On Saturday, January 9 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First Ave., will present the ninth installment of “Open ‘Tho Shut,” its afternoon of “walk-by theater” that is staged in its set shop and visible from East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.
The program offers a succession of free, live performances in which acts are staged in the theater’s set shop for audiences of socially distanced passers-by, who watch through an open garage door on East Tenth Street. The shop was renamed “The Chopshop Theater” for this series. It is outfitted with an elaborate set by Mark Marcante and Litza Colon, full stage lighting by Alexander Bartenieff and a four-mic sound system. These live performances are also live streamed on TNC’s website (https://www.theaterforthenewcity.net) and Facebook page.
LINEUP OF PERFORMANCES
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY – “OPEN ‘THO SHUT, PART 9” – JANUARY 9, 2021
Info as of January 4, 2021
* Mistress of Ceremonies: Crystal Field
* Cobu (all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe of Yako Miyamoto, Ayaha Otsuka, Mayu Yamashita, Micro Fukuyama and Kana Matsui).
* Cheryl Gadsden (three songs).
* Robert Homeyer in Shakespeare monologues that “relate to now.”
* Gender-bending variety performance by Terry Lee King.
The series was launched November 14 as part of “More Ways than Broadway’s,” a city-wide collection of safe and socially distanced pop-up performances to demonstrate small theaters’ readiness and desperate desire to physically reopen and to counteract the perception, based on formal Broadway, that legitimate theaters can’t reopen safely. The performances were intended to demonstrate an Off-Off Broadway aesthetic that could allow smaller theaters to open safely at this time.
TNC pioneered walk-by theater in its 2020 Village Halloween Costume Ball October 31, when it reconfigured its set shop with lighting and sound to make it a venue for ten-minute plays. The effort was named “Chopshop Theater.” Ten live performances were offered for revelers who might pass by on East Tenth Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues). They watched through an open garage door and were separated from the performers by a waist-high, see-through traffic barricade. Standing spaces for audience members were delineated six feet apart with chalked pumpkins on the sidewalk. Onlookers were urged to move on between performances so that the crowd would not become too large, health-wise.
TNC requires all “Open ‘Tho Shut” performers to be tested before their appearances. Temperatures are taken as they arrive to perform. Hand sanitizer is provided and microphones are sanitized between performances. Masks are provided to any audience members who arrive without their own. Emcees have a separate mic.
Previous editions of “Open ‘Tho Shut” are archived here: https://theaterforthenewcity.net/the-chopshop-theater/
Photo credit: Jonathan Slaff