Friday, February 6, 2009

Battle of the Bards

The fourth annual "Battle of the Bards" -- a great and innovative fundraiser put on every year by Partial Comfort Productions -- takes place on February 20th at The Canal Room, 285 W. Broadway in TriBeCa. For as little as $15 you can see excellent indie theater companies like Naked Angels, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood, Electric Pear Productions, The Fire Dept, Flux Theater Ensemble, and (of course) Partial Comfort duke it out in a one-act play competition. Info about this benefit event is here.

I asked co-artistic directors Molly Pearson and Chad Beckim to share some of their experiences with "Battle of the Bards" with our readers. Here's what they sent me:

The "Battle of the Bards" is one of Partial Comfort Productions' proudest accomplishments. This one-of-a-kind event first began in 2005 when we noticed a relative lack of camaraderie in the downtown theater scene; while many smaller companies knew one another, there was little cohesion, and few events that brought the community together. Thus kicked off the Battle.

For those unfamiliar with the event, it's one of the most entertaining nights in the NYC theater scene, pitting seven companies in a "Battle of the Bands" style theater contest, in a winner-take-all competition in front of a crowd of hundreds of devotees with a panel of celebrity judges. This year's judges range from Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights (David Auburn, Proof; Susan-Lori Parks, Top Dog/Underdog), Emmy & Golden Globe Winners (John Slattery, Mad Men), and some of the business's finest theatrical reviewers and casting directors.

Since its inception, the Battle has grown into a pretty rare and wonderful thing. Whether you're a mainstay theater aficionado or an occasional patron, this is undoubtedly an event that is not to be missed. This event is a celebration of YOU--of everyone who reads Martin blog--because we, all of us who believe in indie theater, deserve a big ol'party in our honor, and that is what the battle is. We go out of our way to keep the ticket prices affordable (a mere $15.00) and have free beer for the first hour, and giftbags for the first 100 people through the door. Come out and celebrate with the rest of the indie theater community ... it's the swanky, sexy, fun party that we all deserve.

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