Overview

What’s Off? is the podcast where we shine the spotlight on Off-Broadway innovation! Each episode features interviews with trailblazing artists, administrations, service providers, and other theatre workers in the Off and Off-Off Broadway community. We ask our guests to tell us about a time they realized something was “off”, but don’t let the title fool you! We’re not here to dwell on problems - we’re here to take a deep dive into the solutions that will have a lasting impact on our field.


       

 

Land Acknowledgment:



Transcript

The Episodes

OOBA // THEN & NOW

In 1972, a group of New York theatre makers realized something was “off” when they noticed the limited amount of funding and resources available for their community. This group set out to fill in some of those gaps, and thus OOBA (the Off-Off Broadway Alliance) was formed!

 

 

SITI COMPANY // THE SUN HAS SET

In the Spring of 2023, Executive Director Michelle Preston, Producing Director Megan Carter, and Managing Director Brad Carlin sat down with David E. Shane to talk about the long road toward sunsetting SITI Company. They discussed how they went about supporting ensemble members through the grief of letting go of their life’s work, and crying onstage (and off!) with the company during their final bows.

LYNNETTE TAYLOR // WARRIOR LOVE

As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), theatrical interpreter Lynnette Taylor grew up with sign language as her first language - her home language. When she moved to San Francisco, no one told her that she would be separated from her first language in an all-hearing environment. However, when she was asked to participate in the 504 Sit-in, a civil rights demonstration for disabled people, her life changed forever.

THE CAREGIVERS // BRINGING OUR WHOLE SELVES

In this special episode of “What’s Off?” A.R.T./New York Co-Executive Director Risa Shoup explores what it means to be a caregiver and to be cared for as a working theatre professional. Risa interviews Tony nominee Amber Gray, & nonprofit theatre leaders Roberta Pereira and Lindsey & Michael Sag.

 

TAVIA RIVÉE JEFFERSON // LAUNCH THE CLASS! 

After 25 years of experience in the theatre industry as a performer, Tavia Rivée Jefferson realized her very unique skill set made her a perfect fit for an emerging need in the rehearsal room, but this time, behind the table. Tune in to listen as Host Ashley Hicks chats with Tavia about how her unique journey led her to cultural coordinating and how the question, “if not me, then who?” created an entirely new and necessary role in the theatre industry.

 

 

 

REBECCA KELLYG // HARMONIZING WITH THE SELF  

Rebecca KellyG went from being a musical theatre college student to a civil rights attorney. Along the way, she noticed some things that felt similarly “off” about these vastly different spaces. Through establishing an artistic practice as a healing artist and facilitator, Rebecca learned that in order to challenge systems, we must first harmonize with the self for both personal and collective liberation.

 

THERESA BUCHHEISTER // THE ILLUSION OF STABILITY 

Since 2004, Theresa Buchheister has found themselves in a veritable slew of non-conventional New York City theatre and performance spaces. Their lifelong pursuit of creating collaborative,  experimental work has made them a beloved community leader. Today, Theresa has refocused their energy toward supporting other scrappy artists and career experimenters. Along the way, they’ve affirmed that theatre is most definitely NOT dead, and discovered that we can learn a lot by asking, “what are the barriers to participation?”
 

TECHNICIAN TRAINING // SENDING THE ELEVATOR BACK DOWN 

As the team at Roundabout Theatre Company considered the significant barriers to entry for potential technical theatre workers, they realized something was “off.” So, they created the Theatrical Workforce Development Program (TWDP) -  a partnership between Roundabout Theatre Company and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE.) TWDP offers participants hands-on, work-based training in four technical disciplines and connects them directly to employment opportunities in theatres across the city. 

 

NEW LEADERSHIP // TO BE OF SERVICE

 A.R.T./New York Co-Executive Director Talia Corren sits down with Amanda Feldman of Classic Stage Company and Patricia McGregor of New York Theatre Workshop to discuss their roles as new leaders of multi-decade institutions. Listen in as they share their experiences as women in the field, what they bring to their new positions, what it’s like to lead in a co-director model, and how they are bridging the gap between the past, present, and future. 

 

SAM MORREALE // MAKING THE REVOLUTION IRRESISTIBLE

As a multi-hyphenate theatremaker, dramaturg, and Associate Producer at Soho Rep, Sam Morreale inhabits many spaces within the theatrical field. They are guided by the words of Toni Cade Bambara, holding dear the idea that “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible” - and Sam’s role is to hold space so that theater artists can bring their fullest selves into the rehearsal room.

 

ARTISTIC VENUES // THE BURDENS AND THE BENEFITS

Access to affordable space has always been a concern for New York City theatre makers; this episode shines the spotlight on some visionary leaders who recognized the need for more artistic space and decided to do something about it! Despite some closures during the COVID-19 lockdown and ever-rising real estate costs, the story of New York City’s artistic venues may actually be one of evolution and rebirth.


“What’s Off?” Production Staff
David E. Shane, Executive Producer
Erica Wray Barnes, Associate Producer
Ashley J. Hicks and Nicky Maggio, Line Producers
Catalin Media and Dante32, Audio Engineers
Devon Adams, Art Director/Graphic Design

Hosted by:

ASHLEY J. HICKS
Ashley J. Hicks (a.k.a. Ash, she/her) works currently as a Programs Coordinator for A.R.T./New York.  Ash is an actor, writer, solo performer & teaching artist. She received her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in 2021 and was a participant in the 2022 Disney Television Discovers: Talent Showcase. To learn more about Ashley and her past/recent projects, please visit www.ashley-j-hicks.com

NICKY MAGGIO
Nicky Maggio or “N” (they/them) currently serves as Programs Manager at A.R.T/New York. N is a freelance theatrical curator with a focus on new play development and directing. Originally born in southeast Massachusetts, Nicky received their B.F.A. at Emerson College and then completed their M.F.A in Directing at The New School. For more information on their artistic projects visit www.nmaggio.com @nickymaggio