Curtain going up on the exciting Out of the Box Theatre Company!
It’s special and different from any theatre company in the country. As the name might suggest, Out of the Box is outside the box of theatrical tradition and convention.
Our mission is special…It’s a mission with a cause…And it’s for seniors…Artists and Patrons…Like no other company in NYC!
- To feature working professionals at their peak and in their prime: seasoned actors, directors & designers primarily past 50 years of age
- To donate complimentary tickets, (up to 40% of each proformance’s seating capacity), to lower-come senior, family and/or disabled patrons through various organizations throughout New York City.
- To present new interpretations of period plays & contemporary classics: works written in the last century and earlier
- To score each production with musical compositions that enhance mood, moment and mise-en-scene.
Our purpose is different…It sets us apart from all the rest!
To provide opportunity and freedom for artists to work outside the restrictions of age, race sex and disability and inside the sphere of passion
- To provide live theatre to the growing, low-income and disabled population who might not attend our production otherwise
- To mix and blend the talents of playwright and composer in a musical landscape with a touch of farce and melodrama; and to open our dramatic productions to singers, dancers and musicians as well as actors.
Our vision for the future moves forward…step by step!
Plans are underway for an ongoing, non-profit professional theatre company that will produce 3 shows each season New York City.
- Our inaugural season in August 2007 featured Moliere’s The Miser.
- The 2nd season, in August 2008, will featured T.S. Arthur’s temperance melodrama Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.
- Our equally exciting 3rd season included four one-acts: Sorry, Wrong Number; Crawling Arnold, Hello From Bertha and Hello Out There.
- Our fourth season featured the tragedy, Rain, based on the short story, Miss Sadie Thompson, by Somerset Maugham.
- For our fifth season, in 2011 we offered a staged reading of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology in Charles Aidman’s adaptation.
- Our sixth season brought audiences Neil Simon’s delightful comedy 45 Seconds from Broadway.
- For our seventh season, we offer Terence Rattigan’s 2-play drama Separate Tables.
Breathing new life into theater works that have lived a long time is only one part of the equation for the Out of the Box Theatre Company. The other part is allowing actors who have lived a long time to bring the passions and talents gained by long experience to roles they may never have had a chance to play before.
The idea was the brainchild of the late Scott Robinson, a ’92 alumnus of the Brooklyn College MFA program in theater, who founded OOtB and served as its original artistic director.
In its first season, Out of the Box presented its first production, Moliere’s The Miser, set to the music of Mozart. Robinson said that “many of the plays we plan to do are either forgotten or so stereotyped in presentation that they lose much of their character. We want to bring them new life.”
But that isn’t the company’s only goal, according to Robinson. They will also primarily feature actors, directors, and set designers over the age of fifty…and they offer 40% complimentary seating each performance, to lower-income seniors and families. “Two key elements to the mission that I thought would make my theater company special. We are a theatre company with a cause.”
Out of the Box was incorporated in August 2006, and Robinson lined up a number of Brooklyn College alumni to work with him: John Scheffler, OOtB’s original set designer, is the former director of the College’s set design program and a professor emeritus of the Theater Department; Lin Snider ’94, a cast member, director, and vice-president of the theater company, is also a graduate of the MFA program in theater; Peter J. Coriaty, ’73, is another cast member; Marge Linney, original treasurer of Out of the Box, was director of the graduate program in acting and is also a professor emerita of the Theater Department; and Oscar Award winner F. Murray Abraham, an honorary board member, taught in the Theater Department.
Out of the Box’s innovative treatment of Moliere’s classic incorporated the traditional “showboat” melodrama format both between and during scenes. Performers provided musical interludes, or olio acts — as comments on the dramatic action. Robinson described it as a “musical approach to a straight play without its becoming a musical comedy.”
In its second season, the company produced a classic temperance play of the nineteenth century, Ten Nights in a Bar Room, by W.W. Pratt, based on the novel by T. S. Arthur. The performance continued the musical tradition begun with The Miser and blended the words of the playwright with the music of recognized composers. And Arthur’s sensational classic melodrama, said Robinson, was staged with “special effects in the Perils of Pauline fashion, including vaudevillian olio acts–a type of theater rarely seen in New York City.” The company tapped the Brooklyn College Theater Department’s costume-design students to help create period clothes for the play.
Scott Robinson was diagnosed with cancer in December 2010 and died April 24, 2011. We lovingly dedicate all our performances to his memory and thank our audiences and supporters for helping us keep Scott’s vision alive.
Out of the Box Board of Directors:
|Vice President:||Lin Snider|
|Theatre/Grant Development||Mike Goldman|
|Board Members||Roger Fawcett, Kelly Gilmore, Halina Malinowski, Gloria Sauvé|
Below are some pictures of the 2010 production of Rain