We also are on Facebook (click here)!

 

 Contact us! (Click here)

 

Writing by Johnny Culver (Click here)

 

About Johnny Culver (click here)

 

Equity Library Theater

of New York

(and the Woodside Players of Queens)

 

Links to other well respected theater groups:


Andrean Players - Flushing

Astoria Performing Arts Center - Astoria

Bayswater Players - Far Rockaway

Black Henna Productions

Broadway Blockbusters

BrooklynONEtheater - Brooklyn

Brooklyn Players Community Musical Theatre - Park Slope

Centerstage Players - Bayside and Port Washington

City Island Theater Group - City Island

Douglaston Community Theatre Group - Douglaston

First String Players - Woodhaven

FSF Community Theatre Group - [now closed - click for history]

 Gingerbread Players - Forest Hills

Heights Players - Brooklyn Heights

Herricks Community Players- New Hyde Park

House of Yes - Brooklyn

Ivy Lane Players - Levittown

James Street Players - Babylon

 

LICTC.ORG (Queens & LI Theater)

JC Players - Queens

Maggie's Little Theater  - Middle Village

 Minstrel Players - Northport

Mount Carmel Theatre Company - Brooklyn

Narrows Community Theater - Brooklyn

Outrageous Fortune Co - Flushing

Parkside Players - Forest Hills

E Phoenix Idealis Theatre, Inc - College Point

Equity Library Theater

The Play Troupe of Port Washington - Port Washington

Rockaway Theatre Company - Ft. Tilden

Royal Star Theatre - Jamaica Estates

Shadow Waltz Productions - East Meadow

Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center - East Hills

Spotlight Theatre Productions - Mohegan Lake

St. Gregory Theatre Group - Bellerose

St. Jean's Players - Manhattan

STAR - Senior Theater Acting Repertory

Thalia Spanish Theatre - Sunnyside

Theatre By The Bay - Bayside

Theatre Box - Floral Park

 

Congratulations to Equity Library Theater!

The 2018 Josie Performance Awards Nominees for Best Performances Of 2017

 

Best Performance Of 2017 By An Adult Female
Kinga Nowak, The Lady of The Hall*, Gingerbread Players of Queens 2017
Katherine Orozco-Verderber, Unending Repetition, Zero Untitled – NYC 2017 (Equity Library Theater)

 

Production Of The Year 2017 Top Ten Finalists
The Lady of The Hall*, The Gingerbread Players 2017
Unending Repetition, Zero Untitled – NYC 2017 (Equity Library Theater)

Director Of The Year 2017
Johnny Culver, The Lady of the Hall*, The Gingerbread Players 2017
*based on the BBC TV comedy Keeping Up Appearances, by Roy Clarke

 

Past Best Plays from the Equity Library Theater Summer Play Festival

2018 - Paige Esterly - Eve and Adam

2017 - Michael Verderber - Unending Repetition/Treason

2016 - Michael Maiello – Looking Through the Glass

2015 - Hello Mom – Lauren Snyder

2014 - John Ladd – Ashes to Ashes (Drama)/ Scott Haskell – Womanhood (Comedy)

2013 - Liza Bulos - Attention Shoppers

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

The Woodside Players of Queens presents their spring 2019 production of five rare one act Broadway comedies from 1910 by Clare Beecher Kummer and Irving Dale.

 

Clare Beecher Kummer - The Robbery
Clare Beecher Kummer - The Choir Rehearsal
Irving Dale - Too Much Salt
Irving Dale - Souvenir Spoons
Irving Dale - The Way of a Woman
Local actors perform these script in hand readings. Suitable for the entire family

The show will be on Saturday March 9th in Queens-Forest Hills Library (108-19 71 Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375/E F R to 71st Avenue) at noon. We are also seeking actors and directors for this presentation. If interested, email: woodsideplayersofqueens@gmail.com.


*******

Submissions are now being accepted for the Woodside Players of Queens Spring 2019 Play Festival, to take place in June 2019. Seeking short plays (no more than 10 pp), from playwrights from the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island only. Also seeking monologues (no more than 4pp). Musicals welcome! Basic set requirements.

One submission per playwright. No unpleasant profanity, as this is a family friendly festival! No submission fee. Please include name, address, telephone number and email address on your submission. We do not produce your work, we provide a venue for you to present actors performing your play. There are no costs involved for anyone. Seeking actors and directors, too! Deadline: March 15. 2019. .Email: woodsideplayersofqueens@gmail.com.

 

*******

 

At the Queens Library Astoria (14-01 Astoria Blvd), take part in a creative writing and performance workshop that will run every two weeks on Saturdays at noon beginning September 15th.

 

Participants will have the opportunity to offer and receive constructive feedback on work presented with emphasis on how effectively a piece might engage with an audience.

 

Anyone with a story to offer, an interesting/dramatic character to present, or an interest in connecting their creative work with an audience may find this process helpful.

 

Interaction and mutual support are important! Bring your short written or performance pieces (less than 5 minutes) to share! All genres welcome. Free for all! More info, call 718 721 0915.

 

SESSIONS
Astoria Sat, Nov 10, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Nov 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Dec 8, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Dec 22, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Jan 5, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Jan 19, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Feb 2, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Feb 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Mar 2, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Mar 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Mar 30, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Apr 13, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Apr 27, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, May 11, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, May 25, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Jun 8, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Astoria Sat, Jun 22, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm.

 

 

The Woodside Players of Queens Fall Play Festival!

 

Saturday November 10th@2pm

Queens Library - Astoria

14-01 Astoria Blvd.

M60, Q100, Q69, Q19 or N train to Astoria Blvd.

 

Presenting short plays by these writers:

 

The Border - Tony Manzo 

With Isaac Conner, Jane Park

 

Ventroquilist - Marjie Conn

With Ms. Crow


Willie - Donald Loftus

With Rosina Fernhoff, Joanne Halev, Jeff Knapp


Drama Should Stay on the Stage - Lavinia Roberts

Directed by Karen Crighton, with Kaitlyn Farley, Sonseray Reed


Sailboat 12 - Greg Driscoll 


Don - Kyle Smith 

With Michael Bradley, Chris Trindale


The Will - Glenda Frank 

Directed by Susanna Miller, with Rhonda Addams, Daniel Blankenship, Esq.

Chew on This - Ellen O’Neill


Epitaph by Moonlight - Michael Verderber

 

Reina – Joseph Bulvid

With Aram Hovsepian, Alissa Simmons, Antonio Silva

 

*****************************************************************************************

December 1st @12pm

NYPL 53rd Street Branch 18 West 53rd Street

 

Equity Library Theater presents: The Lost Virginity Tour, a reading of a play by Cricket Daniel

 

“Cricket Daniel’s ‘Lost Virginity Tour’ is one of those finely-written evenings of theater that both moves you to tears and has you laughing until your face hurts! Funny-as-all-heck dialogue, great female characters that any theatre performer would chomp at the bit to play, all wrapped up in a wonderful atmosphere of melancholy - Daniel’s ‘Lost Virginity Tour’ is a theatrical treat that should be performed in theatre’s everywhere!” - Dennis T. Giacino.

With: Terri Bonica-Matassov, Penny Gaston, Debbie Smith, and Linda Vega. Daniyel Hunt narrates, Johnny Culver directs.

Runs 90 minutes. More info 631 898 4205. Seating is limited. Free Admission.

 

 

Past event!

 

The Woodside Players presents:

Rare Short Plays from Early 20th Century Broadway

 

November 3 @ 12pm, NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium @1pm

203 West 115th Street (B C 2 3 to 116th Street)

(212) 666-9393

 

Private Boarding – 1878 – William Courtwright

Director. Andy Scott
Jason Ballew, Kevin Buiocchi, Johanna Lee, Caitlin McQuade, Emma Miller.

 

The Motor Bellows – 1877 – William Courtwright

Director. Graydon Gund

With: William Burns, Nathaniel Edward, Luda Millias, Greg Prosser.

The Great Look – 1912- William Faydon

Director. Jacob Dunham

With: Charles Baran, Nathaniel Dolquest, Melanie Gettler, Elizabeth McBryde.

The Second Hand Man - 1903 - Harry Lee Newton

With: Ron Crawford, Kevin David Thomas.

Is It Raining? - 1903 - Harry Lee Newton

With: Ron Crawford, Sutton Thomas.


When Johnny Comes Marching Home 1903 - Harry Lee Newton Director. Johnny Culver

With: Daniyel Hunt, Laurie Sammeth.

More info: 631 898 4205.

*******************************************************

 

Past event!

 

“Lincoln’s Birthday”

 

With: Andrew Dinan, Penny Gaston, Mike Miller, Tom Morwick, Alissa Simmons

 

Goofy inmates, Larry and Carl, scheme to get their favorite show tunes record into their hands, with no help from a Hollywood legend!

 

July 26, @ 6:15pm, July 27, @ 6:15pm, July 29, @6:15pm

Hudson Guild Theater 441 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001.

Tickets here: http://newyorktheaterfestival.com/lincolns-birthday/

___________________________

Past event!

 

The Equity Library Theater

Playwriting Summer Festival 2018

 

Part One August 4th @12pm

New York Public Library – George Bruce Branch Auditorium
518 West 125th Street (at Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, NY 10027-3407

Presenting:


John Cannatalla – Restless in Limbo

Marlin Thomas – Speak Gods English


Samantha Fox – Cardiomyapathy


Vivian Lermond – Call It Karma

 

Joshua Charmatz – Cactus


Maia Henken – Beheld

 

Paul K. Smith – A Day of Promise


Arthur Lundquist – Explorers of the Sky


Glenda Frank – Head of House


Matt Haldeman - Sir Edmund Walter…

 

Spangler's Spring - Jason Boies

 

Part Two August 11th @12pm
NYPL Harry Belafonte Auditorium
115th Street Branch
203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

Presenting:


 Lizzie Guest – My Berenstein Life

Josiah Mullins – My Mother Is What?

 Wayne Paul Mattingly  - Worlds Apart

 Kyle Smith – Don

Ian Cohen - Old Wounds


Nathan Smith – Monologue

Gary Beck - Clown Show

Paige Esterly - Eve and Adam (winner best play!)

 

Gordon Rizzo – How to Get Ahead in Business

 

Margo Krasne – Monologue from “Til Death…”

 

 

Past Event!

Space Race - by Nick Gentile

Saturday, July 14 at 12 PM - 1 PM

Harry Belafonte-115th Street Library

203 W 115th St, New York

 

Space Race presents for the first time to American audiences the spine-tingling truth behind mankind's greatest adventure. Experience daring thrills as you hurtle through the terrifying void of endless space. Enjoy lavish accommodations on the ONLY exospheric vessel with five-star concierge service! Discover strange new romance on the lunar countryside. Space Race is science-fiction and comedy in one easy-to-swallow tablet. Space Race reveals how man actually got to the Moon. Space Race is available only in limited qualities at select locations.

NYPL Harry Belafonte Library Alvin Ailey Auditorium
Free Admission.
Runs about an hour. More info 631 898 4205
.

 

 

Past Event!

Woodside Players of Queens

Summer Play Festival 2018

Voted best plays!

Brysen Boyd - Elephant
Nancy Kelton - Finding Mr. Rightstein

 

June 2nd, 2018 2pm
Queens Library Astoria Branch Auditorium
14-01 Astoria Blvd.
Astoria NY 11105

 

Free admission

This performance repeats June 16th at the Steinway Reformed Church

41st and Ditmars, Astoria, at noon. Bring lunch!

Nelson Diaz-Marcano - El Yunque In English
Lane Northcutt - Secretary
Ludovic Coutaud - Look At Me

Just like the Movies – Peter Scarpinato
Brysen Boyd - Elephant
Nancy Kelton - Finding Mr. Rightstein

Gordon Rizza – How to get ahead in Business

_____________________________________________

 

Past Event!

 

The Woodside Players of queens presents:

Aunt    Maggie’s Will

 

A 1910 comedy by Elizabeth Gale

 

The Woodside Players of Queens and Equity Library Theater of New York present a staged reading of: Aunt Maggies Will, a comedy by Elizabeth Gale.

"Madeline is getting married, and is due to inherit a large sum of money, only if she can prove herself an excellent housewife!"

The cast of ten recreates this comedy from 1910, fully staged and costumed.

 

May 12, 2018@12pm

 

NYPL Harry Belafonte Library

Alvin Ailey Auditorium

203 West 115th Street

Between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Frederick Douglas Blvd

 

With: Tiffany Darden, Hailey DePoto,

Kate Hoffman, Saturday Lawson,

Malinda Logan, Kinga Nowak, Lil Rhee, Phylis Rossi, Dakota Wollmer

 

Johnny Culver directs

 

Free Admission

 

More info:  woodsideplayersofqueens@gmail.com

 

 

Past Events!

 

The Retreat: A Comedy by Enzo Gattuccio.

March 3rd @2pm

NYU Playwright Enzo Gattuccio's The Retreat tells the scary story of a girl who has been ill for sixteen days.

The play features stress, insanity, Swedish literature, Swedish meatballs, disgust, social media influencers, and a small, totally non-threatening corporate retreat center tucked in the woods of the Bay Area.

Starring Kelsey Ann Wacker.

This event takes place at:

NYPL George Bruce Theater

518 West 125th Street |

1-212-662-9727

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Past Event!

 

January 20th @ 12pm

NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium

Harry Belafonte-115th Street Library

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

 

A staged reading of “Hyacinth Goes Camping” based upon “Keeping up Appearances” by Roy Clarke.

 

In this re-imagined version (by Carole Jackson) of the BBC comedy, “Keeping up Appearances”, Hyacinth is as conniving as ever, as one can be at 30 plus years old. The gang is back, Richard, Emmett, Liz, Rose, Daisy and Onslow as they suffer through another one of Hyacinths attempts to shove herself into society. 

"The telephone rings at the Bucket Residence. Rose's latest gentleman friend, the Earl of Crawford (!) has invited the whole family to go camping on his estate. Glowing with the possibilities for social advancement this brings, Hyacinth commandeers Richard to buy the necessary camping accoutrements and off they go, dressed for the occasion. Now, if only everything goes according to plan..."

 

With Kinga Nowak, Scott Haskell, Sonya Rice, Mike Miller, Debbie Smith, Andrew Dinan, Terri Matassov, Bart DeFinna.


Directed by Johnny Culver.

Also being presented, three new short comedies: "Oh Mother!" by Sarah Galvin, "Goodnight Irene" by Jean Tessier and "Love of Life" by Johnny Culver. 

Free admission. For the entire family!

 

Past event!

 

Equity Library Theater of New York presents a reading of:

 

“The Night before the Night before Christmas”,

A comedy play by Cricket Daniel.

 

December 2nd at NYPL George Bruce Branch

518 West 125th Street (at Amsterdam Ave.)

New York, NY 10027-3407

@2pm

&

December 9th at NYPL West 53rd Street Branch

 18 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

@12pm.

 

Lou has wrestled with a big ball of tangled Christmas lights for the last time! He is grabbing the sunblock, his Elvis in Paradise album and his wife Carol, and hopping on the Pineapple Express to Hawaii! However, a freak snowstorm leaves the couple stranded in the airport and their dream of sipping Pina Coladas on the beach is in peril!

 

With:
Johnny Culver
Deborah Smith
Kinga Nowak
Alexa Doggett
Chris Robertson

Directed by Jean Tessier

 

Free admission, runs about 90 minutes. For the entire family!

_____________________________________________

 

EQUITY LIBRARY THEATER

 OF NEW YORK

PRESENTS:

 

 

A reading of

“Be Calm, Camilla”

a 1918 Broadway comedy by Claire Kummer.

 

November 18th  @12pm

NYPL Harry Belafonte Library

Alvin Ailey Auditorium

203 West 115th Street

Between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Frederick Douglas Blvd.

 

 With:
Camilla Hathaway - Alone in the City - Lydia Kalmen
Bill Slattery - A piano mover – Clinton Schreck
Alma Robbins - Haley Klausmeyer
Baxter Pell - Of Fifth Avenue - Tom Meade
Celia Brooke - A Lady of Leisure - Rachel Deutsch
Jo Gibbons - Another mover – Julian Cano
McNeil Brownlow, "Mac" - A Waiter - Tim Mills
Gus Beals - of Broadway - Mark Brystowski
Junius Patterson - Owner of the car - Rasik Ohal

Directed by Johnny Culver

 

A review from 1918...


“BE CALM, CAMILLA” AT THE ALCAZAR THEATRE

 

“Be Calm Camilla," airy, witty, romantic fairy tale of Broadway, at the Booth Theatre this witty, whimsical comedy, by Claire Kummer, ran for months. It is smart, snappy, up-to-date, This adroit, epigrammatic writer knows Broadway life to its core. Her humorous fancy finds wide swing in the droll story of the artless Wisconsin girl who went to the big cynical city to challenge fame and fortune as a pianist. "Be Calm” is Camilla's motto, whether in a dismal little side street hotel, or in a lovely white hospital room after the automobile has bowled her over, or at the bungalow in the woods where she convalesces. Everybody is good to Camilla, because she is artless and unsophisticated, from the burly piano movers, who come to seize her old rattle trap instrument, and the bibulous old waiter who smuggles food to her, up to the repentant, but careless, millionaire motorist.

 

A gay and carefree play this, with blend of crackling humor and tender pathos. It has delightful character types, including Belle Bennett, as the heroine; Walter P. Richardson, as the Tin pan alley song writer; Thomas Chatterton, as “the sixth richest man in New York"; Clifford Alexander, as a Fifth avenue lizard; Henry Shumer and Rafael Brunetto, as the piano movers; Al Cunningham, as the philanthropic waiter; Emily Pinter, as a “lady of leisure," and the first appearance of Jean Oliver, as the sophisticated, amusing little hospital nurse. The scenic environment is most picturesque!

 

Free Admission. Runs about 90 minutes

 

 

Who We Are…

 

Mark Brystowski - Off-Broadway: Every 28 Hours Plays (LAByrinth Theater Co.), God of Vengeance (Theater at St. Clements).  Other NY credits: Private Disclosures (Shetler Bridge), Le Cygne(Manhattan Repertory Theater), Fear Festival (AlphaNYC/Roebuck Theater). Film/TV: Rotten! (Netflix), Zenith (dir. Ellie Foumbi), Lulu Loves Brooklyn (dir. Gretchen Zufall). Mark recently line-produced the off-Broadway and touring premiere of Bamboo in Bushwick and The Nose. Thank you Jackie and Roman for your love and support. 

 

Rachel Deutsch - a recent graduate of NYU (2016) earning a BFA in Drama. Rachel’s previous acting credits include Tulon in ‘Red Noses’ and ‘Titania’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at The New Studio on Broadway. Her directing credits include, ‘Science Fair’ at Theater Row and ‘Aliens Coming’ at The Pit. She is also a film actor and a yoga teacher.

 

Tom Meade - born and bred and still resides in NYC. Produced and hosted Rant n Rave TV on MNN for over 10 years. Tom appeared the role of The Bartender in Jack Condon’s “Orphans of the Digital Era”, and in George Morgan’s “The Wiggle Room”. As well as a number of short films and plays. Recently Tom played the role of Sam in the feature “Thru” which opened The NYC Independent Film Festival. He is currently working on getting his original screenplay "The Slip" made.

Timothy Mills – after graduating from George Westinghouse High School, Tim took a Business of Acting class with Mark Stolzenberg in 2015. He worked on a project called The Hard Candy Kid, where Mills was featured as a Berlin Wall crusader, which solidified his passion for the craft. Since then he’s been working on his craft through various films & theatre, Mills is actively working on new projects!

 

Rasik Ohal - For the last few years, Rasik has been working mainly in film and television. Highlights include, The Comedian, Mr. Robot, and Master of None. He is making an effort to get back into theatre. Highlights include, Comedy of Errors, Drunkle Vanya, and The Springfield Boys.

 

Lydia Kalmen - an actor, dancer, model, and member of SAG-AFTRA. Recent credits include Lady Caroline in Enchanted April, Juror 10 (the bigot) in 12 Angry Women, The Diary of Anne Frank and I Remember Mama.

 

Claire Kummer – (1873 – 1958) Composer, songwriter ("Dearie"), playwright and author, educated at the Packer Institute and in private music study. She wrote the Broadway stage scores for "90 in the Shade", "One Kiss", "Annie Dear", "Madame Pompadour", and "The Three Waltzes". Joining ASCAP in 1934, her chief musical collaborators included Sigmund Romberg and Jerome Kern, and her other popular-song compositions include "Egypt", "Other Eyes", "Blushing June Roses", "Somebody's Eyes” and "Lover of Mine". Today is for you, Claire!

Coming Up!

December 2nd at NYPL George Bruce Branch (West 125 Street) @2pm &

December 9th at NYPL West 53rd Street branch@12pm.

“The Night before the Night before Christmas”, a comedy by Cricket Daniel.

With: Johnny Culver, Deborah Smith, Kinga Nowak, Alexa Doggett, Chris Robertson, Directed by Jean Tessier

______

January 20, 2018, at NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium@12pm

A reading of “Hyacinth Goes Camping!”, by Carole Jackson

based upon the BBC series “Keeping up Appearances”

by Roy Clarke. (“Oh Mother!” and “Love of Life” will also be presented)

 

“The telephone rings at the Bucket Residence. Rose's latest gentleman friend, the Earl of Crawford (!) has invited the whole family to go camping on his estate. Glowing with the possibilities for social advancement this brings, Hyacinth commandeers Richard to buy the necessary camping accoutrements and off they go, dressed for the occasion. Now, if only everything goes according to plan...

 

______

March 3rd, 2018, at NYPL George Bruce Branch (West 125 Street) @2pm

“The Retreat”, a comedy by NYU playwright Enzo Gattuccio.

 

June 9th, 2018, at NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium@12pm

A reading of the 1918 Broadway Comedy, “The Wrong Mr. Wright” by George Bradford.

(Read it on Google Books, if interested in performing with us)

______

Equity Library Theater and The Woodside Players of Queens are seeking actors for their spring production of “Aunt Maggie’s Will”, a 1910 play by Mary Elizabeth Gale, to take place in May, 2018. The script calls for 10 females, but we are open to gender blind casting in this comedy. Please send resumes and headshots to woodsideplayersofqueens@gmail.com. You can read the play on Google Books.

______

To learn more about Equity Library Theater, please visit: www.equitylibrarytheater.info. Leave us a message at 631 898 4205, or email: equitylibrarytheater@gmail.com. We’re also on Facebook!

______

Use of library space by Equity Library Theater for this program does not indicate endorsement by the NYPL. *Some actors appear courtesy of Equity/AEA. The recording/photographing of any of the performance is permitted, only with prior approval.

Thanks Ms., Davis!

 

Past event!

 

The Woodside Players of Queens Fall Play Festival.

 

Short plays by local writers.

 

November 4th at Queens Library Astoria@1pm

14-01 Astoria Blvd.

N/W Q19/Q69 to Astoria Blvd

 

Amy Oestreicher – I’m A Woman…
Allan Yashin – The Name Game
William Coyle - Living Room
Clinton Shreck – It Had To Be You
Alan Stolzer - Mrs. Killebrew Confesses
Kevin Chu – Avengers
Sarah Galvin - Oh Mother! (selected best play)
Ellen O'Neill - Chew On This

Sinead Ward – Rub Some Dirt in It

Camille Schmoeker - Don’t Go under the Apple Tree

Bring a bag lunch!

 

 

Past Event!

Equity Library Theater of New York presents

a reading of

“Miss Belle”

A Southern comedy by Texas playwright

Bill Logan.

 

Saturday, October 28th 12:00 p.m.

 

NYPL Harry Belafonte/115th Street Library

Alvin Ailey Auditorium

203 West 115th Street

Between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Frederick Douglas Blvd.

 

In the vein of novelist Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes), Bill Logan takes us to a small Texas town in the 1950’s, where secrets wait to be uncovered!

 

Free admission, runs about 90 minutes. More info, call 631 898 4205.

 

 

The Equity Library Theater Playwriting Summer Festival 2017

====

August 5th – 12pm

New York Public Library – George Bruce Branch Auditorium
518 West 125th Street (at Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, NY 10027-3407

 

George Morgan – The Wiggle Room

Directed by Johnny Culver, with Tom Meade, Mike Miller, Tom Morwick, Max Wingert, John Zion

Lora Danley – A Midnight Rose

Directed by Lora Danley, with Wendy Lazarus, Devon Marra, Frances Vignali

Linda Kampley – The Lamp

With Carla Brandberg, Richard Craven

Susan Masters – Going Home

With Nikole Rizzo

Rosemary Frisino Toohey – Grace Goes To Sea

With Steve Lichtenstein

Steve Fogelman – The Glove

Directed by Steve Fogelman, with Joseph Rose, Vicki Winters

 

====

August 12th – 12pm

NYPL Harry Belafonte Branch

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

 

Pamela Robbins – Great Strides

Directed by Pamela Robbins, with Jennifer James Davies, Pia Finnigan, Johnny Culver, Heather Jeanne Violanti

Amy Oestreicher – I’m A Woman…

Serena Cates – Five Silver Five Gold

Lynn Marie Macy – Sister Resisters

Matt Sanders – Happy Halloween, Harry Houdini

Emilio Iasiello – Under The Big Top

Seth McNeill – That Bee Gees Song

Vivian Lermond - Beach Wedding

With Craig Myers, Kelly Taylor

Jack Gilhooey – Kennedy’s Acolytes

Peter Linari – Guys

Directed by Peter Linari, with Jon Scott Freda, Lou Martini, Jr.

 

====

August 19th – 12pm

NYPL Harry Belafonte Branch

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

 

Erin Moughon-Smith – For Mr. Cuddles

Directed by Erin Moughon, with Kendra Auguatin, Emily Long, Sarah Teed

Dana Jaffe – No Good Deed

Directed by Dana Jaffe, with Andrew Benjamin, Dawn Bianco, Dan Bubbeo, Eric Leeb Michele Rattray

Katherine Orozco – Treason

Directed by Ashley Vega, with Rose Gutierrez

Amy Bernstein – The Sacrifice

With Amy Bernstein

Matthew Ballistreri – Baby Book

Steve Burton – Close Enough

Directed by Ruth Alesovsky, John Patrick Hart, with Gerry Kelly, Debra McNulty, Daniel P. Stravino

Shirley King – Authenticity

With Christy Donahue

Sam Plotkin – Microcosm

Jack Rushton – Theater People

Michael Verderber - Unending Repetition

Directed by Michael Verderber, with Katherine Orozco-Verderber

Jim Gordon – A Stranger Calls

With Sonya Rice

Anghus Houvouras – Penmanship

Directed by Rachel Deutsch, with Will Carry, Ram Kanneganti

 

Free admission to all.

 

The final votes, via text responses, over three weeks, are in, for the ELT 2017 summer festival!

Best comedy. Anghus Houvouras - Penmanship.

Best Drama. Katherine Orozco – Treason/Michael Verderber - Unending Repetition (We considered both short pieces as one unit).

 

Past “Best plays”

2016 - Michael Maiello – Looking Through the Glass

2015 - Hello Mom – Lauren Snyder

2014 - John Ladd – Ashes to Ashes (Drama)/ Scott Haskell – Womanhood (Comedy)

2013 - Liza Bulos - Attention Shoppers

 

 

The Woodside Players and Equity Library Theater of New York is seeking actors for their fall production, a staged reading of Be Calm, Camilla, by Claire Kummer.

This comedy opened at the Booth Theater (New York) Oct 31, 1918 and ran until January 1919.

 

The Woodside Players and Equity Library Theater will present the reading in November at the NYPL Alvin Ailey Theater on West 115th Street and the George Bruce Theater on West 125th Street. You can read the script here:

https://archive.org/details/becalmcamillacom00kummrich

Characters are:

Camilla Hathaway 
Bill Slattery 
Alma Robbins 
Baxter Pell 
Celia Brooke 
Jo Gibbons 
McNeil Brownlow, "Mac" 
Gus Beals

Send resumes and headshots to submission@pineyforkpress.com

 

Thus fall, we are presenting a free Actor/Writer workshop at the Queens Library Astoria branch (14-01 Astoria Blvd). Bring your short written or performance pieces to share!

Biweekly at noon – September, 2017 thru May, 2018. All genres welcome. Call 718 278 2220 for more info.

 

December 2nd at 2pm, at the NYPL George Bruce Theater, we present a reading of a terrific holiday comedy, “The Night before the Night before Christmas”, by Oregon playwright, Cricket Daniel. The performance will be repeated December 9th at the NYPL 53rd Street branch at noon. Free admission.

 

The Woodside Players of Queens

Present a selection of rare short plays from 19th century New York and beyond.

 

These staged readings, directed by Johnny Culver and Pamela Robbins, include vaudeville, comedy and farce. Suitable for the entire family!

 

Saturday June 10th 12pm

Queens Library - Langston

100-01 Northern Blvd.

 

Saturday June 17th 12pm

Queens Library - Astoria

14-01 Astoria Blvd.

 

Presenting short plays by these (seldom heard) writers:

 

Human Nature – Floyd Dell, 1913, New York

I’m Going – Tristan Bernard, 1915, Paris

Private Boarding – William Courtright, 1874, New York

A Lady to Call – Carl Webster Pierce, 1918, New York

The Motor Bellows – William Courtright, 1873, Indianapolis

 

With:

Mark Brystowski, Lauren Butler, Johnny Culver, Scott Haskell, Lydia Komen, Gary Krigsman, Kinga Novak, Pamela Robbins, Sonya Rice, Laurie Sammeth, Pamela Tabb

 

Thanks to Doris Jones!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

William Courtright was an vaudeville writer and American film actor. He worked with D. W. Griffith and in his later career at the Hal Roach Studios, where he appeared in several early Laurel and Hardy comedies. His best-known role was Oliver Hardy's wealthy Uncle Bernal in That's My Wife (1929). His last film, the Our Gang comedy Teacher's Pet, was also his first sound film. He was born in New Milford, Illinois. His wife was actress Jennie Lee, with whom he appeared in Intolerance.

Floyd James Dell was an American newspaper and magazine editor, literary critic, novelist, playwright, and poet. Dell has been called "one of the most flamboyant, versatile and influential American Men of Letters of the first third of the 20th Century." As editor and critic, Dell's influence is alive in the work of many major American writers from the first half of the 20th century. A lifelong poet, he was also a best-selling author, as well as a playwright whose hit Broadway comedy, Little Accident (1928), was made into a Hollywood movie.

 

Tristan Bernard was a French playwright, novelist, journalist and lawyer. After his first publication in La Revue Blanche in 1891, he became increasingly a writer and adopted the pseudonym Tristan. His first play, Les Pieds Nickelés (Nickel-plated Feet), was a great success and was representative of the style of his later work (generally humorous). He became known especially for his writing for vaudeville-type performances, which were very popular in France during that time.

 

Carl Webster Pierce was an American playwright. Many of his comedies appeared on Broadway in the early 20th century, including the original version of “Oh, Kay!” In 1927.

 

ABOUT US

 

Scott Haskell has appeared in film, television and theatre, and has studied acting at NYU.  He has appeared as Andrey in The Gingerbread Players production of Three Sisters, and in Pamela Robbins original production of Deep in the Woods of Old with the St. Jean’s Players.

 

Gary Krigsman is honored to have this unique opportunity to perform with The Woodside Players. Thank you Johnny! Gary has appeared in several community theater productions over the past 17 years in Queens, Nassau and the Bronx. Favorite roles include Frank (Over the River and Through the Woods), Sam Nash (Plaza Suite) X3, Mr. Dussel (The Diary of Anne Frank) and most recently The Old Man (Prelude to a Kiss).

 

Laurie Sammeth (Cook/Steakpounder, Lady) is delighted to be making her Woodside Players’ debut. Recent NYC productions: Is That All They Wrote (St. Jean’s Players), When Rodney Met the Vikings and Halls of Importance (Thespis Festival), 28 Marchant Avenue, Shades of Blue,Lilliom (Beautiful Soup Theater).

 

Lydia Kalmen is an actor, dancer and model. A proud member of SAG-AFTRA, recent credits include the complicated Lady Caroline Bramble in "Enchanted April" and a restless ghost in "A Haunting".

 

Sonya Rice is delighted to join Woodside Players after recently working with Johnny Culver and Pamela L. Robbins at St. Jean's Players' Winter One Acts Festival. Opera credits include La Boheme, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Aida, and The Barber of Seville.

 

Mark Brystowski is delighted to be playing with such a lovely ensemble. Off-Broadway: God of Vengeance (Theater at St. Clements), Every 28 Hours Plays (LAByrinth Theater Co.). Other NY credits: Private Disclosures (Shetler Bridge), Le Cygne (Manhattan Repertory Theater), Fear Festival (AlphaNYC/Roebuck Theater). Mark recently line-produced the off-Broadway and touring premiere of Bamboo in Bushwick for Working Theater and a short film, Zenith. Thank you Jackie and Roman for your love and support

 

 

Coming in July…

 

July 22 @12pm

NYPL 115th Street Branch

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

(212) 666-9393

 

Equity Library Theater presents a staged reading of:

 

“Lil’ Miss Spitfire-the Musical”

Book by Samantha Talmage, DGA

Music and Lyrics by Robert Winthrop Talmage ASCAP

 

This is the inspiring untold story of Annie Sullivan, the Irish-American immigrant and eventual teacher of blind-deaf Helen Keller.

 

A cast of 18 brings to life young Annie’s journey of courage and perseverance.  Sadly, early in her life, she endures the loss of her mother, Alice and younger brother, Jimmie to tuberculosis.  Her father, Thomas becomes overwhelmed and gives the children away first to family members, then to the Massachusetts State Asylum.   Annie suffers from trachoma and is functionally blind and unable to read even the simplest of texts.

 

Along the way, eight eye surgeries are performed on this young girl and finally, she can see well enough to make sense of the printed page.  Annie now fully devotes herself to the rigors of learning and becomes class valedictorian at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston.  It is there, Dr. Anagnos, the headmaster offers her a truly unique position to teach a rebellious blind-deaf girl from Alabama.

 

Runs about 90 minutes, free admission.

 

________________

 

Past Presentations…

 

February 11th 2017, 12pm

2017 NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium

115th Street Branch

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

(212) 666-9393

 

A reading of a screen-play by Tom Meade

 

“THE SLIP

 

With Emily Meade, Phillip Ettinger and others.

Manhattan, the 1990s.
Celebrity dog walker Jack Meehan is celebrating one year clean and sober. After a day that includes rejections, potential job loss, and a very strange encounter in a diner, Jack ends up taking a trip down the rabbit hole that got him there to begin with. Chance meetings with friends old and new, and a past love, Jack finds himself in a series of uncomfortable, bizarre and life-threatening situations. He spends the next 24 hours just trying to get back home.

 

Free Admission.

 

Equity Library Theater of New York presents:

 “The Bermuda Curse”

A staged reading of a comedy by Johnny Culver.

March 4, 2017 @2:00PM

New York Public Library – George Bruce Branch Auditorium
518 West 125th Street (at Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, NY 10027-3407

(A B C D 1 to 125th Street)
(212) 662-9727

With:

 Brady Blevin

Julie Kling

Susan Neuffer

Carole Serrano

Peyton Place, horses wearing blankets, the Flushing train, Chicklets gum, John Wayne and more in this one hour 1970’s comedy for the entire family! Free admission.

___________________________________________________

The Equity Library Theater Playwriting Festival – Winter 2017

 

Saturday January 28th

NYPL 53rd street Branch Auditorium at 1pm

18 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

(212) 714-8400

Free Admission

 

Presenting:

 

Martha’s King – Linda Ziering

Directed by Cynthia White w/Eleanor Boddie, Susanna Miller


Rosemary – Charles Lupia

Directed by Charles Lupia w/ Susan Palmer Everly, Charles Lupia


Swimming Out – Minette Greenberg

Directed by Minette Greenberg w/ Cam Kornman, Eve Sorel, Julie Torres


Tea with the Tin Man – Charles Leipart

Directed by Hall Hunsinger w/ Penny Lynn White


Free Association - Julie Weinberg

Directed by Norma Medina w/ Colin Chapin, Carole Monferdini, Anthony Scavone


Expecting Hamilton – Chip Bolcik
Directed by Betsy True w/Nick Webster, Kirsty Sadler

 

Hookup – Burton Crane

Directed by Burton Crane w/Burton Schwartz

Shock – Meny Beriro

Directed by Meny Beriro w/Kitty Hendrix, Jo Anna Perrin


Teresa’s Journey – Nancy Palmento Schuler

Directed and performed by Nancy Palmento Schuler


The Reflective Lie – Christina Gluck

Directed by Christina Gluck w/ Laura Hesse


Zero to Hero – Mary Teitelbaum

Directed by Yvonne (Bonnie) Cole w/ Nancy Ann Finn, Kyle McIlhone


How to be Dead – Benjamin Weiner

Directed by Keith Paul Medelis w/ Kurt Hellerich, Eric Weiner


We the People – John Cappelletti

Directed by John Cappelletti w/ Doug Rossi, Barry Sacker


Mountain Dew – J. Lois Diamond

Directed by J. Lois Diamond w/ Minette Greenberg, Carol London, Julia Torres

OMG – Pete Mergel

 

Best play today (chosen by the audience texting their choice to 631 898 4205),

 will receive a fancy restaurant gift card!

 

Use of library space by Equity Library Theater for this program today does not indicate endorsement by The New York Public Library. Some actors appear courtesy of Equity. The recording/photographing of any of these pieces is permitted, only with prior approval. The order of the plays presented may vary from the above listing.

 

Equity Library Theater past productions have included: A concert by the Village Light Opera Guild, Short Plays by John Ladd, KK Gordon and Craig Schwab, ATANST (new plays by New York writers), Ferry Tales (plays set on the Staten Island Ferry), a new play by Pamela Robbins, Katherine and Petruchio; (rare David Garrick version from 1750), assorted plays by members of the Provincetown Playhouse, and our annual winter and summer play festival!

 

Look on Facebook for more info!

 

Do you have a full length play you’d like presented by Equity Library Theater, let us know!

We are always looking for new material to produce.

 

We are presenting a free creative writing class at the Queens Library Astoria branch.

Biweekly at noon - September 24th – May 27th, 2017. All genres welcome. Call 718 278 2220 for more info.

 

Look for us on Facebook!

 

Deadline: April 15, 2017 (OVER)

Submissions are now being accepted for the New York's Equity Library Theater Summer 2017 Play Festival, to take place over two weekends in August at the NYPL Alvin Ailey Theater and the George Bruce Theater in New York City.


Seeking short plays (no more than 10 pp), from playwrights from all over the USA. Also seeking monologues (no more than 4pp). Musicals welcome!

Basic set requirements.

One submission per playwright. No unpleasant profanity, as this is a family friendly festival! No submission fee. Please include name, address, telephone number and email address on your submission. We do not produce your work, we provide a venue for you to present actors performing your play. There are no costs involved for anyone. Seeking actors and directors, too!

Deadline: April 15, 2017 (OVER)

Email:
submissions@pineyforkpress.com

 

Events from 2012

 

2013 Play Festival!

 

2014 Play Festival!

 

Events from 2015

 

2015 Play Festival!

 

Events from 2016

 

2016 Play Festival!

 

Equity Library Theater presented Three Hots and a Cot.

 

Equity Library Theater presented Plays by my Father.

 

Equity Library Theater presented Short plays by Johnny Culver (here)

 

Equity Library Theater presented an afternoon of short plays by John Ladd.

 

Equity Library Theater presented Catherine and Petruchio in 2014!

 

Equity Library Theater presented The Bermuda Curse in 2013!

 

 

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

Equity Library Theater Gives Itself a Party
by ANDREW L. YARROW
Published: February 7, 1988

 

''AT Equity Library Theater, the actor is our focus,'' declared George Wojtasik, the theater's producing director.

 

Similar sentiments might be voiced by the director of almost any theater company, but none could say so with more conviction than Mr. Wojtasik. His Upper West Side Theater - the country's oldest actors' showcase -will celebrate its 45th season tomorrow at Town Hall with a benefit called ''My Funny Valentine,'' a program of Richard Rodgers love songs.

 

The theater, which is on the ground floor of an apartment building at Riverside Drive and 103d Street, has been something of an anomaly among New York performing-arts institutions since it was established in November 1943. The founders were Sam Jaffe of Actors' Equity Association and George Freedley, the theater curator for the New York Public Library.

 

''It was founded to showcase artists to people in casting positions and provide free theater'' to people who couldn't afford Broadway prices, said Mr. Wojtasik. ''At that time, if actors weren't working on Broadway, they had no other place to work. The showcase was born with E.L.T., and it even predated the Off Broadway movement by a few years.'' Over the years, more than 11,500 actors, directors and stage technicians have displayed their talents to producers, casting directors and agents in at least 600 productions at the theater, and Mr. Wojtasik said about 60 percent had gotten paid acting jobs as a result of those appearances.

 

With only about 5 percent of the city's 20,000 Equity members acting for a living at any one time, the theater has not only served as a remarkably successful theatrical employment agency, but it has also been a launching pad for hundreds of performers. Jason Robards was a little-known actor when he appeared in ''The Petrified Forest'' in 1955. James Earl Jones got his start in a 1959 production of ''Dark of the Moon.''

 

Also on the theater's roster of illustrious alumni are Martin Balsam, Ossie Davis, Danny DeVito, Jack Klugman, Harvey Korman, Anne Meara, Sidney Poitier, Jerry Stiller, Rod Steiger and Treat Williams. And the theater's couples include Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, who met in a 1945 production of ''This Property Is Condemned.''

 

Jean Stapleton remembers being ''an aspiring, very young actress'' when she interviewed for a role in a 1947 production of ''The Corn Is Green,'' which also featured a young actor named Richard Kiley. ''I was assigned a very small part,'' Miss Stapleton said, but she was asked to step in with only 10 days' notice when the leading actress slipped on the ice. ''An agent who saw the show called me and said I'd be right for the road company of 'Harvey,' '' Miss Stapleton said. ''I got the job and that was my first big break in theater.''

 

Tony Randall's appearances in ''The Second Mrs. Tanqueray'' and ''The Millionairess'' - with Charlton Heston - during the 1948-49 season did not leadd to immediate stardom, but he said the theater had been ''absolutely crucial for many actors' careers.''

 

''Today, there are all sorts of showcases, but this is the only one with a real budget and full productions,'' said Mr. Randall, who is a member of the theater's board.

 

Equity Library Theater began its life as a sort of New York City road show, with performances rotating among 11 theaters built during the Depression in branches of the New York Public Library. After the library withdrew its support in 1948, the theater spent a season roaming the city before settling in the Lenox Hill Playhouse on East 70th Street. It stayed there until 1961, when it moved to the Master Theater on Riverside Drive.

 

''It was a residential hotel for artists, with a theater, studios and a museum, known as the Master Institute of United Arts,'' Mr. Wojtasik explained. This little artists' colony eventually withered, and the family that owned 310 Riverside Drive sold the building in the 1970's, but the theater remained.

 

In its early years, the theater presented as many as 56 productions annually, but during Mr. Wojtasik's 21-year tenure, its season has been reduced to a more manageable chaotic schedule of four musicals, each of which is performed for four weeks, and four plays, each with three-week runs. ''When E.L.T. was formed, the League of New York Theaters said we couldn't do original works,'' Mr. Wojtasik explained, ''so we only present revivals or public-domain works.''

 

The theater also agreed with Actors' Equity that - since actors would not be paid - it would try to use Equity members and not charge admission. Tickets now cost $10 ($5 for the elderly) to help support a $750,000 budget, and the theater continues to provide opportunities for about 200 actors during each 40-week season.

 

''We try to do the full range of theater over four or five seasons,'' Mr. Wojtasik said. ''Our library concept is to try to do one classic and one or two American comedies or dramas a season. And of the musicals, we try to do one contemporary work, one golden oldie and one piece of fluff.'' A successful revival of ''Side by Side by Sondheim'' just closed; Thursday, Bernard Pomerance's ''Elephant Man'' opens.

 

Actors receive only a subway-and-sandwich stipend of $5 a day, yet 400 to 700 people audition for each production, and about 100 directors vie for eight chances to direct each season. Stars may be made at the theater, but name performers almost never appear. ''I don't want lead roles taken from young actors,'' said Mr. Wojtasik. ''And I don't cotton to the theory of having a star so that actors can have the experience of working with a star.''

 

In 1986, the theater signed a 15-year lease that will keep it ensconced on Riverside Drive into the 21st century. Its financial health was also helped by the addition last year of a balcony with 116 revenue-producing seats, expanding the theater's capacity to 384 seats.

 

Given the many constituencies the theater serves, Mr. Wojtasik is sanguine about the theater's future. ''E.L.T. will be alive,'' he said, ''as long as actors want to be seen, casting directors need actors and audiences want to see good, inexpensive theater.''

 

 

WHERE GENERATIONS OF ACTORS HAVE DISPLAYED THEIR ART

By RICHARD F. SHEPARD
Published: February 27, 1983

 

Survival in the theater is an ancient script that tells the story not only of individual plays but of entire well-endowed companies. The Equity Library Theater is a survivor that, touch wood, has no ending in sight, even as it rounds out 40 years as a dramatic fixture in New York.

It is now in the final half of its season, with a mixed bag of plays and musicals to come. Today sees the final performance of the Equity Library revival of Kurt Vonnegut's madcap ''Happy Birthday, Wanda June.'' Then the company plunges into rehearsal for the March 10 opening of ''Where's Charley?,'' the Frank Loesser-George Abbott musical that starred Ray Bolger in 1948. When that closes on April 3, the Equity Library's stage takes a turn for the tragic on April 14 with that 17th-century epic of revenge, ''The Changeling,'' by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. No sooner does that move off the boards on May 1, than the season's finale, ''Promises, Promises,'' book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, takes over from May 12 to June 5.

E.L.T., as its friends call it, is not sponsored by either Actors' Equity or the New York Public Library, although each had a midwife role in its birth four decades and more than 650 shows ago. E.L.T. has become a watchword in the acting community, although it is a name only dimly known to those theater-goers who have never ventured to the Upper West Side to catch its act. It is zealous in its avoidance of any suggestion that it is competing with any other theater in New York, although it shares with them its desire for audiences, its earnestness in aim, its professionalism in execution and its poverty in funding.

At this point, simple description is required to explain what E.L.T. is, what it does, why it does it and how it does it. E.L.T. is a theater company, a showcase in which talent, the stockpile of acting talent that is stored in New York, can exhibit what it can do. It works only with revivals of shows, some familiar, some not.

In the early 1940's, Sam Jaffe, the actor, got together with Vincent Freedley, curator of the New York Public Library. They felt there ought to be some place for actors to show off their wares, a place where producers and agents could candle the talent and where live audiences would be a sounding board for performers. The pair found that they could do plays in 11 libraries - seven in Manhattan, four in other boroughs - that had little theaters built into them.

The League of New York Theaters said it had no objection to them doing revivals or plays in the public domain. Actors' Equity said they could do shows without a contract - that is, no need to pay actors - but that they should try to use Equity members and that they should not charge admission. Hence, the name of the company.

E.L.T. was born in November 1943 and took its first step on Feb. 20, 1944, with a presentation of ''Shadow of the Glen'' and ''Fumed Oak'' in the cramped little theater of the Hudson Park branch library on Seventh Avenue South. Mr. Jaffe later recalled that it cost $20 to do the shows, money that came from a $1,000 donation from John Golden.

There are few organizations that can drop as many names as this modest theater. Indeed, there is probably no other group that can match E.L.T. when it comes to saying, ''I knew them when.'' Armies of performers have swept through the casting sessions at E.L.T. and many have later gone on to fame. A perfunctory glance through the record book finds, among those thousands of then unknowns, the following: Alvin Ailey, Jack Albertson, Roscoe Lee Brown, Ossie Davis, Andrew Duggan, Hector Elizando, Alice Ghostley, Lee Grant, Jose Greco, Earl Hyman, Richard Kiley, Sally Kirkland, Werner Klemperer, Jack Klugman, Harvey Korman, Darren McGavin, Anne Meara, Kay Medford, Ralph Meeker, Rosemary Murphy, Lois Nettleton, Sidney Poitier, Tom Poston, Tony Randall, Jason Robards, Alexander Scourby, Kim Stanley, Jean Stapleton, Rod Steiger, Jerry Stiller, Elaine Stritch, Eli Wallach and Fritz Weaver. And that's merely a sampler.

Now, E.L.T. may not have been the springboard to fame for these and others, but it was indisputably a rung on the ladder up. Some still remember their E.L.T. experience with affection and gratitude.

Fritz Weaver had a role in Sean O'Casey's ''Within the Gates,'' an E.L.T. revival during the 1952-53 season. ''I was just back from touring,'' he recalled recently. ''This was my first New York engagment and it led to everything. I was a cockney soldier and Tom Bosley was a second chair attendant. It was and is a tremendous organization for beginning actors.''

Tony Randall, who did two E.L.T. shows in one season, ''The Second Mrs. Tanqueray'' and ''The Millionairess'' during 1948-49, is so enamored of E.L.T. that he is a board member today. ''I was an unknown and it was a chance to be seen,'' he says. ''Someone, a director or producer, called and asked me if I wanted a role in the show. Agents and other directors would see me. Charlton Heston was also in that 'Millionairess,' while Edith Atwater was in 'Tanqueray.' E.L.T. does what Off Off Broadway can't do, because those showcases don't have the same production values.''

Ossie Davis clearly recalls playing in ''Stevedore'' in 1948-49. ''It was the first important piece I got to do,' he says. ''It was a professional operation directed by Dan Levin, a quiet kind of person, but a doer. In that cast were Rod Steiger, Jack Klugman and George Roy Hill. It was important to me in terms of experience. I had begun to learn about the craft of acting. I've always felt that we in Equity and in general underestimate the function of such a theater. As an institution, E.L.T. has been good to me.''

So much for looking back. One of the key men in looking to the precarious present (every theatrical present is precarious) and to the fearsome future (ditto for theatrical futures) is George Wojtasik, E.L.T.'s managing director, and a cheerful, busy sort who has one leg firmly planted on current realities and the other jiggling tentatively on more dreamy turf. He has had his job for 15 years and observes with some satisfaction that nobody else has held it for more than two years since it was created in 1961, about the time that the company moved from the now-demolished Lenox Hill Playhouse to its present digs at 103d Street and Riverside Drive. Before a managing director came along, E.L.T. was run by a committee of actors and stumbled into all the pitfalls that committees are so adept at digging.

''Our theater has 273 seats in a building that is 50 years old,'' Mr. Wojtasik says. ''This was the Master Institute of United Arts once and had ballet, opera workshops and a theater. The other groups eventually were disbanded, but they kept us on.''

E.L.T. is still being kept on at the building, although a year or so ago it seemed that they might be forced to move. This possibility started an ambitious drive to raise $2.5 million to build a new home, on West 75th Street and Broadway. The money could not be raised, the lease on 103d Street was extended and now E.L.T. is looking for $180,000 to restore the theater. Money is tight. A Federal grant, a small one, about $2,000 was not renewed, but Mr. Wojtasik feels that it was as though a Good Housekeeping seal of approval had been taken away, because such grants attract others.

Last year, E.L.T. had a slight deficit, $3,000, the result of using up reserves earmarked for the new building. The 1981-82 budget is $362,000. This was designed to be funded by donations - corporate and private -as well as by subscriptions and the audience, which is asked to pay $6 per ticket, in recognition of the fact discovered by other institutions that the cost of free has gone up also in inflationary times. The New York State Council on the Arts has been contributing $10,000 annually for the past several years.

Whatever the expenses, they are certainly not attributable to labor. Directors, backstage artistic staff and actors work free. From the first day of rehearsals, actors, carpenters, electricians and lighting people get $3 a day to defray carfare. What with the generous-sized showcase casts, this amounts to about $45,000 a year.

''We have a reputation for quality work,'' Mr. Wojtasik says. ''We get calls from all over for technicians. Lynn Montgomery, our producer and director for 11 years, functions as a placement service. We call E.L.T. an actors' showcase, but it is a showcase for these others, too.

''I select the season,'' he adds. ''I scout the directors' work. They must be members of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. I judge their work and, also, check their temperament with actors, because we work under special conditions, not for money. I try to match the play with the director. Once the director is chosen, we have real open auditions. Sometimes 700 show up, all Equity members, experienced people, not waitresses who want to become actors.''

Mr. Wojtasik says that other showcases believe that E.L.T. has an unfair advantage beause it is allowed to do eight performances - a schedule that makes the company qualify as an Off Broadway house, even though nobody is paid - while other showcases are restricted to a total of 12 performances over several weekends.

''We've earned our concessions because of the demands for what we do,'' he says. ''We're allowed to do what we do because our shows are not headed anywhere, they are done solely to give exposure to the cast. That's one reason, incidentally, why we have so many problems with musicals. How do you cast someone in a part that was identified with a Bert Lahr or a Zero Mostel?''

Some E.L.T. productions have, indeed, moved on, but with results that generally indicate a loss of some quality that made them sing on 103d Street and whimper in other houses.

E.L.T. has a 40-week winter stock season so there is always something either onstage or in rehearsal or in audition. Outside of its full-time salaried staff, working out of its offices on West 46th Street, personnel is constantly turning over. If someone has had a lead in a musical, they can't do an E.L.T. musical for the next year. Some actors do come back; Lloyd Hubbard, a character actorcomedian, probably holds the record, seven shows, all in supporting parts.

''The future is tricky,'' says Mr. Wojtasik, looking ahead. ''We would like to convert into a small regional theater, one without any permanent cast. In New York, we can select the best talent for doing our specialty: big musicals on a small scale. We do that very well. Anyone who can do 'Street Scene' with a cast cut from 60 to 20 and do it well must be doing something right. We must be kept alive for future generations of actors.''

 

 

A few reviews:

 

“An Afternoon with the Piney Fork Press Theater” - January 7, 2012

 

David Garrick’s “Katherine and Petrucio” at Equity Library Theater

 

www.equitylibrarytheater.info

 

The information transmitted from this site is for review only and is intended for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material, and/or written works owned by a third party. Please do not forward anything from this site without the permission of the sender or the owner of above written works.

 

The name and web site of Equity Library Theater and the Woodside Players is managed by Johnny Culver.

 

 

Johnny Culver

917 691 6884/631 898 4205 johnnyculver@pineyforkpress.com www.equitylibrarytheater.info

Managing Director: Equity Library Theater of New York

 

Acting (New York)

“Gig”                                                                                          George Reeves                                                     2018 Manhattan Repertory Theater, (K.  Wolfe, Director)

”The Fitting”                                                                             Tailor                                                                     2018 Thespis Theater Festival (D. Stishan, playwright, Nom. Best Play)

“The Night Before The Night Before Christmas”             Lou (Lead)                                                            2017 Second Street Theater (C. Daniel, playwright)

“L&O: Spec. Victims Unit”                                                   Dick Wolf                                                             2017 St Pauls Theater, Brooklyn

“Fractured Fairy Tales”                                                          Narrator                                                                 2017 St. Jeans Players One Act Festival, Ritz Players

“And Then There Were None”                                             Rogers                                                                    2016 Gingerbread Players

“Oliver!”                                                                                    Brownlow                                                              2016 Boys and Girls Harbor, Heckscher Theatre

“All in the Timing”                                                                 Typewriter/Trotsky                                             2016 First String Players

“The Father (staged reading)”                                               The Pastor                                                             2015 Equity Library Theater

“Timothy and Mary”                                                              Timothy                                                                2015 Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2017 Columbia University

“Keeping Up Appearances”                                                  Emmett                                                                 2015 FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase (US Premiere)

“Our Town”                                                                              Howie Newsome                                                 2014 St. Barts Players

”The Shabbos List”                                                                 Mike Green                                                           2014 Thespis Theater Festival

“Nude with Violin (Noel Coward)”                                     Clinton Preminger                                                2014 FAPC Theater Fellowship

“Kiss or Make Up”                                                                  Hanley Swope                                                      2014 First String Players

“Bye Bye Birdie”                                                                     Harry MacAfee                                                    2013 Gingerbread Players

“Anything Goes”                                                                     Rev. Dobson                                                         2012 Maggie’s Theater

“Eben on the Dark Side”                                                        Eben Scrooge                                                       2011/2013 Manhattan Repertory Theater

“To Kill A Mockingbird”                                                       Heck Tate                                                             2011 St Jeans Players

“Amateurs”                                                                              Wayne Seabury                                                   2011 Parkside Players

“Pygmalion”                                                                             Neppomuck                                                          2010 Gingerbread Players

“The Man Who Came to Dinner”                                         Westcott/Other                                                     2008 FAPC Theater Fellowship

 

Directing (New York)

“Lincoln’s Birthday”                                               Playwright/Director                                                 Thespis Theater Festival New York, 2018

“Lunchtime”                                                            Playwright/Director                                                 The Secret Theater One Act Festival, New York, 2018

“Aunt Maggies Will (1918)”                                   Director                                                                   Woodside Players, 2018

“Just like the Movies”                                             Director                                                                   Strawberry One Act Festival, 2018 (P. Scarpinato, playwright)

“The Vigil”                                                              Director                                                                   FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2018

“Hyacinth Goes Camping”                                      Director                                                                   Equity Library Theater, 2018 (C. Jackson, playwright)

“Be Calm, Camilla (1918)”                                     Director                                                                   Woodside Players, 2017

“I Remember Mama”                                              Director                                                                   FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2017

“Rub Some Dirt In It”                                              Director                                                                   American Academy of Dramatic Arts/River City Stages, 2017 (S. Ward, playwright)

“Going Green Festival” (Young Adults)                 Director                                                                   Langston Hughes Theater, Corona, 2017

“The Lady of the Hall*”                                          Director                                                                   Gingerbread Players, 2017 (*Based on the BBC Comedy “Keeping Up Appearances”)

“The Wiggle Room”                                                Director                                                                   Strawberry One Act Festival, 2017 (G. Morgan, playwright)

 “My Name is Asher Lev”                                       Director                                                                   FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2017

“All in the Timing (Death of Trotsky)”                   Director                                                                   Working Actors Studio, New York, 2016

“Diary of Anne Frank”                                            Director                                                                   FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2016

“Asylum”                                                                Director                                                                   The Secret Theater One Act Festival, New York (Kirby Wright, playwright), 2016

“The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”                          Producer                                                                  Jefferson Market Players, NYPL, 2016

“Edward’s Closet”                                                   Director                                                                   MITF Short Play Lab /13th Street Rep/ (Jenn Dlugos, playwright), 2016

“College Without Walls”                                         Director                                                                   Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2016 (M. Sanders, playwright)

“Plays by Alice Gerstenberg”                                  Director                                                                   Equity Library Theater, 2015

“Angel on a Yellow Couch”                                    Director                                                                   Strawberry One Act Festival, 2015 (KK Gordon, playwright)

“Keeping Up Appearances” (US Premiere)             Director                                                                   FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2015, Gingerbread Players, 2017

 “Across The Lake”                                                 Playwright/Director                                                 Students from HB Studios, 2012-13, Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2014

“A Dolls Life”                                                         Director                                                                   Thespian Productions, 2014 (Martha Patterson, playwright)

 “Cowboy Nocturne”                                               Director                                                                   The Secret Theater One Act Festival, New York (Evan Blake, playwright), 2014

 Hangin’ with Satan”                                             Director                                                                   Teatro LATEA, New York, 2013 (Reynaldo Rivera, playwright), 2013

“Something Good to Eat”                                        Director                                                                   Between Us Productions, New York (John Glass, playwright), 2013

“The House on the Hill”                                          Playwright/Director                                                 New York Public Library/ Lenox Hill House Auditorium, 2013

“The Bionic Woman Scrapbook”                            Playwright/Director                                                 Love Creek Productions, the Producers Club, 2012

“In Swirly Letters”                                                  Playwright/Director                                               55th and Bleecker” at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 2012

“Another Life”                                                         Director                                                                   Strawberry One Act Festival, 2012 (A. Esposito, playwright)

 “The Value of Empty Boxes”                                 Director                                                                   Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2011 (A. Leventman, playwright)

“A Bite to Eat with Edwina Huffington”        Playwright                                                             The Puzzle, Marble Collegiate Church, New York, 2011