Person of the Decade #6

January 16, 2015

Today I am delighted to share with you the name of the Indie Theater Hall of Fame's sixth Person of the Decade: Elena K. Holy.

As you probably know, Elena is the Producing Artistic Director of The Present Company, which each year produces the New York International Fringe Festival. This year's FringeNYC will be held from August 14 through August 30; it will be the (can you believe it?) 19th annual edition.

FringeNYC is North America's largest performing arts festival, and also among the six most attended cultural events in New York City. Co-founded by Elena and fellow Person of the Decade John Clancy, Aaron Beall, and Jonathan Harris back in 1996, FringeNYC transformed the theatrical landscape of the city and--arguably--the social and economic landscape as well.

Elena's most visible achievement each year is producing this immense festival, which has hosted well over two thousand productions during this past ten years, from all over the world, encompassing every performance genre and style imaginable. But, as her colleague Leslie Bramm has written:

Elena has a passion for the playwright’s process and the plays themselves. She is genuinely interested in the message the play strives to convey....Having read thousands of plays, Elena understands the nature of character, thought, plot, diction, and spectacle. It’s her ability to intuit a play’s "dynamic"—the elusive vision of its full potential—that is truly admirable. She often sees gems in the rough; supports them, nourishes them, and guides them toward success.

Learn more about Elena at the Hall of Fame website.

We are just one month away from the deadline for applications for this year's FringeNYC! Elena's asked me to remind everyone that applications are available and are due February 14th. The process is more streamlined than ever this year: applicants can expect to upload script / book and cover letter, as well as additional support materials, and to pay the $40 application fee online via PayPal, once their application is submitted. 

Please join me in congratulating Elena for this absolutely richly deserved recognition! And I will be back next Friday with the announcement of our 7th Person of the Decade...

[Note: When NYTE launched the Hall of Fame last month, we asked all of the inductees to vote for those members who, in their view, had made the most significant and outstanding contributions to the NYC indie theater scene during the past ten years. We think that this is a particularly meaningful recognition because it is bestowed upon these individuals and companies by their peers. We're announcing the 10 honorees weekly, one each Friday from now until February 13th. Announced so far: John Clancy and Nancy Walsh, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Vampire Cowboys, Kristin Marting, and Mac Rogers..]





Loco7's "Undefined Fraction" at La MaMa
I got to pay a visit to one of my all-time favorite indie theaters, La MaMa E.T.C., for a performance of Undefined Fraction, which is part of the company's 2015 Puppet Series. This blend of edgy puppetry, physical theater, and dance is an exemplar of the kind of meditative hybrid installation/happening/drama that has been a mainstay of this East Village institution for decades.
Trav S.D.'s Great Vaudeville History
A look back at Trav S.D.'s book on vaudeville, published 10 years ago this month.
United Solo 2014: Done; United Solo 2015: Starting Now!
ITN's United Solo 2014 play collection is now complete; and our first 2015 play--LOUISE IN CHARLESTOWN by Penny Jackson--is available as well.