Who We Are
The League of Independent Theater began as an idea sparked by the First Indie Theater Convocation sponsored by Martin Denton and the New York Theatre Experience. At that meeting, three artist/producers, John Clancy, Paul Bargetto and John Pinkard, who were inspired by the turnout and frustrated by the lack of organization in this sector, agreed to meet to discuss the possibility of forming a League for Off Off Broadway. After initial meetings, a larger group was formed to create a steering committee to create a new organization. This included Shay Gines, Abby Marcus, Leonard Jacobs, Martin Denton, Erez Ziv and Robert Honeywell. Under the guidance of this steering committee, The League incorporated as a 501 (c) 6 advocacy organization and began recruiting membership.
Today, the League is an active participant in the political and social life of the Off Off Broadway sector, meeting regularly with elected officials, service organizations and its member artists. The League advocates on its members behalf and is involved in numerous initiatives and programs including Political Resource and Outreach, the development of the Independent Theater Equity Waiver to replace the Actors’ Equity Showcase Code, heavily subsidized rehearsal and performance space, and greater unification within our territory. In 2012, LIT spawned its sister organization, the LIT Fund.
Over the past sixty years, Off Off Broadway has grown into a vital artistic and economic sector of American theater. The League of Independent Theater is the only 501 (c) 6 advocacy organization for the creators and practitioners of Independent Theater in New York City. The League was formed to protect and ensure the interests of those who work in this territory, and to unify the voice of these workers.
Help preserve the spirit and well-being of indie theater. Bring your passion to help keep this vital sector of theater alive. Membership is 100% free and open to anyone who has worked on 3 or more Off Off Broadway productions.
“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.” -Judith Malina of the Living Theater
What LIT does:
1. Communicate directly with the independent theater territory. Unify the large and diverse sector of independent theater artists and presenters, articulate their common concerns, and take action on their behalf.
2. Negotiate for substantive and meaningful union codes and contracts with Actors’ Equity Association to respond to the 21st-Century needs of the Off Off Broadway community.
3. Develop and maintain relationships with arts-friendly elected officials in local, state and federal government.
4. Work for the preservation and creation of independent theater venues and rehearsal spaces, including lobbying for arts-friendly changes to the building and tax codes, and building proactive working relationships with real estate interests
5. Advocate for greater funding from civic arts-granting organizations, and private-sector foundations and grant-giving bodies.
LIT's Statement of Values
In choosing to be independent theater artists, we make sacrifices--both large and very large--so that we may pursue our unique and individual voices. To this end there are a few fundamental qualities of character that we must support and encourage in each other:
1. Show up. All the time. Everyday. We are each other’s most vital support mechanism. We are the reflection of each other’s brilliance.
2. Bring your full professionalism and artistry. Make every moment count on stage and off.
3. Take no one’s work for granted. Each one of us sinks heart and soul into the work.
4. Do square business. In all aspects of the territory, and especially with yourself.
5. Do what you say you’re going to do. After our work, our word is often the most concrete legitimizing tool that we have.
6. Celebrate everyone’s success. Our art is not a competition, but a collaboration to the same end, making vital and necessary theater.
Your voice is important to us. Please let us know your concerns on these issues and how you would like to be involved.