Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Road Ahead: 2009

2008 was perhaps not the year to create a new theater company. It seems that everyone is struggling to raise money, and given the economic environment out there no one is donating. A month hasn’t gone by that I haven’t read about another theater company going bankrupt.

In spite of the tough times, Playlab NYC has had some success during our first year. We were able to put together a two-week workshop of Loss of Breath back in March. That our first toe in the water was so productive is due in no small part to the efforts of John Pieza and Todd Courson.

In June we mounted our very first production. The Tempest was presented on Father’s Day weekend at Socrates Sculpture Park. Considering the rain and the heat we attracted good crowds at all three performances, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with the cast and our director again.

We learned a lot this past year as well, about fundraising, marketing, producing, and much more. Our only disappointment has been in our thwarted efforts to produce our second show, ©. Artistically things were shaping up to be a fun evening skirting intellectual property law, but without the money to rent a venue the show had to be postponed.

Looking ahead to 2009, Playlab NYC is going to pick itself up and push ahead. If we need to be a theater company that is only producing one show a year then that show is going to be the best production that we can put together. We will redouble our efforts to building a company that produces quality shows in line with our desire to bring a spirit of play to artists and audiences.
Based on our Loss of Breath workshop last spring, a new draft of the script was completed in October. This month we are looking forward to sitting down and hearing a reading of this new draft. Playlab NYC is putting together an application for The New York International Fringe Festival. We will know more in spring, but we are looking forward to getting Mr. Lackobreath in front of an audience in 2009.

Taking a page from Theater on a Tabletop by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin, we are looking toward embracing puppetry for small spaces. “Working small is not the same as thinking small.” By working small we hope to create some imaginative productions in 2009 and beyond, including a new tabletop presentation of The Tempest, and a resurrected ©.

I hope that we will see you around in 2009.

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