Thursday, May 14, 2009

NYTE's Indie Theater NOW Makes TV Debut

Today's Good News item is one I've been looking forward to writing for several months. As you may know, during the past six months or so, we've been collaborating with the good people at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), our local public access cable TV station, to create two pilot episodes of a possible/planned TV series--based on our audio podcasts--called Indie Theater NOW!

(Before I go any further, I need to commend the folks at MNN for choosing to work with our organization and grant us many hours of technical training and studio time in their facility. Particularly, I want to publicly acknowledge Cory Brice of MNN's Community Department, who has been our facilitator through the training process.)

So, here's the Good News: our first pilot episode of Indie Theater NOW! will be airing on MNN during the next few weeks! The show will be broadcast three times in Manhattan, as follows:
  • Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00PM on channel 56 (Time Warner)/ 83(RCN)
  • Monday, May 25 at 11:00PM on channel 67 (Time Warner) / 85 (RCN)
  • Sunday, May 31 at 11:00PM on channel 56 (Time Warner) / 83 (RCN)

Please tune in! And most important, please send comments and feedback to me, either here or via email. We are seriously considering moving forward with developing a regular monthly TV series. To do it well--and to do it in a way that will best meet the needs of the indie theater community--we need honest feedback from everyone who watches our pilot programs.

This very very first episode of Indie Theater NOW! is hosted by Trav S.D., and features three segments:

  • Playwright Kirk Wood Bromley, who coined the phrase "indie theater," talks one-on-one with Trav
  • A roundtable discussion about the early days of indie theater features John Clancy (co-founder of FringeNYC and current executive director of the League of Independent Theater), Ellie Covan (founder of Dixon Place), and Elena K. Holy (producing artistic director of Fringe NYC)
  • The show concludes with a brief conversation between Trav S.D. and yours truly

Six amazing volunteers from nytheatre.com's community of contributors helped us make this show: Peter Schuyler (director), Amber Gallery and Judith Jarosz (camera), Lucile Scott (media), Danny Bowes (sound), and Jason S. Grossman (floor manager). Seth Bisen-Hersh composed theme music for our pilots. David Fuller, Christopher Eaves, Mitchell Conway, and Julie Congress helped us put together our "test run" before we shot the first pilot.

I am SO EXCITED to finally see our first effort on TV. Let me conclude by sharing some thoughts about my vision for the TV version of Indie Theater NOW!:

The mission of the programs will be to explore and explain the diversity, quality, and value of indie theater in New York City—to educate audiences about indie theater, promote it among audiences, and of course at the same time entertain audiences by showing them copious samples of indie theater during the program. Our plan is to also make the program available on the Internet after the episodes have aired on MNN; and to make the video available to the indie companies/artists that participate on the program so that they can use it for promotional and fundraising purposes.

So don't forget to tune in on May 20, May 25, or May 31 (or watch all three times!). You can also tune in to the program via streaming video at MNN's website: http://www.mnn.org (on the left hand side of their home page there are links to stream the shows when they're on the air)--this is how you can watch the program if you don't live in Manhattan or don't have cable.

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