As 2006 draws to a close and we're all in a giving mood, I'd like to suggest that you choose your favorite 501(c)3 theater company, preferably an upstart, independent-minded, ragged band of intrepid artists, and give them a charitable donation.
Think about this: throughout the year many of us give to Church, Universities, Public Television and Public Radio, political activism and causes like disaster relief and medical research. All terribly imporant, all in need of a few dollars of public help.
But, think about all the theater companies in NYC, Seattle, San Franscisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia (need I go on) that would not only appreciate a donation, but put it to very good use. That would take a one hundred dollar gift as truly important for not only their next show, but their continuing existence.
Here are a few suggestions:
Blue Coyote Theater Group - where I've lately lived and served. Fantastic group that lives at the Access Theater downtown. Produced my last few plays, as well as the work of David Johnston and David Foley. Any donations to them would be greatly appreciated. The smallest gift goes a very long way. Here's where to click to donate.
Inverse Theater - Kirk Wood Bromley is a writer extraordinaire who has just barely gotten his due from the mainstream press. His next production will be the breathtaking "The Death of Griffin Hunter." Want to give a gift that shows true support for the downtown spirit, give a gift to Inverse. Here's how.
Nosedive Productions - Not sure how you officially give a donation to this crew (don't see a link on the site) but I'm sure James Comtois would happily fill you in, or you could contact them on the website. Constantly producing great plays. Show James some love.
13p - Certainly making a lot of noise. Check out this sparkling list of some of the biggest talent in NYC. Donate here.
theatre minima - Not only is George the patron saint of the bloggers and a heady proprietor of deep thought, but also a producer of plays and one that is dedicated to paying everyone that works on his shows. Dig that? I thought you might! Here's how to show some support.
La Mama - 'nuff said. Donate through the link on their website.
The Ontological - Hysteric Theater - Never forget the little guys, like Richard Foreman. Wouldn't it be nice to vote with your dollar on this one? Say YES to art. Here!
www.nytheatre.com - This site covers more of the downtown New York Theater Scene in a day than most newspapers cover in a week. Now with podcasts! They publish plays! They do it all. And each year they cover every single Fringe show. Can't beat that? Read the Holiday Message from Martin Denton and learn how to support this worthy cause.
The Brick - One of the very best theaters operating in New York. Can't beat them. Each year a new festival in the summer, all year long, new, edgy work by the best of the downtown theater mainstays. They are, in fact, the real deal. Show Brooklyn the love.
The Subjective Theatre Company - Dedicated to $0.00 ticket prices. In order to pull that off, they might need a little support, no? Find how to donate on their website. Their motto? "Only You Can Prevent Expensive Theater."
So...that's a few of my thoughts.
I'd love to see other bloggers add to this list or readers make suggestions of their own. These are all New York Companies... where else should people be looking? Have a project that needs some holiday love? Let us know.
Let's put our money where our mouths have been all year. Let's give a little to many companies or a lot to one. Don't let yourself spend more on your iPod than you did on donations this year!
UPDATED! - David J sends these suggestions...
New York Foundation for the Arts does a lot, and also gives unrestricted grants to NY State playwrights:
NYC Performing Arts Spaces offers great website services to performing artists looking for real estate in this town, no mean feat - plus, we're launching a site just for theatre in a few weeks:
This organization is great - I've worked with them on some projects and they are the ones really looking out for small theatre groups in New York City.
- 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.