By Kathryn Appleton
Learn more about our 10 year commemoration here
We were young. Hungry. Super ambitious. In need of accomplices.
With two full productions under our belt, we were looking for our next endeavor and someone to help us produce. We were extremely fortunate to be awarded a year-long residency at Horse Trade Theater, a small, longstanding East Village theatrical producing company, now known as FRIGID New York. During this residency, we produced three full-length shows in ten months--Revolution in 1, ¡Olé!, and #Coriolanus—as well as multiple cabarets and many fundraising events. Looking back now, it’s wild that we did it all!
It was at Horse Trade that we got our footing as a company. We learned how to produce multiple events at one time, we grew an audience and a following, we met people who would become some of our closest collaborators, and we became much more embedded in the East Village theater scene. We honed our creative process and laid the groundwork for the future of our company. We became closer (literally and figuratively) as a team, spending each Sunday evening together cramped in a tiny office at Horse Trade.
Horse Trade was the first of many organizations who would help drive our success and continued existence these past 10 years. Since our time at Horse Trade, we’ve worked with three other New York companies to present our work. In summer 2017, we partnered with Piper Theatre to present our new musical The Brontës at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. Two years later, we worked with the Episcopal Actors’ Guild to present the world premiere production of Alice Pencavel’s Totally Wholesome Foods. Most recently, we partnered with the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center to present Willie Johnson’s Hephaestus in the Rough Draft Festival.
Theaters haven’t been the only organizations to open doors for us. Our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, has guided us in seeking grants and donations, while the Alliance of Resident Theaters New York (A.R.T./New York) made multiple grants (space and money) available to us. In fact, we were able to hire our first Community Engagement Manager through the support of the Nancy Quinn Fund, administered by A.R.T./New York.
In May 2017, we were so fortunate to find our home in a newly opened space called The Artist Co-op, putting an end to years of battling for tables (and quiet) in cafes around New York City. The Artist Co-op provided us with a cost-efficient co-working space where we could hold meetings, rehearsals, and... just do the work.
Producing theater takes time, space, money, patience, legal know-how, and… allies. We’re so grateful for all of the companies and friends who have allied with us and supported our work along the way. We’ve missed you, and we can’t wait to get back in the theater when it's safe to gather again.
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Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to challenge and empower our community. TIA joyfully pursues a rigorous research and an ensemble-driven approach to theater-making. We create performances to investigate our past, interpret our present, and imagine our future. We prize space to process, space to question—asylum—for ourselves and our community.