The Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) closes Sept 3 after a successful three-week engagement. Starting Aug. 9, the festival ended with a special final week of "Best of the Fest" performances beginning Aug. 27. MITF's “Best of the Fest” featured the most popular shows of the series.
As reported earlier, MITF is based on presenting "the classic, the new and the musical" and is rooted in the Off Off-Broadway scene. Produced by John Chatterton, the publisher of oobr ("the off-off-broadway review") MITF is done in association with New Perspectives Theatre.
Because this year's MITF proved logistically challenging, some changes are expected next season.
"I think next year we'll scale it down, frankly, because this year proved to be too much logistically," Chatterton told Playbill On-Line.
Chatterton described a successful festival, but said he had learned lessons that would lead to changes. "This year," Chatterton explained, "we ended up at four theatres, in three venues, with 19 plays. It was really a bit much. I think we'd be better off trying to compress things into two theatres and one venue with maybe 12 plays. That would be more doable." Among the specific issues he hopes to address, Chatterton suggested, were the logistics of managing several box offices. "It's all the stuff that you don't normally see," Chatterton explained, "the supervision of the box office staff, getting the envelopes delivered and the concessions trucked around. All the stuff that goes on at 5:30 in the morning."
The OOBR head said it would be much easier to centralize at one theatre and to run a hospitality suite that would encourage more communication between audience members.
Chatterton described the audience reactions he received this season as ranging from solid to excellent. "There's no doubt the audiences loved these shows," Chatterton said, "but things are diffused and you lose an essential buzz [unless you are centralized]. One of the good things about the Fringe Festival is that there is more potential for Fringe goers to run into each other and exchange comments, good or bad, on their shows. Some of my people have suggested that we set up a beer tent."
Tickets for each individual MITF show were $12 and students and seniors with ID paid $10. For information on MITF visit www.oobr.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride