Last Night, I was sitting in a room with several other reviewers from nytheatre.com.
Got a chance to meet Ross Peabody, who is a nice guy and reader of the blog and waved a cigarette in front of me as if to say "You cannot smoke this." Thanks Ross! (Honestly, pleased to meet you.)
There was quite a bit said that I found interesting and worthy of a little mention here. Not the least of which was that Martin continued to disseminate the term "Indie" Theatre as a replacement for Off-Off Broadway. It's a concerted effort to rebrand a certain sect of this tiny religion, but it's also got the benefits of being a One-Size Fits All Term. Off-Off Broadway and Off-Loop Theatre are New York and Chicago specific terms, respectively. Indie Theatre has no such limitations.
That being said, I'm curious what readers may consider accurately "indie" theater now that the term has been out there for a while. Kirk Bromley, I believe, coined the term. There was a great deal of discussion regarding it in the Fall on the ny theatre i. (Take a look and catch up here.)
I always find these discussions are best when I get off my soapbox (at least to start with) and ask questions. So here are a few I think might guide us to the era of "Indie Theatre."
1. What should be excluded and included from "Indie" Theatre? Is that simply a label that can be handed out for Street Cred, or is their some economic limit on it? *(Examples: Robert Wilson works in Lincoln Center and BAM. Richard Foreman works out of tiny spaces in the East Village? Are one of these more "Indie" than the other? Is Scott Eliott (who is directing the new Threepenny Opera) a part of the Independent Theater scene, or is he "too successful?")
2. Is "Indie Theatre" a term that applies primarily to what used to be called Off-Off Broadway, or is it a nationally applicable label?
3. What is the difference between community theatre and independent theatre?
4. What will changing this name do for the theater community?
5. What won't changing this name do for the theater community?
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.