The Off Off-Broadway advocacy organization the League of Independent Theater is behind the initiative that will deduct 5 cents from each ticket sold at participating theatres to put toward the fund. It will go into effect Aug. 1. The goal is to maintain the vitality and diversity of New York's smaller, independent theatre community, which doesn't draw as much attention as Broadway and Off-Broadway's commercial fare.
Early plans include a real estate fund for renovations, repairs, equipment and even real estate purchase; project grants to create and develop new work; and individual grants to support theatre artists.
LIT has also called upon the League of American Theaters and Producers, now known as the Broadway League, to lend its financial support to sustain independent theatre in New York by also donating 5 cents per Broadway ticket to the fund.
Figures released indicate that had the Off Off-Broadway companies enlisted the 5 cent per-ticket deduction in 2010, over $605,000 would have been raised. LIT also stated, "With a five cent surcharge on each ticket sold to a Broadway show, (which is .0057 of the average ticket price or about five hundredths of a percent) we can create an immediate, annual fund for small theatre in New York."
"The League of Independent Theater represents a coming together of actual artistic and theatrical forces that may yet undo the difficulty of our times in maintaining the highest artistic standards in a period of economic crisis. Who can save us from the downhill trend of our economy except the vigor of our arts? Theatre, music and education are our only hopes to lift our times beyond their despair and create a viable, prosperous culture," Living Theater co-founder Judith Malina sain in a statement. The current list of participating theatres follows: Present Company (producers of the New York International Fringe Festival), PS 122, HERE Art Center, Horse Trade Theater Group, Clancy Productions, wreckio ensemble, Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company, the Amoralists, Surf Reality, New Georges, Inverse Theatre, Tectonic Theater Project, Peculiar Works, Flux Ensemble, Elephant Run District, Rabbit Hole Ensemble, Jewish Plays Project, Parallel Exit, Gorilla Rep, Sponsored by Nobody, Stolen Chair Theatre Company, Mind the Gap Theater, Art House Productions, ETdC Projects Lab, Angry Bubble Productions, ViolaCello Stageworks, La Lupa Italian Cultural Arts Festival, Small Pond Entertainment, Organs of State, Decades Out, WET Productions, Gemini/Collisionworks, Untitled Theater Company #61, Theatre Askew, John Montgomery Theatre Company, the Living Theater, New York Theatre Experience, Inc., Sinking Ship Productions and Mabou Mines.