anonymous asked:

What books likes to read Kevin Spacey? What writers he like?

Books that made a difference to Kevin Spacey (From Oprah’s *O* Magazine, 2011):

The Wicked Wit of Winston ChurchillTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnFree for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and The Greatest Theater Story Ever Told, and London: The Biography.  

It’s also mentioned in the 2014 Hollywood Reporter article that he enjoys biographies - with Andre Agassi’s Open being a favorite. 



For six years, Michael Arthur has been our Archival Artist, capturing dozens of performances as they happen. Now, we would like to invite you to participate.

If you want a chance to come and draw live during a performance at Joe’s Pub, please send us some sketchbook drawings you’ve done of musicians, actors and dancers. Each drawing will be reviewed by Joe’s Pub and Michael Arthur and several will be shared on our Tumblr.

Later this year we will extend an invitation for artists to draw a live performance in the venue.

Do you want to draw live at Joe’s Pub? Submit your sketchbook drawings HERE. (Please be sure to include your contact information.)

On October 30 we will be hosting a public reception for Michael Arthur on the mezzanine at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003) where 20 of his portraits will be on display.


[From Michael Arthur: Here are a few drawings from one night at Joe’s Pub, drawn from the vantage point of the sound and light booth. First up was the midway performance of Mike Daisey’s 29 part monologue All The Faces Of The Moon. I’ve drawn Mike before, but usually he’s alone at his table. His co-stars for this ambitious piece are a series of paintings by is Larissa Tokmakova, and it seemed only fitting that I include a drawing of the night’s painting. Next up was Joey Arias, a performer who defies categorization, but if you wanted to try you could pull out “cabaret”, “chanteuse”, “Rocker”, “Mocker”, “Diva” and the list goes on. Joey is one of a kind. That’s it. A night at Joe’s Pub. It can run the gamut from one man with a story to tell to … Well, really anywhere imagination, talent and creativity can take you. As an artist trying to capture the energy on the stage, I have enjoyed the wondrous unpredictability of Joe’s Pub.]

For more information about Joe’s Pub, visit:

For more information on Michael Arthur, visit:

Couldn’t make it to Paying the RENT?!

Couldn’t make it to ‪#‎payingtheRENT‬? Well, you’re in luck! You can watch all the videos from the concert by following the link below! Playlist filmed, edited, and compiled by the multitalented Dan Tracy!

YouTube playlist for Paying the RENT!

Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off Off Broadway: An Audience Member’s Guide To New York City Theatre and Its Many Distinctions


By the Editorial Staff

New York City theatre is identified as Broadway, Off Broadway or Off Off Broadway (also called independent theatre). Do these categories matter for the average audience member? Not really. In some ways these distinctions tell you what you can anticipate from a production, but there are many shows that break expectations, for better or worse. Still, it’s helpful to know the difference between these types of shows.

The first thing to know is that the terms Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off Off Broadway are necessary distinctions for the artists, not the audiences. They’re actually defined by unions, based largely on the number of seats in the theatre, and are used for contracts. For example, the professional stage actors’ union, Actors’ Equity Association (also known as “Equity” or AEA), needs to know what kind of contract a show falls under because that designates how much an actor or stage manager gets paid, along with other professional allowances received. A Broadway contract pays way more than an Off Broadway contract, and both are like winning the lottery compared to an Off Off Broadway contract, which is under a totally separate agreement that has more to do with exposure and opportunity than paying the rent. The important thing to know is that when producers label a show, they are really just defining the contract that is currently in place.

What does it mean to be a Broadway show? (Hint: it does not mean that the theatre is literally on the street called Broadway).

There are 40 Broadway theatres and they are located in Midtown Manhattan, or what is also known as the “Theatre District” or “Times Square” by tourists, and as “that place I try to avoid whenever possible” by locals. Those theatres are large in scale, with anywhere from 597 seats (the Helen Hayes) to 1,900 seats (the Gershwin). The important thing to know about Broadway shows is that they are primarily commercial ventures, meaning the people who put money in are expecting to get a return on their investment.* It’s expensive to produce a Broadway show (at least a few million dollars, often much more) and, partly because union contracts limit shows to eight performances a week, Broadway shows often need to run for awhile to make back their money.

Broadway tickets usually cost in the $100-$150 range. You can often get discounts when tickets aren’t selling out; conversely, when a show is selling very well you may only be able to find tickets for outrageously expensive prices (a relatively new phenomenon, the so-called “premium seats”).

Another thing to note about Broadway shows is that they often have star-studded casts. Because producers need to sell tickets, Broadway shows often hire celebrities to help draw attention. This doesn’t always mean that the actor is the most talented or appropriate for the role, but it does ensure that the audience gets a special “only in New York” experience.

And finally, only Broadway productions are eligible for the Tony Awards. There are other awards that are given out to Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions, but because the Tony Awards are broadcast on network television, they function as a kind of “theatre ambassador” for the city, helping to inform people around the country about what’s playing on Broadway. But there’s a lot more great theatre to be found in New York City…

*Note: Six Broadway theatres are owned by non-profit theatre companies, so the productions in these houses are often (but not always) non-profit productions, which operate under a slightly different contract. This doesn’t mean these shows don’t or can’t make money. But it does mean that when a theatre company has a hit show, the company can use the money to fund other, less profitable, productions.

The vast world Off Broadway…

Off Broadway encompasses many of the big and fancy non-profit theatres in town (The Public, Atlantic, Roundabout, and the like). Some Off Broadway shows are commercial (anything playing at New World Stages, for example) but many are produced by the non-profits, meaning these theatre companies are financially supported by grants and donations. They usually have networks of members: arts patrons who enjoy their work. Since they aren’t trying to turn a profit, they can take risks that Broadway shows often can’t, and their work is often more artsy, intellectual, and daring than Broadway shows. That said, they also have to program shows that their audiences will want to see, so the risk-taking is always calculated. Off Broadway theatre companies produce very high quality work, and there is consistent overlap between actors and artists who work on Broadway and Off Broadway. There are awards specifically for Off Broadway shows – the Obies – and then others, like the Drama Desk Awards, cover both Broadway and Off Broadway shows).

Off Broadway theatres are also smaller, which means that audiences get a more intimate experience. Based on Equity guidelines, Off Broadway shows have to be in theatres that are between 100-499 seats (there are occasionally exceptions). Tickets for Off Broadway shows vary greatly in price, but they typically start at around $30, and should never be more than around $80, unless it’s a really high-profile show. And even then, not everyone pays the same price. (For example, while tickets for Hamilton at The Public reached a maddening $112, members who bought their tickets early paid only $50).

Now is a good time to note that if a production has no union actors, it doesn’t have to play by any of these rules. So it can mount the show in a 12-seat house, charge $400 per ticket, pay its actors nothing, and call the production an Off Broadway show. And that’s another reason these distinctions aren’t always super helpful in terms of understanding what a show might offer.

Off Off Broadway is under the radar, but it doesn’t have to be.

The largest and most diverse category of New York City theatre is Off Off Broadway, also known as independent theatre. Not only is it where the most theatre happens, it’s arguably where the most adventurous theatre happens. There are many non-profit theatre companies that produce Off Off Broadway productions, which basically means that the venue won’t have more than 99 seats, and if there are Equity actors in the cast, tickets can’t be more than $18 (under what’s known as a “showcase code”). And there are even awards specifically for Off Off Broadway shows – the New York Innovative Theatre Awards (or IT Awards).

At Theasy, we love to champion Off Off Broadway, because there is so much incredible work that flies under the radar due to the severe constraints of producing independent theatre. Budgets are often small (Equity showcases can’t spend more than $35,000), so marketing can be difficult. And because theatre rentals are so expensive (and because Equity showcases can’t play more than 16 performances), Off Off Broadway shows often don’t run long enough to benefit from word of mouth.

Off Off Broadway definitely runs the gamut in terms of theme, tone, and quality of work. But it’s the place to go to discover incredible new plays, the actors and directors who are on the cusp of blowing up, and the most laid-back theatergoing experience in town. It’s not unusual for a show to begin Off Off Broadway and then receive subsequent productions Off Broadway or sometimes even on Broadway (Hand to God is a recent example of this upward movement). And most New York City actors have Off Off Broadway credits to their names, even if they eventually reach celebrity status. Off Off Broadway productions are often the very best deal in New York City theatre.

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FALL 2014 OFF-BROADWAY PREVIEW: Into the Woods and Allegro Return Alongside New Works from Neil LaBute, Suzan-Lori Parks, Billy Porter and Heidi Schreck