Organizer Josef Reiter, a New York dancer and producer, is also a photographer who started a card company, The Hudson Street Card Co., nine years ago, while on the road with a national tour of Man of La Mancha. He knew first hand that finding a way to exhibit his products wasn't easy.
The idea of ActorCrafts started in 2003. "Since I know so many theatre folk who make such wonderful crafts and artwork, wouldn't it be great if we could all come together and have some sort of show featuring our other talents?," he said of the creation of the fair.
The first ActorCrafts took place in October 2004 and included 50 actor/artists exhibiting their work to approximately 300 attendees. The exhibitors were made up of performers, stage managers, dressers, musicians and more, exhibiting jewelry, pottery, photography, sculpture, paintings, furniture, clothing, dance wear and knitted items.
"This year I expect to have the same diversity of talents," Reiter said. "We had a wide variety of theatre pros take part, including several who were at the time working on Broadway."
Among this year's participants and their wares:
Stage manager Leisah Swenson's unique metal sculpture Reiter said he hopes ActorCrafts continues to grow to a point where spinoff fairs can happen in cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.
The spring 2005 ActorCrafts fair will be held 10 AM-6 PM June 18 the Holy Cross School Gymnasium, 332 W. 43rd St., between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Admission is free. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is sponsoring the event.
For more information, visit www.actorcrafts.com.