The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

A-E

JoAnne Akalaitis

JoAnne Akalaitis

JoAnne Akalaitis

Co-Founder of Mabou Mines, Director

Interview #14

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"...There had to be something else: i.e. our own theatre…where we controlled everything, where we were artists, where we could do what we want, where we could have children."


B.H. Barry

B.H. Barry

B.H. Barry

Fight Director, Choreographer

Interview #13

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"I have a great hope that in the future, plays will cater to a bigger and younger audience that, at the moment, does not go to the theatre… If we do this then we might stand a chance of keeping Off-Broadway alive. My wish is that we do plays of ‘passion’ and not plays of ‘opinion.'"


George Bartenieff

George Bartenieff

George Bartenieff

Co- Founder of Theater for the New City, Actor

Interview #29

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"The most important thing is the cultural background… of New York… because you are here, you are one of them."


Tanya Berezin

Tanya Berezin

Tanya Berezin

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Circle Repertory Company, Actress

Interview #34

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"I was learning at that time in my life how wonderful it is that everybody is so different."


Patricia Birch

Patricia Birch

Patricia Birch

Director, Choreographer

Interview #77

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"I like doing things that have a fluidity to them… I’m a little too quirky for straight-ahead Broadway stuff."


Anne Bogart

Anne Bogart

Anne Bogart

Co-Founder of SITI Company, Director

Interview #80

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"Sometimes I think to this day that nothing’s changed; I’m still directing like I did when I was 15… I think there are certain plays that playwrights write that transcend human experience."


Robyn Burland

Robyn Burland

Robyn Burland

Playwright

Interview #73

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"When you stick around a long time, you pick up a lot of things from a lot of different people, so every experience that I’ve had in the theatre has contributed to me in some ways as an artist, as a literary manager, as a teacher. Even little ones."


Rene Buch

Rene Buch

Rene Buch

Co-Founder Repertorio Espanol, Director, Playwright

Interview #87

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"I was living in New York and everyone was asking me to become an American citizen and I wouldn’t think of it…because I didn’t want to lose my Cuban citizenship…Fidel suddenly made a speech saying he had always been a Marxist/Leninist…I became an American Citizen the following day."


Charles Busch

Charles Busch

Charles Busch

Actor, Playwright, Librettist, Author

Interview #99

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"People say...it’s so marvelous that you didn’t give up. It didn’t occur to me… There’s always going to be a young person who has a dream and a lot of ambition and some talented friends. They’ll figure it out."


Shami Chaikin

Shami Chaikin

Shami Chaikin

Actress

Interview #12

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"Working with a company you get to create from scratch, it’s your theatre piece…’Get paid?’ – we chipped in for the rental of the space."


Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Actress

Interview #36

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"The theatre that's 'always dying' never does...all you have to do is show up and you can make something."


Tisa Chang

Tisa Chang

Tisa Chang

Founder of Pan Asian Repertory, Director, Actress

Interview #11

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"We were doing work I thought dispelled stereotypes for Asian American actors, and allowed us to do world classics unlimited by race or ethneticity."


Mari-Claire Charba

Mari-Claire Charba

Mari-Claire Charba

Actress, Performance Artist, Painter

Interview #98

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"My motivation was not to perform, but to create. Theatre reflects the moment."


Lori Tan Chinn

Lori Tan Chinn

Lori Tan Chinn

Actress

Interview #74

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"And I took the 10-hour bus ride to New York. And all I had was one pair of dance pants, a unitard, maybe one leotard, a pair of boots, and that was it."


Ping Chong

Ping Chong

Ping Chong

Theatre Artist, Choreographer, Video Installation Artist

Interview #18

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"I feel theatre today has to be more active, and that’s why movement is very much a part of my theatre."


Marilyn Chris

Marilyn Chris

Marilyn Chris

Actress

Interview #40

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"It was all about discovering things. During the course you discover stuff about yourself as well."


Lynn Cohen

Lynn Cohen

Lynn Cohen

Actress

Interview #83

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"I really feel you’re no better than the people you work with."


Bill Cwikowski

Bill Cwikowski

Bill Cwikowski

Founding Member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actor

Interview #47

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"I’m always concerned about how much people don’t know… about the history of the theatre."


Barbara Dana

Barbara Dana

Barbara Dana

Actress, Playwright

Interview #33

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"The life of the theatre is Off-Broadway."


Merle Debuskey

Merle Debuskey

Merle Debuskey

Press Agent

Interview #26

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"Theatre is quite remarkable. Those of us who managed to survive it were quite fortunate."


Maria DiDia

Maria DiDia

Maria DiDia

General Manager, Producer

Interview #91

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"I'd always thought...I sorta wound up Off-Broadway not intentionally. As a Manager I thought it'd be Broadway, that I'd do more Broadway.  But because of the other things I spoke about, Broadway Cares and National Dance Institute, there was a distraction that was important to my soul."


Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang

Playwright, Actor

Interview #64

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"’I Love Lucy’ was started in 1952…when I was in second grade. I suddenly announced… that I wanted to write a play, and what I wrote was very short… it was two pages and it was taking the characters of ‘I Love Lucy.’"