Can you believe that 2021 is nearly finished? As the pandemic continued and all of us have faced unrelenting challenges, we are proud and grateful to report that Theater in Asylum continued to bring artists and audiences together through it all. We are so grateful for your support that made our work possible. We humbly ask for your continued support of our work with a donation to our 2022 fundraiser.
We began the year in lockdown, continuing our Cold Reading series, with 33 play readings in total, including three in-person. The spring brought a Zoom production (The Debates 2021) and its related events (four debate watch parties and analysis meetings, plus three “Civics Happy Hours”). In the fall, as we emerged from lockdown, we produced our first in-person play in over a year with Andy Boyd’s Occupy Prescott. In the midst of all this we shared a new mission statement, community agreements, and a transparency commitment with reporting mechanisms. We won grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the New York City Artist Corp. We returned to in-person work at ART/NY’s South Oxford Space and found a new home at the Jalopy Theater and Tavern. We met and worked with dozens of new artists and continued our anti-oppression work with Indie Theaters Dismantling Supremacy.
As we continue to work towards a healed world, we look ahead to 2022, our 12th year, with hope. Cold Readings, our most consistent program, will continue and even expand, with new curatorial processes and team.
The highlight of 2022, however, is beginning a multi-year process to explore and share the story of Hallie Flanagan and the Federal Theatre Project (FTP). If you’re unfamiliar, she’s a rarely-sung hero of the American Theater, leading the New Deal Era relief program to put theater people back to work. The Project was highly successful, reaching nearly one in four Americans in its brief four-year existence. Despite its popularity, the FTP was also the subject of great controversy, as was Hallie Flanagan herself - accused of being a Communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee. We at TIA have long been fascinated by the pioneering Hallie Flanagan and her Federal Theatre Project, our country’s only instance of federally funded theater. As believers in the arts as a public good, we want to investigate the success and pitfalls of the 1930s project and its legacy. We'll ask how FTP could ever exist again, and what would be its struggles in our contemporary world.
To explore this project, we'll host two events. In Spring 2022, we will present a cabaret of short works, our favorite way to invite artist-friends to our brainstorm. This FTP Cabaret will feature theater, music, dance, and poetry; we commit to paying the 40+ artists we plan to invite. In Summer 2022, we will hunker down for an extended workshop of this untitled Hallie Flanagan project, with plans to present the full production in early 2023.
If you are in a position to donate, we humbly ask for your support of Theater in Asylum’s 2022 season. We are so grateful for all that’s been made possible this past year despite such difficulty. We look ahead to 2022 with gratitude, eagerness, and hope.
Learn more about our 2022 season and donate at
Thank you so, so much.
Peace, power, and love to you,
Paul Bedard, Katie Palmer, and Kathryn Appleton
TIA Co-Artistic Directors and Managing Director
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.