The first annual Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF), which closed its application window on March 31, says it has been "swamped with applications and scripts for its inaugural run."
In a statement, festival sources said they are "busily going through the mounds of materials received and expect to release a complete list of festival participants (along with show schedules, admission prices, and story opportunities) in the coming weeks."
In February, the Trilogy Theatre and the Off-Off-Broadway Review (OOBR) announced the inaugural MITF. Scheduled to run Aug. 10-Sept. 3, the festival will be open to theatre companies around the world.
Based on the fringe festival model, the MITF is designed to help foster alternative theatre and provide showcases for avant-garde, eclectic and classical work. Production notes also indicate that the festival gives theatre groups a shot at metropolitan venues and New York audiences.
As reported earlier, the MITF will occupy both theatre spaces at Trilogy Theatre, which is located at 341 W. 44th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues). Other spaces will be added as needed. Organizers said that each show will perform seven times during the first two weeks of the festival. The last week will be set aside for evening presentations of festival hits. “The interest in the Festival has far exceeded our wildest hopes,” said OOBR editor and publisher John Chatterton. "We not only have enough applicants to fill out the field, we are already familiar with the work of many of them."
Off-Broadway's Trilogy was founded five years ago by playwright-actor producer Norman Siopis. Festival co-producer OOBR also sponsors the OOBR Awards, honoring Off-Off-Broadway each June. The festival reserves the right to combine short pieces to make up a program. The MITF application deadline was March 31. Successful applicants paid a $15 non refundable application fee as well as an additional $215 to cover festival expenses. All participants will receive one-third of the gross box-office receipts from their shows.
For more information on the Festival visit www.oobr.com; applicants can expect electronic or regular mail messages from MITF with further announcements.
-- By Murdoch McBride