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TCG launches Free Night of Theatre in NYC

An Entire Month of Free Night of Theater Kicks Off on October 1st in New York City

Thousands of FREE tickets available to hundreds of Off-Broadway & Independent Theaters

NEW YORK, NY Theater Communications Group (TCG) is thrilled to announce the third annual Free Night of Theater New York City, which will take place at nearly 100 participating Off-Broadway, Off Off Broadway and Independent Theaters in all five boroughs during the entire month of October 2010.

Tickets will be available to the public on September 29, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at www.freenightnyc.net .

“Ensuring that New Yorkers have access to the cultural programs, which make our city so great is what makes this so meaningful,” said Council Member and Chairman of the Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Committee Jimmy Van Bramer. “Free access to quality performances increases awareness of the incredible variety of live theater options across our five boroughs.”

Introduced by TCG as a three-city pilot-program in 2005 and to New York City in 2008, Free Night of Theater is now presented in more than 23 states.   Free Night of Theater is an unprecedented audience development initiative, where theaters across the country offer performance tickets to the public absolutely free-of-charge. The goal of the program is to increase public awareness of, and to attract new audiences to theatre.

In addition to TCG, the managing partners of Free Night of Theater New York City are Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), Theatre Development Fund, New York State Council on the Arts, Arts & Business Council of New York and League of Independent Theater.

“With the leadership of our managing partners, we have laid the foundation for a program that unites and galvanizes New York’s diverse theatre community and celebrates the great art of this city,” said Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of TCG.

Free Night of Theater New York City is made possible, through the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Free Night of Theater could not come at a better time,” said Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee. “The City Council is proud to help support this program to ensure New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet can still enjoy a night out at the theater.  We should always be looking for opportunities to introduce people to this city’s amazing, one-of-a-kind cultural community.  By making sure everyone has access, we keep the gears of the cultural economy turning.”

In 2009, Free Night of Theater New York City saw 120 Off-Broadway and Independent theaters across the boroughs join together to offer more than 7,000 tickets to over 440 performances, an increase of almost 25% from 2008. Moreover, Free Night of Theater New York City achieved a unique success as over 80% of the audience members in New York went to see a show in a venue in which they had never been.

“I am thrilled that for the third year in a row Free Night of Theater will be offered in New York in October, expanding access to our city’s world class productions and performances,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “Too often, New Yorkers are priced out of cultural events in their own town; with Free Night of Theater, we open up our playhouses, odeums and concert halls to everybody.”

This year, as a special gift to participants, ticket holders will automatically receive an invitation to the Free Night of Theater New York City celebration event on Monday, November 1, 2010. The celebration event will include guest panels, live performances and hours of entertainment.

“The Council has a long-standing commitment to the visual and performing arts of this City,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.  “People from all over the world come to New York City, the epicenter of the arts, to be transformed into another world and what a better way to experience it than when its free. We look forward to everyone taking advantage of such a great opportunity and we thank the Theatre Communications Group for making this possible.”

For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit www.freenightnyc.net .

Free Night of Theater New York City Managing Partners:

The Arts & Business Council of New York (ABC/NY) creates partnerships between arts and business. It serves both the arts and the business communities of New York, with programming in volunteerism, professional development, leadership development and economic impact. From interns to board members ABC/NY makes matches that benefit everyone. www.artsandbusiness-ny.org.

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) is the service and advocacy organization for the nation’s largest, most artistically influential, and most culturally diverse theatre community: Off Broadway. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York serves over 325 not-for-profit theatres throughout New York City. They annually offer nearly 30 technical assistance workshops, roundtables and seminars. A.R.T./New York also provides consultancies with highly respected and experienced arts professionals, low-interest loans, cash grants, and affordable office, meeting and rehearsal space. Our members serve 3 million theatre-goers annually, constitute the single largest source of new work entering the American repertory, and have produced 9 of the last 11 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. www.art-newyork.org

The mission of the League of Independent Theater (LIT) is to promote and protect the economic and artistic interests of its members. Its aim is to ensure that independent theater remains economically viable for its practitioners and to advocate on behalf of the decades-old community of Off-Off Broadway theater. Membership in LIT is open to any artist, company, technician or administrator working in theaters of 99 seats or less in NYC who can demonstrate participation in a minimum of three productions. More information can be found on LIT’s website: www.litny.org.

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens. The Council believes in supporting artistic excellence, the creative freedom of artists without censure, the rights of all New Yorkers to access and experience the power of the arts and culture and the vital contribution the arts make to the quality of life in New York communities. NYSCA strives to achieve its mission through its core grant-making activity and by convening field leaders, providing information and advisory support, and working with partners on special initiatives to achieve mutual goals. www.nysca.org

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, exists to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Its programs serve nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide.  As the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, TCG connects its constituents to the global theatre community.  In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.  TCG is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. www.tcg.org.

Theatre Development Fund (TDF)
has played a unique role in advancing live theatre and dance in New York City for the past 40 years. This not-for-profit service organization’s programs have filled 72 million seats at discount prices (with theatre lovers who would normally not be able to attend live performance) and returned over 1.5 billion dollars in revenue to thousands of theatre, dance and music productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, voucher, access and education programs, as well as its Costume Collection, help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. For more information, go to: www.tdf.org.

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