Monday, May 02, 2011

Fri, May 6 @ 5.00 P.M: Off-Off Broadway Reunion! at The Drama Book Shop

New book by Christopher Olsen about Off-Off Broadway in the 1970s brings back veterans from a vibrant era of theatre experimentation to discuss their experiences.

A panel discussion of a cross-section of theatre practitioners from Off-Off Broadway during the 1970s (Up to six). Playwright Robert Heide will host the event and the invitees (not yet confirmed) may include playwrights Terence McNally and Paul Foster, director Margaret Lewitan, director/actress Crystal Field, director Mical Whitaker, playwright Robert Patrick, and director/actor Chris Martin. Following the discussion, Christopher Olsen will be signing copies of his new book, “Off-Off Broadway-The Second Wave: 1968-1980.”

About the Author:
Christopher Olsen is a theatre professor at the University of Puerto Rico campus in San Juan. He began his career as an actor and after graduating from drama school in London, England, he began working in theatres both in England and the US. He moved to New York in 1976 and performed in numerous Off-Off Broadway theatres including starting his own theatre, Actors Alley. He returned to university in the 1980s and eventually received a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Maryland-College Park. He has written numerous articles and has taught theatre and directed productions at a number of universities including Johns Hopkins, Temple University, York College, and Virginia State University.

About the Book: Off-Off Broadway-The Second Wave: 1968-1980
The book provides the reader with a glimpse into the terrain of what was called Off-Off Broadway during the 1970s in New York. The author has chosen to focus on a 12-year period beginning in 1968, a tumultuous year of political and social upheaval, as a starting point when the number of small theatres in New York increased from 50 or 60 to over 300 by 1975. Based mostly on interviews with theatre practitioners from the era, the book is divided into chapters focusing on different types of theatres – from theatres featuring new work to theatres devoted to classical revivals to the Black Theatre Alliance. The purpose of this book is to tell the stories of a range of theatre artists who reflected the artistic impulses of the Off-Off Broadway community. Most of the people described in the pages of the book never became famous yet produced a huge body of work that most practitioners today would envy. The book also contains over 30 photographs, provides a list of productions for the profiled theatres, and an appendix of over 300 theatre companies and related organizations. The book contains a forward by playwright Robert Patrick, considered by many as the foremost spokesperson for Off-Off Broadway today.

Off-Off Broadway: The Second Wave: 1968-1980
By Christopher Olsen
Paper. $19.95

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