The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

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

K-O

Robert Kalfin

Robert Kalfin

Robert Kalfin

Founder of the Chelsea Theater Center, Director

Interview #4

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"As a director, my job is to empower colleagues and to be stretched by them in creative collaboration."


Willa Kim

Willa Kim

Willa Kim

Costume Designer

Interview #30

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"I fell into theatre because I was handy, I was there."


Woodie King Jr.

Woodie King Jr.

Woodie King Jr.

Founder of the New Federal Theatre

Interview #16

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"The Off-Broadway theatre was confined. It really began to focus on what American theatre needed, and that was the play."


Arthur Kopit

Arthur Kopit

Arthur Kopit

Playwright

Interview #69

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"Every play is different and the experience and how I do it is different…You have to be willing to just be lost."


Eric Krebs

Eric Krebs

Eric Krebs

Founder and Operator of the John Houseman and Douglas Fairbanks Theaters and the George Street Playhouse, Producer

Interview #23

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"Do what you love in any way you can and assume that it’s going to last a couple of years and go away."


Ralph Lee

Ralph Lee

Ralph Lee

Actor, Designer, Puppeteer

Interview #79

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"I had never seen these things I’d made outdoors. And I found that they took on a kind of life outdoors that had so much more vitality in it… There’s something about a natural setting and this bizarre, man-made artifact in that setting that sets up some kind of an energy that’s really exciting."


Paul Libin

Paul Libin

Paul Libin

Producer, Managing Director

Interview #31

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"One of the great things about the theatre in New York, and the people who have this quest to be in theatre, is nothing will stop it from happening. It has to happen. And when Off-Broadway became more expensive - that's how Off-Off-Broadway started."


Jo Sullivan Loesser

Jo Sullivan Loesser

Jo Sullivan Loesser

Singer, Actress

Interview #51

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"If you can't act, you can't sing."


William Ivey Long

William Ivey Long

William Ivey Long

Costume Designer

Interview #94

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"…what are our values and how do you express your values through the play, or how are the values of the play expressed through your design?...They become one and the same in this process."


Larry Loonin

Larry Loonin

Larry Loonin

Director, Playwright, Actor

Interview #93

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"I don’t know what this is, but it’s fascinating and I wanna do it."


Virginia Louloudes

Virginia Louloudes

Virginia Louloudes

Executive Director of The Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York (A.R.T./New York)

Interview #88

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"And the work they do in the schools – nobody knows the real story – how many Off-Broadway theatres are working in the schools. It is the best kept secret."


Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado

Playwright, Actor, Artistic Director INTAR

Interview #86

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"I hear people’s voices…they’re engraved in my brain."


Joan MacIntosh

Joan MacIntosh

Joan MacIntosh

Co-Founder of The Performance Group, Actress, Director

Interview #38

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"I want theatre to be as necessary as television and iPhones."


Judith Malina

Judith Malina

Judith Malina

Co-Founder of The Living Theatre, Actress, Director

Interview #8

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"Sometimes it's almost hard to tell a performance from a protest, you know? Sometimes they overlap a little bit."


Peter Maloney

Peter Maloney

Peter Maloney

Actor, Director, Playwright

Interview #3

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"The Open Theater…was extremely of the moment. Politically of the moment. Spiritually of the moment. I mean, it was perfect for its time. It was of its time."


Norman Thomas Marshall

Norman Thomas Marshall

Norman Thomas Marshall

Founder of the No Smoking Playhouse, Actor, Playwright

Interview #2

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"Off-Off-Broadway was so welcoming and so open to anything…I think 2 or 3 of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen anywhere were Off-Off-Broadway."


Marshall W. Mason

Marshall W. Mason

Marshall W. Mason

Founder and Artistic Director of Circle Repertory Company

Interview #41

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"Directing is a pragmatic art… under the circumstances what can I do?"


Roberta Maxwell

Roberta Maxwell

Roberta Maxwell

Actress

Interview #46

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"What’s going to happen to New York without this kind of theater; where artists will have stories to tell but no space to tell them in?"


Elizabeth Ireland McCann

Elizabeth Ireland McCann

Elizabeth Ireland McCann

Producer

Interview #56

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"Some people just don’t have any judgment about commercial material. They have judgment about classy material. The moment they decide they’re going to do something really commercial…it ain’t gonna work!"


Michael McGrinder

Michael McGrinder

Michael McGrinder

Playwright, Publisher

Interview #59

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"You want to be in control of your own destiny. That was the fun part of Off-Off-Broadway . . . we were just in control of it all."


Charles Mee

Charles Mee

Charles Mee

Playwright, Author

Interview #54

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"I do think the theatre is the ultimate human art form...and the more airs, and variations, and subtleties, and stuff we can throw into that, the smarter and better we'll be."


Robert Moss

Robert Moss

Robert Moss

Founder and Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons

Interview #10

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"You have to remake the world. You have to create the theatre in your image."


Barbara Montgomery

Barbara Montgomery

Barbara Montgomery

Co-Founder of Black Women in Theater, Inc., Actress, Director

Interview #71

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"Off-Broadway for me, it just opened my soul."


Brian Murray

Brian Murray

Brian Murray

Actor, Director

Interview #24

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"The future of the American theatre is Off-Broadway."


Julius Novick

Julius Novick

Julius Novick

Author, Critic

Interview #61

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"The whole point of non-commercial theatre is to offer an experience that the commercial theatre couldn’t or wouldn’t. -- I believe that criticism at its best becomes a minor art form, a specialization of the personal essay; so that a critic is both a theatre citizen … and an artist himself."


Dorothy Olim

Dorothy Olim

Dorothy Olim

Producer, General Manager, Operating Officer of ATPAM, K/O Management, Inc., K/O Advertising, Inc.

Interview #22

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"You have to want to be in the theatre under any circumstances."


Steve Olsen

Steve Olsen

Steve Olsen

Founder of the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, Restaurateur

Interview #32

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"So many people came out of downstairs; I’m a lucky guy."