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Where To See Off-Off Broadway Shows

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 9 February 2017
Off-Off Broadway shows are theater productions in New York City held in venues smaller than Broadway theaters and Off-Broadway theaters. These spaces accommodate fewer than 100 people, and the experience is quite different from watching a major Broadway production. The Off-Off Broadway movement began in 1958 as a reaction to Off-Broadway, and shows were originally held in small coffee shops with the idea of totally rejecting commercial theater. Now, the shows are highly respected and the experience is intimate and unique. So if Broadway sounds like too much fuss, here’s where you can see excellent Off-Off Broadway shows in NYC.

Theater For The New City

Founded in 1971, Theater For The New City is one of the oldest Off-Off-Broadway theaters – an icon of this community. It’s known for its engagement and fearlessness in supporting radical political plays, with productions hosted here winning over 40 Obie Awards (the Off-Broadway theater awards originally created by The Village Voice), and even a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Currently, they produce 30-40 shows per year and are constantly putting on community events, so check out their website to see what’s happening.

Gday Aussi prov.#DCM18

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HERE Arts Center

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, look no further than HERE Arts Center. Opened in 1993, HERE is known for its multimedia performances that include everything from song and dance to puppetry to anything that doesn’t fit in a conventional theater format. Each season HERE produces 3-6 works, and their shows have won numerous awards over the years.

HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Ave, New York, NY, USA  

Money Lab

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La MaMa E.T.C

Founded in 1961 just a few years after the birth of Off-Off-Broadway, La MaMa is arguably the birth place of experimental theater. It helped start the careers of notable figures like the playwright Sam Shepherd, the director Jerzy Grotowski, and the composer Elizabeth Swados. It is the only original of the ‘core four’ Off-Off-Broadway theaters still functioning, and today it’s an institution.

La MaMa E.T.C., 66 E 4th St, New York, NY, USA +1 646 430 5374

Watched a beautiful and elegant performance tonight by @dancerukmini! #driveeastny @sahi_s @mnair518 #indiandance

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The Flea Theater

Located in downtown Manhattan, The Flea show new, expermental works. It opened in 1996 and has quickly grown into one of the most respected Off-Off-Broadway theaters in NYC, with a recent show being a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, actors like John Lithgow and Sigourney Weaver gracing its stage, and more. Each year The Flea produces a multitude of shows – including original works by their resident acting company, the BATS, as well as dozens of shows by some of the most innovative artists out there.

The Flea Theater, 41 White St, New York, NY, USA +1 212 226 0051

The Kraine Theater

Located in the basement of an East Village bar, The Kraine Theater‘s intimate productions are just as edgy as their location would suggest. Part of an group called Horse Trade Theaters (which includes two other small theaters on the same block), The Kraine puts on an uncensored theater festival each year called FRIGID New York.

Third Rail Projects – Various Sites

There isn’t one specific venue for productions created by Third Rail Projects, because they’re known for making site-specific, interactive, and immersive theater works. Over the past 15 years their productions have been widely recognized for rethinking the ways audience engage with performers, and they currently have 4 shows in New York, including Then She Fell (a recreation of Lewis Caroll’s wonderland novels with only 15 audience members per show) and The Grand Paradise – a show that will take you to Florida of the 1970s.

Various Locations

www.thenshefell.com #aliceinwonderland #lewiscarroll #immersive #NYC

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