FACTS, QUESTIONS and FIGURES about
THE DARKROOM SERIES
How did the Darkroom Series come to be?
Our Artistic Director, Sarah Norris, wanted to host a type of 'Arts Party' - a reoccurring event that was casual, fun, and most importantly, brought artists together. NLTP company member, David Sernick, started inviting artists and companies to participate and the Darkroom Series developed. The majority of our Darkrooms have been produced at Access Theater because the company supports emerging artists and the idea of theater community.
Approximately how many works have been showcased since its inception?
The first official Darkroom was in July 2013. Since that time, almost 60 pieces and over 320 artists have showcased new material in Darkroom.
What is the criteria for submission?
First, submitted material needs to be in development. We want the artist to learn something from the 2 nights of performance, and the ultimate goal is to inspire a continuation of the work.
Next, we ask the artist to bring in 10 people to see the show. Admission is free, and an audience is an important factor for understanding what works/doesn't work in the piece. Since the idea is to blend performance and party, socializing, drinking, and talking about the evening is highly encouraged.
In choosing the artists and performers, what types of work/style stands out?
We try to select as diverse a lineup as possible, regardless of genre, theme, style, and subject matter.
What do you attribute the success of Darkroom to be?
There is a legitimate need to support new work and build an audience. The struggle to produce is tolling, both financially and personally. And once you mount a show, there is the challenge of finding an audience. Darkroom attempts to relieve that pressure.
Before investing time and money into a production, having the opportunity to test it on an actual stage is rare. And even though the technical capabilities are limited, there is technical support. Best of all, there is an audience (usually standing room only) and the audience response is instrumental in learning about a new work.
Darkroom is also a great place to meet other artists and find new collaborators. Several artists have teamed up after meeting at Darkroom, to collaborate on new pieces. Darkroom proves a conducive atmosphere needed for that kind of networking .
The past few Darkroom's have been offered free to the public: How is New Light able to do that?
Our main collaborator is Access Theater. Access is one of the most affordable rental houses in Manhattan because they believe in supporting artists and new work. It is through their generosity that the Darkroom has expanded so much over this past year.
The LIT Fund is another organization that has made the growth of Darkroom possible. If you are part of a company, check them out and sign up today.
Is there a theme for each Darkroom Series?
Sometimes! Each Darkroom is unique.
It has been a whirl-wind experience! NLTP is comprised of an amazing group of artists that are relentless in their work ethic and their desire to produce good work. Our company sincerely believes in supporting NYC theater - if we help each other in this community, then everyone benefits, grows, and has more fun.
We want people to remember NLTP as a company that produces good work, but more importantly, that there is always an experience that happens at a NLTP event. There are no walls, no divides, but rather, a place of community and sharing of an evening. We are still working on this idea, and how to incorporate it into everything that we do, but it is something that we take very serious and strike to get right.
NLTP formed 2 years ago with four friends that enjoyed eating pancakes and reading plays on Sunday mornings. I suppose the idea of community and experience was ingrained from the start. Since that time, we have produced 9 Darkrooms, 9 plays, 3 musicals, traveled to London, Chicago, and Woodstock, and was named People of the Year - 2014 from Indie Theatre Now.