Since 1992, Access Theater has been a home to New York City's leading downtown artists. When not producing its own work, Access serves as a cost-effective curated arts venue seeking innovative, not-for-profit producing organizations devoted to new works. Offering a well-maintained and subsidized (and therefore affordable) downtown venue for the showcasing of emerging artists and their efforts, Access has served as host to an impressive roster of theater artists.
Under Founder and Executive Director Jacqueline Christy, Access’ twenty-seven-year history is rich with the early works of then-unknown theater artists, talents now recognized and respected for the contributions they have made to modern theater. Stephen Belber, Brian Dykstra, David Johnston, Josh Lefkowitz, Matthew Freeman, Tom McCarthy, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Hollinger, David Foley – these playwrights will be produced for years to come, and they all got their start with works produced by Access.
Access has joined forces with organizations to create programming geared outward, toward our community and its families. Access continues to seek ways to create resources for others, with subsidized rehearsal and performance space for not-for-profit organizations in need. Access Theater has produced hundreds of new plays, many of which have gone on to Off-Broadway productions, regional theaters, British theaters, and feature film development. Recent successes include: Bedlam Theater's premiere of Hamlet / St. Joan, which ran to great acclaim and moved to a successful run at the Lynne Redgrave Theater; Sakina's Restaurant by Aasif Mandvi went on to a successful run at the American Place Theater; Josh Lefkowitz's Help Wanted: A Personal Search for Meaningful Employment at the Start of the 21st Century, which moved to the regional theater circuit following its initial run at Access; co-productions with Blue Coyote Theater Group of David Johnston's Oresteia (Time Out New York's Best of 2007), Busted Jesus Comix (2005 GLAAD nominee for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Theatre), and David Foley's Paradise, among many others; world premieres of Brian Dykstra's critically acclaimed Off-Broadway solo show, Brian Dykstra: Cornered & Alone, Israela Margalit's 3 O'Clock in Brooklyn, Darian Dauchan's Fallen Patriots, Bryan Dykstra's Strangerhorse and Stephen Belber's Tape, which premiered at Access and went on to be presented at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and became a feature film starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
Other past production highlights include: Cages, currently being developed into a feature film by Gary Fleder (director, Kiss the Girls, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead); Alice Down the Hole; and the sold-out, extended run of Susan Gregory Thomas's The Most You. Larry Thompson: Tragedy of a Youth, by Dusan Kovacevic (Underground, White Hotel), had a special performance at the United Nations; The Killing Act, written and directed by Tom McCarthy (Oscar winner, Spotlight) and featuring Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Dominic Fumusa, went on to a reading at the Williamstown Theater Festival; the NY premiere of Forsaking All Others, by Brian Dykstra, came to Access after extended sold out runs in both London and Los Angeles.