Monday, March 26, 2012

LIT Fund statement of principles

Take a look and please respond.
And come to the Town Hall meeting this Wednesday, RSVP at

This is a living document, based on the feedback and response we’ve received from the independent theater territory so far.  We look forward to revising, fine-tuning and strengthening the ideas and principles below with you.


The League of Independent Theater Fund is designed to financially assist organizations and individual theater artists creating independent theater in the five boroughs of New York City. The intent of the fund is to help this vital segment of American theater thrive in a difficult economic environment and to have a positive impact on the cultural landscape of the city. 

Money for the LIT Fund comes from contributions from a number of organizations (listed below), who donate five cents per ticket sold to their performances. This five cent donation is not passed on to the ticket buyer but comes from the organization. 

Recipients of money from the LIT Fund are chosen based both on a demonstrated history of work and a proven responsibility in the independent theater sector.  Recipients will be required to serve on the Fund’s adjudication panel the year following their funding and will be ineligible to receive funds two years in a row. 

Fund distribution will be determined on an annual basis and there will be no set categories.  Our members have identified real estate costs, artist compensation, money to create new work, marketing, equipment purchase and touring costs as current areas of concern. We trust that the artists and organizations we serve know best where the money is needed and we intend to have them dictate where it is distributed.

At the core of the LIT Fund is the simple idea of theater people helping theater people. 

All money collected will go solely to the independent theater territory, with a small portion dedicated to administering the Fund.

We will strive for radical transparency throughout our entire process, from collection to deliberation to decision to distribution.

We will neither accept money from nor give money to corrupt organizations or individuals.  We are defining “corrupt” in this context as organizations or individuals that do not honor artists and arts workers in terms of financial compensation, professional treatment or basic human respect.

We recognize that the power of the Fund will be measured in the level of commitment and collaboration of theater people in New York City, not in the amount of money collected and distributed.  

The money is important, of course, but finally, it’s not really about the money. The power of the Fund is us working together and taking care of each other.


The legal entity responsible for the administration of the Fund is the League of Independent Theater, Inc.  Current LIT board members are Randi Berry, John Clancy, Jennifer Conley Darling, Martin Denton, Amanda Feldman, Chris Harcum, Christopher Heath, Robert Honeywell and Erez Ziv.

In the inaugural year, LIT will form a committee of nine members tasked with determining how the initial funds collected in 2012-2013 will be distributed.  Three members will be recruited from the LIT board, three members will be recruited from the LIT membership and three members will be recruited from the philanthropic and commercial theater sectors in New York City.  This committee, after extensive public and private discussion and review, will make formal recommendations to the LIT board by June 1st, 2012.  These recommendations will be public documents.  The LIT board will review the recommendations and announce the first year fiscal priorities and objectives of the Fund by June 15, 2012.

Funds will begin being collected on August 1, 2012.  The first distribution of the LIT Fund will occur no later than December 31, 2013. 

Agony Productions, The Amoralists, Angry Bubble Productions Art House Productions, CSV Cultural Center, Caps Lock Theatre, Clancy Productions The Civilians, Decades Out, Deconstructive Theatre Project, Elephant Run District, ETdC Projects Lab, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Gemini/Collisionworks, Gorilla Rep, HERE Horse Trade Theater Group,  Inverse Theatre,   Irondale Ensemble Living Theater, Jewish Plays Project, John Montgomery Theatre Company, La Lupa Italian Cultural Arts Festival, Mabou Mines, Mind the Gap Theatre, New Georges, The New Ohio Theatre, New York Neo-Futurists, New York Theatre Experience, Inc., No. 11 Productions, Organs of State, OutOurWayProductions, P.S. 122, Parallel Exit, Peculiar Works, Present Company (producers of FringeNYC), Purple Rep, Rabbit Hole Ensemble, Reverie Productions, Sinking Ship Productions, Small Pond Entertainment, Sponsored by Nobody, Stolen Chair Theater Company, Surf Reality, Tectonic Theater Project,  terraNOVA Collective, Theatre Askew,  Untitled Theater Company #61, undergroundzero, Vampire Cowboys Theater Company, ViolaCello StageWorks, LLC, WET Productions, White Horse Theater Company, Wreckio Ensemble.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

from our good friends at CSI

These guys rock.
And they're hosting a big LIT Fund town meeting in a couple of weeks.
So, be there.
CSI Spring Events Calendar

Damn the emails - we need some face time! Check out upcoming CSI events for Spring 2012!

Friday, March 16th 6-8pm - Final Reminder for Friday’s Teach In about the L3C Corp. and the Arts.
Info & RSVP:

Wednesday, March 28th 6-8pm  - Community Meeting - League of Independent Theater (LIT) has announced their intention to create a plan that will establish a grants fund for the off-off theater sector from nickel-a-ticket contributions.  Come to an open discussion and give your two-cents worth.  
Demos - 220 Fifth Avenue (26th & 27th) 5th Floor Conference Room
For more information visit
Please RSVP to

Cocktail Salons: CSI is hosting free Open House cocktail hours on the following dates for anyone who wants to have the opportunity to network and catch up with Paul Nagle, Executive Director, on what CSI is up to, progress on our projects and issues you’d like to see us take on.  No formal presentations, just us, drinks and some stimulating conversation.
Monday, April 30th   6-8pm
Monday, May 21st    6-8pm
Monday, June 11th   6-8pm
Demos - 220 Fifth Avenue (26th & 27th) 5th Floor Conference Room  
Please RSVP to  We hope to see you there!

Town Halls:  Our free Town Hall series continues.  Watch your emails or our website for updated information on themes and locations, but save these dates
Monday, April 16th 6pm-8pm - CSI co-sponsors a Town Hall in Queens with the Queens Council on the Arts.
Wednesday, May 16th 6-8pm - CSI co-sponsors a Town Hall in the Bronx with the Bronx Council on the Arts.

Monday, March 12, 2012

survey time

To the independent theater community and its supporters,

As most of you know, The League of Independent Theater is working on a new project, The LIT Fund.  The LIT Fund will be a pool of money that will be collected and then made available to the Indie theater community in the form of grants.

We recognize the importance of obtaining feedback and input directly from the independent artists, companies and venues that we serve.  We have created a brief survey that will help us prioritize how the collected money for the Fund will be distributed.  Please take a minute to fill out the survey by clicking on the link below.  If you have any additional thoughts, feel free to comment in the noted section or to email us at

Thank you for your time and your great work.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

if anyone's in Greece next month...

World-wide theatricals indeed.

looks like we're having a tampa tantrum

Time for a little politics, kids.

Been awhile, what with all of the excellent LIT Fund news to crow about.  More of that soon, you can bet on it, things are moving along nicely, but last night we had the big Super Tuesday knockdown and dragout and your trusty cub reporter was right there on the couch with a tall vodka and lemonade, watching every twitch and burn.

After about eight billion dollars spent, tens of thousands of hours in airports and limos and town halls and living rooms, hundreds of misstatements, stunning gaffes and outright lies, pretty much nothing has changed.

Nobody loves the Mittbot.

That's one sad, misunderstood, rich cyborg.  All he wants is unquestioned sovereignty over the humans for four years, it's what he was programmed to do, for god's sake, and no one will throw him a hug.

Newt is going nowhere and he's going there alone.

As long as Casino Jack keeps sending the checks, the Pillsbury Doughboy from Hell is going to continue to pretend to be running for the nomination.  What he's actually doing is becoming an enduring and strangely compelling mystery:

Does he realize he's speaking out loud and into a microphone and it's all being recorded?

Is he aware that President Obama is not Abraham Lincoln and he himself is not Stephen Douglas?  And if not, does it matter to him that although Douglas won that election and continued on as the Senator from Illinois, Lincoln became President only two years later? 


Any of this ringing any bells in that big old melonhead of yours?

And finally, just because we have to look at her all the time, what is up with the Moon Queen's hair?

Then there's the Former Senator and Frothy Mixture of Lube and Fecal Matter from Pennsylvania, Mr. Santorum.

He thinks he can win this thing and he might be right.

He's starting to scare me in a real way.  A true-believer can never be counted out.

And don't forget Uncle Ron.

Even though everyone wants to.  He's coming to Tampa and he's going to be holding some cards, guaranteed.

So, everyone in at this point.  Not a single electable candidate in the pack, but remember P.T. Barnum's advice:  never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.  

We do all right one on one but as a mob we can make some very dumb calls.