The Stolen Chair Theatre Company
The Stolen Chair Theatre Company is a non-profit collaborative theatre laboratory based in New York City. The company has created and produced over 12 original works since it was founded in 2002, all written by resident playwright Kiran Rikhye and staged by resident director Jon Stancato.
Stolen Chair is a New York City non-profit collaborative theatre laboratory "dedicated to the theft, recycling, and reexamination of historical performance styles and to the creation of visually stunning and uniquely contemporary theatre where the earnest and the ironic happily co-exist." Each of Stolen Chair's 12 original productions draws on entirely different aesthetic and textual influences, often pulling from once-popular historical performance and/or playwriting styles which have since become obsolete. Past productions have explored novel fusions of Commedia dell'Arte, Absurdism, Vaudeville, Film noir, Swashbucklers, Bunraku, Silent Film, Elizabethan boy-actors, Weimar Cabaret, Ridiculous Theatre, and Greek tragedy. All of the productions are developed over the course of at least 6 months in a collaborative process which has been described as an "aesthetic supercollider" (Leonard Jacobs, The Clyde Fitch Report).
Stolen Chair is made up of 2 artistic directors, 5 company members who double as a small administrative staff, and a board of directors. When the company is not actively in production, it supports a multi-tiered educational program, offering professional masterclasses, a series of annual summer camps, and in-school residencies and workshops. In addition to private donations, the company's theatrical work has been supported by The New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the JVPC Memorial Foundation for the Arts, and a grant from The Field's Economic Revitilization for the Performing Arts (which receives funding from The Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund) through which Stolen Chair is currently developing a new business model for Community Supported Theatre.
NYTheatre.com named Stolen Chair one of its 2005 People of the Year ("spotlights fifteen theatre artists and/or companies that have made a significant contribution to the cultural landscape of our city"), with the citation "this young movement-based troupe is rapidly becoming one of our most reliably entertaining and engaging companies."
Stolen Chair member Cameron J. Oro was recipient of the award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for the Stolen Chair production The Accidental Patriot: The Lamentable Tragedy of the Pirate Desmond Connelly, Irish by Birth, English by Blood, and American by Inclination. Cameron was previously nominated for his role in Stage Kiss (2006), also for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role.
Stolen Chair productions have been performed in the 6th Floor Series at Soho Think Tank, The Pretentious Festival at The Brick Theater, Underground Zero Festival at Collective: Unconscious, and at Swarthmore College.
* Between Two Worlds (2002)
* Portrait of Dora As a Young Man (2002)
* Fair Ladies At a Game of Fortune (2003)
* Stage Kiss (2003)
* Virtuosa (2004)
* Sister Carrie (2005)
* Commedia dell'Artemisia (2005)
* The Man Who Laughs (2005)
* Kill Me Like You Mean It (2007)
* Kinderspiel (2007)
* The Accidental Patriot: The Lamentable Tragedy of the Pirate Desmond Connelly, Irish by Birth, English by Blood, American by Inclination (2008)
* Theatre Is Dead and So Are You (2009)
* Quantum Poetics (in development for 2010)
* The Man Who Laughs in Playing With Canons (Published by New York Theatre Experience, Inc)
* Kill Me Like You Mean It (Published by United States)
* Kinderspiel (Published by United Stages)
* Kiran Rikhye (Artistic Director)
* Jon Stancato (Artistic Director)
* David Bengali
* Liza Wade Green
* Aviva Meyer
* Cameron J. Oro
* Emily Otto