Manhattan Buzz .com  Log-In

 
midtown international theater festival MITF john chatterton roy arias studio nyc short play lab

Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab 2016

Two Off Off Broadway Theater Festivals Open in Manhattan

March 7, 2016 / Manhattan NYC / Off Broadway Theater NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

midtown international theater festival short play lab nycThe Midtown International Theater Festival begins this week and the Short Play Lab begin this weekend. These two incubator theater festivals are the brainchild of John Chatterton, former Publisher of Off Off Broadway World magazine.

Off Off Broadway World magazine was started by Chatterton in 1993, and was published for a number of years in the 1990’s, but ultimately didn't survive. Founder, John Chatterton did survive, and he went on to pursue his passion for theater by founding the Midtown International Theater Festival and the Short Play Lab series.

The two theatrical incubators provide a venue for participants to create and produce minimalist performance productions and perform them in front of live audiences, which are oftentimes comprised of many of their fellow participants and peers, as well as those interested in original theatrical works. The Midtown International Theater Festival and Short Play Lab series are both an opportunity to try one’s hand at producing and performing an original work in front of a live audience, as well as a good networking venue to meet others aspiring to find their places in the theater business.

I attended a Short Play Lab previously and here's what I found ...

Click here for the full story about the Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab series both of which begins this week and weekend, respectively.


Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab 2016

Two Off Off Broadway Theater Festivals Open in Manhattan

March 7, 2016 / Manhattan NYC / Off Broadway Theater NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC. Continued.

I attended a Short Play Lab performance, or rather series of performances, back in September of 2014. There are generally two midtown international theater festival short play lab nycprograms, A and B, from which include a series of short plays, generally between five and ten, which last about ten to twenty minutes each. The Short Play Lab format is a bit different from the Midtown International Theater Festival [aka MITF], the differences of which I will outline at the end of this report.

 

Short Play Lab Fall 2014 at Roy Arias Studio NYC

The performances I attended were shown at the Roy Arias Studios at 300 West 43rd Street [off 8th Avenue] in West Midtown Manhattan. The theater was on an upper floor of an elevator building. I found a place in the back of the theater, near the audio / visual technician and soon the plays began.

There were ten plays scheduled, but only nine were performed. John Chatterton told me that he operates both festivals in somewhat of a minimalist fashion, leaving costumes, unique props and make up to those producing the plays, while the Midtown International Theater Festival [which is both the name of the organization and one of the festivals] handles sound and lighting. Of course the script, acting and any special sound or lighting effects are the responsibility of the Producers. I believe a minimal level of furniture props are provided by the Midtown International Theater Festival.

 

MITF Short Play Lab Manhattan: Original Theatrical Productions NYC

midtown international theater festival short play lab nycMost of the works I saw were of highly original content and on some level, entertaining.

Here are a few brief descriptions of some of the scripts. I’ve included a few photos taken at the performances as well. There was an advertisement for an upcoming Broadway Show, entitled Van Helsing. It contained the strident announcements and posed portraits of an era that’s not always gone by [see photo at right].

Then there's Regular Man, who's the sidekick of a Superguy who has to deal with a bunch of dumbass criminals while his wife gives him a hard time for working too hard and spending too much time with his pal Superguy. It touched me as a concept that has possibilities [see photo below with the police officer, wired gal & Superguy].

In another vignette we see two gay men deal with one of them having agreed to be on a totally-invasive reality TV show without the consent of his partner. He agreed to do the show in order to get another acting gig, but the partner objects. And then his partner rises to the occasion [photo shown above in story introduction].

 

Midtown International Theater Festival Mission

midtown international theater festival short play lab nycChatterton told me that the mission of the Midtown International Theater Festival is to provide aspiring theatrical talent a venue to perform and show their work to the public. In essence an opportunity for aspiring theatrical people to practice, experiment, network and refine their art.

 

During the intermission and after the performances there was a sort of cocktail hour where folks could mingle, discuss what they saw and meet new people [see photo at right]. Networking and portfolio building are important aspects of most businesses and the Short Play Lab and Midtown International Theater Festival appear to provide a venue for both.

 

 

Phoenix of Off Off Broadway World Magazine

john chatterton mitf short play lab springChatterton told me that the Midtown International Theater Festival was the phoenix that arose out of the ashes of the publication he founded, Off Off Broadway World. The Midtown International Theater Festival began in 2000, as Off Off Broadway World began to give way to the internet. Off Off Broadway World was closed in the middle of the last decade, Chatterton speculated that the last issue was probably published in 2006 or 2007.

 

By the time Off Off Broadway World had been laid to rest, the Midtown International Theater Festival had wings. Chatterton founded the festival after noting the success of the Fringe Theater Festival, which began in the early 1990’s in the Village. Chatterton said he figured that if the concept of a theater festival comprised of original works by local talent could work in the village, it could probably work in West Midtown too.

 

Midtown International Theater Festival Offspring - Short Play Labs NYC

john chatterton mitf short play lab springThe creation of the Short Play Lab came after the Midtown International Theater Festival. The Midtown International Theater Festival is comprised of 30 – 60 minute plays which are shown a couple or few times over the course of a couple of weeks, while the Short Play Lab is comprised of about 20 works, running in the range of about ten minutes each and shown a couple of times over a weekend. The times may vary / run a bit longer, but based on my experience the plays are generally short.

 

In the year 2000 Chatterton said that the Midtown International Theater Festival offered about 19 plays and that there were about 100 participants. This month the Midtown International Theater Festival and the Short Play Lab will feature about x plays, variety acts and readings and involve about 300 participants.

 

 

Winter 2016 Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab

midtown international theater festival short play lab nyc

It’s worth noting that there are three Short Play Labs each year [Winter in March / Spring in May and Fall in September] and two Midtown International Theater Festivals each year [Winter in March and Summer in July].

 

The audience at the Short Play Lab see between a half dozen and dozen plays for $20, while the audience of the Midtown International Theater Festival pay $20 to see each 30 to 60 minute play performance.

The Spring 2016 Midtown International Theater Festival runs from March 7th through March 27th and the Short Play Lab series runs this weekend on March 12th and 13th. You can find descriptions of the shows and purchase tickets at www.midtownfestival.org.

 

All performances are at the WorkShop Theater on the 4th floor in the Jewel Box Theatre at 314 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues [FYI - Capacity: 33 and DO NOT CONFUSE w/ Jewel Box Theater on 43rd Street].


Manhattan NYC Related Links

Click for Manhattan Restaurants NYC

Click for Manhattan NeighborhoodS NYC

Click for Manhattan Things To DO NYC

Click for Gramercy Park Restaurants NYC

Click for Manhattan Hotels NYC

Click for New Years Parties & Restaurants NYC

Click for Manhattan Furniture Stores NYC

Click for Manhattan Street Fairs NYC

Click for Manhattan Professional Services NYC

Click for Manhattan Farmers Markets NYC

Click for Manhattan Real Estate


Site Search Tips. 1) For best results, when typing in more than one word, use quotation marks - eg "Astoria Park". 2) Also try either singular or plural words when searching for a specific item such as "gym" or "gyms".

 

Click this link to search for something in our Manhattan Business Directory.


Click the log in link below to create an ID and post an opinion.

Or send this story to a friend by filling in the appropriate box below.


Back To Top





Login and voice your opinion!