Indie Filmmaker Page Purchases Actors' Playhouse; Reality Show in the Works

News   Indie Filmmaker Page Purchases Actors' Playhouse; Reality Show in the Works Independent filmmaker Lawrence Page — whose films include "Blood of a Champion," "Statistic" and "Murda Muzik" — has purchased the famed Off-Broadway venue, the Actors' Playhouse, most recently the home of Gutenberg! The Musical!
Lawrence Page
Lawrence Page

The theatre had shuttered in summer 2007 due to increased rents. The 32-year-old Page plans to present his own productions for 20 percent of the year, but will lease the theatre out the other 80 percent for Off-Broadway plays, red-carpet events, seminars, television and musical performances.

The theatre, located at 100 Seventh Avenue South in New York's Greenwich Village, has been renovated since its last tenant. Page, according to a spokesperson, "removed the typical 'black box' decor and stripped the walls down to their original brick and stone. New flooring was installed, the stage was reinforced and mahogany wood trimming was installed. A new landmark-approved marquee is coming soon, and new water-proof ceilings were installed."

Page, who has directed music videos for Jay-Z, is also currently filming a reality TV program entitled "The Actors' Playhouse." Ten competitors, who will be split into two five-person groups, will have the opportunity to write, produce and star in their own Off-Broadway play, which will be presented at the Actors' Playhouse for a three-week run. The two groups of playwrights will live in two separate houses, and they will be filmed as they develop, rehearse and promote their show.

The play attended by the largest audience will be selected the winner, and the winning group will split a $5,000 cash prize.

Internet Off-Broadway Database lists productions at the venue from 1956, including stagings of The Only Worse Thing You Could Have Told Me (1995), Howard Crabtree's Whoop-Dee-Doo (1993), Safe Sex (1991), Reno in Rage and Rehab (1989), Ten Percent Revue (1988), What's a Nice Country Like You...Doing in a State Like This? (1985), An Evening with Quentin Crisp (1983), Torch Song Trilogy (1982), Marry Me a Little (1981), Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (1980), Boy Meets Boy (1975), Fortune and Men's Eyes (1967 and 1987), Blood Wedding (1958), I Am A Camera (1956), He Who Gets Slapped (1956), among many others. For more information about the Actors' Playhouse, call (212) 255-6452.