The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

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

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Donald & Anne Farber

Donald & Anne Farber

Donald & Anne Farber

Theatrical Lawyer and Producers

Interview #5

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"Some nights our only audience [for THE FANTASTICKS] was the kids who lived next door…it was not popular after it opened."


Fyvush Finkel

Fyvush Finkel

Fyvush Finkel

Actor, Comedian

Interview #6

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"The audience that visits you downtown, they’re so warm. If they like you, you’re made."


Richard Foreman

Richard Foreman

Richard Foreman

Founder of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Playwright, Director

Interview #17

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"We…were making non-theatre-oriented theatre, but more art-oriented theatre."


Paul Foster

Paul Foster

Paul Foster

President of La MaMa E.T.C., Playwright

Interview #50

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"It was a theatre built on improvisation… every day was a new trial… it keeps you on your toes."


Richard Frankel

Richard Frankel

Richard Frankel

Producer

Interview #85

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"It was just the joy of doing it. At the time I didn’t really have much thought about a career. I was just doing it and seeing where it took me."


Arthur French

Arthur French

Arthur French

Negro Ensemble Company, Actor, Director

Interview #9

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"There were so many Off-Broadway places… I took whatever. My answer was ‘Yes.’"


Caryl Goldsmith

Caryl Goldsmith

Caryl Goldsmith

Group Sales Specialist

Interview #75

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"Off-Broadway is a way for young writers and young actors to find their place. Off-Broadway is still exciting."


Micki Grant

Micki Grant

Micki Grant

Composer, Lyricist, Book-Writer, Actress

Interview #76

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"It’s something you just do, you know. If you’re on a desert island and you have a piece of paper, it’s going to happen."


John Guare

John Guare

John Guare

Playwright

Interview #38

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"The world changed because those boundaries between Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and Broadway had come down."


A.R. Gurney

A.R. Gurney

A.R. Gurney

Playwright

Interview #65

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"In most Off-Broadway venues there’s a place where the community can gather ahead of time and see itself as it walks into the theater, being ready to respond as a community."


Walter and Georgia Hadler

Walter and Georgia Hadler

Walter and Georgia Hadler

Actor, Playwright, Director

Interview #48

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"People want to know who they are and why they’re here… theatre is a good place to ask [that question] because it gives you a place from which to work with others on this question. It gives you a chance to be honest in your existence."


Joseph Hardy

Joseph Hardy

Joseph Hardy

Director

Interview #81

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"I said, ‘Look, [the characters in YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN] just have to be real. They are comic strip characters, and they have to be real. They cannot be goofy … they have to be real actors playing real characters. That’s all.’"


Terese Hayden

Terese Hayden

Terese Hayden

Founder of Equity Library Theatre and Player’s Guide, Teacher at Circle in the Square

Interview #7

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"I wanted it! I thought that theater would work! I didn’t have a husband that would buy it for me."


Wynn Handman

Wynn Handman

Wynn Handman

Founder of The American Place Theatre

Interview #15

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"To hell with profit. We want to do what is significant."


Robert Heide and John Gilman

Robert Heide and John Gilman

Robert Heide and John Gilman

Playwright, Actors, Authors

Interview #49

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"[On the future of Off-Broadway] They need another cultural revolution… we want people to know it’s possible."


Israel Horowitz

Israel Horowitz

Israel Horowitz

Founder of the Gloucester Stage Company and New York Playwrights Lab, Playwright, Actor

Interview #70

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"I was 17 years old… I can remember thinking, ‘I wrote a play, I’m a playwright, I know who I am…’ From that day forward that’s simply been my identity."


Tina Howe

Tina Howe

Tina Howe

Playwright

Interview #78

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"When asked: ‘Which are you first, a woman or writer?’ I used to respond, ‘A writer.’ But since most of my plays are about female experience, now the answer is clearly, ‘A woman.’ "


Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Playwright, Lyricist

Interview #63

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"Anybody who thinks that theatre is a profession is out of their mind. No profession has 80% unemployed and still calls itself a profession . . . it’s a calling and I realized it’s a noble calling, and fun too. -- I used to dream of a poor theatre . . . a theatre reduced of most of the things we think are necessary for the theatre . . . to, in some way, touch upon that ancient thing of gathering together for a story and I think there’s a hunger for it."


Dana Ivey

Dana Ivey

Dana Ivey

Actress

Interview #19

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"The audience for Off-Broadway is ready for anything and appreciates anything that’s a little off or edgy or different….they come to the theatre for that engagement."