens of beers, while whiskeys have been lifted for toasts and splashed into faces in equal measure. The November 7th performances will be no exception as OUR BAR rages into its next decade!
Created in November 2009 by Jessi Blue Gormezano and Joe Jung of Project: Theater, OUR BAR has drawn some of New York's finest theater artists through its doors. The current OUR BAR leadership team consists of Kaelin Birkenhead, Karen Bray, Ben Bunce, Brendan Butz, Adam Carpenter, Alicia Carpenter, Matthew Haws, Mark Koenig, Lauren Roth-Shaw and Bimini Wright.
Every OUR BAR performance has a Showrunner, Assistant Showrunner and Jury Foreman. This leadership team is responsible for curating the show based off their chosen theme. The pool of actors and writers also rotates month to month which truly makes this process unique every time. The show theme for the following performance is announced the first Friday of the month. The writers have two weeks to write original scenes based off of that theme. Roughly 15-20 scenes go to a rotating group of "jurors" who read each scene, provide feedback, and determine which scenes move forward to the read through.
Ten days before the show, the selected scenes are then read aloud for the first time by that month's contributing actors. All scenes receive additional feedback month the show begins and audience members know they are expecting a brand new performance that's never been seen before. This show, which was specifically curated for that month, lives and dies in one night. Audience and cast members share this special moment only to start the process over again in just a few days.
Photo by Fahnon Bennett