The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

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

Donald & Anne Farber

Donald & Anne Farber

Theatrical Lawyer and Producers

Interviewed on: Monday, July 14, 2014
Location: Their Home
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #5
"Some nights our only audience [for THE FANTASTICKS] was the kids who lived next door…it was not popular after it opened."
Donald & Anne Farber Highlights
Video Length: 4 minutes, 37 seconds
Donald & Anne Farber Interview
Video Length: 1 Hour, 59 Minutes

Donald and Anne Farber were original investors in the Off-Broadway production of THE FANTASTICKS (1960). This was the couples’ first venture into producing theatre. They held “backers’ auditions” at their home on Long Island with neighbors and friends of some of the artists and executives. Even though many people suggested that they close the show due to low attendance, they refused. Their passion for theatre continued with fundraising efforts for THE THREEPENNY OPERA (1954), SMILING THE BOY FELL DEAD (1961), DAMES AT SEA (1969), HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE (1970), and THE FABULOUS MISS MARIE (1971). Donald aided Rosetta LeNoire in creating the first not-for-profit black musical theatre, called the AMAS Repertory Theatre, located in Spanish Harlem. He was also the forerunner in creating legal contracts for Off-Broadway actors, theaters, producers, directors, etc. that were similar to Broadway contracts. Donald wrote several books based on his experience with the entertainment industry: “Producing Theatre: A Comprehensive and Legal Business Guide,” “From Option to Opening: A Guide to Producing Plays Off-Broadway,” “The Amazing Story of the Fantasticks: America’s Longest-Running Play,” “Entertainment Industry Contracts: Negotiating and Drafting Guide,” and “Common Sense Negotiation: The Art of Winning Gracefully.” Anne and her son Seth run the Farber Literary Agency, which represents 40 clients in many genres.

Donald Farber died on July 29, 2016.

Mentioned in Interview

Rosetta LeNoire, Frank Loesser, Tom Jones, Tom O’Horgan, Ed Bullins, Langston Hughes, Estelle Parsons, Duke Ellington, International Licensing Agency, The Actors Studio, AMAS Repertory Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Heckscher Theatre, THE FANTASTICKS, THE THREEPENNY OPERA, DAMES AT SEA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE, MARK TWAIN TONIGHT, LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL, MAMA I WANT TO SING, MARK TWAIN TONIGHT, SIMPLY HEAVEN