Saturday, August 31, 2013

Who is "The Seeing Place"?

Hello - thanks for reading! We're excited to announce that we're celebrating our 5th Anniversary, so we thought we'd set aside a blog post to introduce our newer readers to the forces behind this blog - the folks of The Seeing Place Theater.


Our name "The Seeing Place" is the literal translation of the Greek word theatron . . .

". . . the place where we go to understand ourselves."

The Seeing Place is an actor-driven, non-profit theater ensemble known for its intense and intimate work. Now in our 5th Season, we are forcefully committed to honoring and crafting the actor's process (through rehearsal and into performance); bringing organic, "fully lived" storytelling to our community; and making theater accessible for all New Yorkers by keeping ticket prices low and affordable.


The Seeing Place is an actor-driven company: built by actors and managed by actors to be a base for actors who want to grow & hone their craft in a creative and supportive artistic home. 

By placing a keen focus on behavioral storytelling, The Seeing Place has become well-known for  compelling and visceral ensemble work. Productions are rehearsed in a structured, organic manner, involving heavy script analysis and improvisation. Emphasis is placed on elements of acting craft, allowing actors the freedom to discover the story with the audience on a nightly basis. There is very little action that is "blocked" or staged, and many audience members have commented that they feel like a fly-on-the-wall observer of a real event.

Through private funding and public fundraising events / campaigns, The Seeing Place ensemble members feverishly fundraise in advance of each production so that all ticket prices can be capped at a low $12 per ticket.

But don't take our word for it:

" If you like serious theater, this is the real deal..." 
- Cheryl Benton, The Three Tomatoes (LOOK BACK IN ANGER)

" This play can only be performed successfully with the type of chemistry that The Seeing Place demonstrates... This is the second production I have reviewed from The Seeing Place, and I haven’t seen a better indie theater value out there yet."
- Chris McKittrick, Daily Actor (THREE SISTERS)

"I hope that The Seeing Place Theater continues to push the boundaries of theater in the off off Broadway community by producing thought-provoking, smart, and well-acted theatre. Oh, and tickets are only $12. You really can’t beat that.”
- Zak Risinger, Theatre is Easy (LOVE SONG)


Click here to learn:

• What Critics & Audiences Are Saying
• Make a tax-deductible donation

2013 - 2014 ENSEMBLE

Producing Staff

Founding Artistic Director - Brandon Walker*
Founding Member & Managing Director - Erin Cronican*

The Ensemble

Hillery Baker, John D'Arcangelo, Stephen Dexter, Chris Dieman, Jim DiMunno, Elle Emerson, Michael Gnat*, Mark Gorham*, Charlotte Hampden*, Alexandra Hellquist, Justin Hoch, Logan Keeler, Jessica Kelly, Rose Lamoureux, Adam Levinthal*, Ivey Lowe, Nicole McLaughlin, Martine Moore, Brian Charles Rooney*, John Anthony Russo*, John Sarno, Frank Schiavone, Lila Smith*, Jamie Soltis, Stewart Steinberg*, Thia Stephan*, Joe Tuttle*, Maria Wolf.        * = Member Actors' Equity Association

For more information about our company, including shows, photos, reviews and donation information, visit

Thanks again for reading - please leave a comment and say hello so we can get to know you better!

-- Your friends at The Seeing Place

Monday, August 26, 2013

How To Excite People About The Theatre
We live in a critical community.  I have even begun to notice a growing disillusionment within myself.  I no longer love going to the theatre.  When people invite me to their shows, I am most frequently annoyed.  Almost immediately, I start looking for a way out of the evening.  When I do make it to a show, I usually go out of a sense of obligation to relationship or prior support.  I openly criticize the commercial market, and I am highly suspicious of everything else.  I am an artist who has grown tired of art.

Does this tirade seem familiar?  Unfortunately, it seems to be the majority opinion in New York.  And yet, some of us are still trying to fight the good fight in a city of 8.25 million cynics.  So, I guess the real question is...

How can we share our work with friends, family, acquaintances, and the general community in a way that is engaging and excites them to take part in it?

1.)  Share your excitement about the project.
This week, I was invited to three shows.  I didn't want to see any of them.  Why?  Because none of the people that invited me gave me any reason for going.  They didn't give me anything to be excited about.  And much as I like to think of myself as a generous and loving person, at the end of a long day it's hard to care that much about supporting people.  I want to know that I am doing something that is worth my time and energy.  After attending, I found that I quite enjoyed my time, but up until I was actually in the audience watching, I dreaded the thought of being at every show.

One of the best things you can do for your community is to reach out to them and prepare them for what they are about to see.  When you invite them, let them know why you want them to come and what you want them to experience.  Don't feel the need to tell them about reviews or audience responses.  That may help, but the chances are that their investment is in you, so share from yourself.  If you give them something personal to latch onto, their experience will almost definitely be more enjoyable.

2.)  Don't be afraid to reach out personally.
I find that I only ever make time for shows if someone asks me to come - not me and whoever else is BCC'd to the email they send.  If someone takes the time to write me personally, then I assume they find it important for ME to be there, and that always makes me feel good.  That may seem like a selfish way of living, but I think most of us are guilty of it.

3.)  It's okay to reach out more than once.
I can't tell you how many shows I've missed because nobody reminded me that they were closing.  We all lead busy lives - especially in a city like New York.  If you reached out the week before your show opened and don't tell me again, then the chances are that I'm going to forget about the show until it's over.  Go ahead and send a reminder.  Even if I didn't want to come the first time I was told, sometimes I reconsider when I see that someone is passionate enough about a project to remind me about it.

4.)  Please don't speak badly about the show, the cast, the director, the... anything.
When people complain to me (sometimes even within the invitation), my first thought is usually that there's no point in going to this show.  My second thought usually has to do with why that person invited me to a show they obviously don't want to be a part of.  Why bother talking about the show at all?  Try to keep your sharing only to the things that are exciting to you if you want people to come.  Even if someone is excited about a show, when they tell me, "It's long, and I'm only playing a small part," they give me permission to skip this one.  So, be really careful about what you say to people.  Just stick to what excited you about the project - even if it's the money, the prestige, or just getting your feet wet in New York.  And that positive energy can only help your experience of the show.

*NOTE - Don't wait "until the show is good" to let people know about it.  By the time you're comfortable, there's usually no time left in their schedules to get there.  If you're in a production that seems promising, go ahead and let people know.  They'll probably miss opening weekend, anyway.  And if not, then commit to doing your best for every audience member and every show, and there will be nothing to apologize about.  Never apologize if you've given your most sincere effort.  Nothing is ever going to be perfect.

5.)  Thank people for coming and accept their responses.
Please don't be one of those actors.  Don't come out and go off about how bad the show was tonight.  It's LIVE THEATRE.  Things happen.  Share your experience of the show with them in a positive and inclusive way.  Sometimes, the night that everything goes wrong is a great show.  And even if it's not, nobody knows the difference.  If someone compliments you, accept it.  Thank them.  Don't invalidate them by arguing the issue.  If someone doesn't like something, don't defend it.  Just take it in and thank them for sharing with you.  Try not to delve deep into what people "really thought" of the performance.  They'll tell you if they want to.  They won't if they don't.  Let your direction come from the director and your criticism come from the critics.

With that, take responsibility for your work and have some pride about it.  There is so much more to talk about than how well the performance went (or not).  If you want to discuss something, discuss what the play brings up for you.  It'll be much more engaging.  After all, Theatre is about ideas.  It's about questioning and understanding our humanity - and that's a conversation we can all enjoy.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas, too!  Please leave a comment and share with us.