Naked Angels is committed to strengthening a community of artists through the development and production of provocative new work. It starts here.
The company was formed in 1986 by a group of restless and ambitious artists reacting to a void in the theater community for new and creative voices. We took our name from the John Tytell book, which referred to Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and other Beats as “a generation that wanted to break out of convention and scream.” As a young group, we felt the same way; we needed a place where, through the medium of theater, we could show the world a different perspective of our times. Sometimes outraged, often irreverent, occasionally absurd, and always intelligent, enthusiastic and fun, Naked Angels’ work was a spark to which audiences were quickly drawn. The Space, as our theater on 17th Street was known, soon became a vital, thriving crossroads where talented theater artists met and collaborated: the destination of choice for those seeking a truly celebratory theatrical experience. Though it’s been quite a few years since we’ve had a home of our own, that spirit continues today wherever and whenever Naked Angels produces.
Dedication to the emerging artist has lead to the company’s reputation for developing and producing outstanding, innovative plays. Over the years, Naked Angels has presented hundreds of readings, workshops, and full-scale productions. From Warren Leight’s Tony Award winning Side Man to Jon Robin Baitz’s The Substance of Fire, Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger to David Marshall Grant’s Snakebit, Naked Angels has always been a place where new work flourishes. Some of our more recent efforts, Stephen Belber’s Tape, Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing), Elizabeth Meriwether’s The Mistakes Madeline Made, and Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, have gone on to receive critical acclaim both here and abroad. The world premiere of Stephen Belber’s Fault Lines, played to packed houses and extended its run at The Cherry Lane, under the superb direction of David Schwimmer with performances by Noah Emmerich, Dominic Fumusa, Josh Lucas and Jennifer Mudge.
In 2009 Naked Angels produced the world premiere of Next Fall, written by founding company member Geoffrey Nauffts. The play was the company's first transfer to Broadway, and received a Tony nomination for Best New Play. Later that spring, Naked Angels produced the US premiere of This Wide Night, which was written by Chloe Moss, directed by Anne Kauffman, and starred Edie Falco and Alison Pill, and racked up five Lortel nominations. The latest work, a co-production between the Vineyard Theatre and Naked Angels, was Outside People, written by Zayd Dohrn and directed by Evan Cabnet.
The cornerstone of our writers’ programs is our free weekly session of new writing, Tuesdays@9. In 1991 company playwrights Frank Pugliese, Pippin Parker, Lili Taylor and others watched the Gulf War’s broadcast on television and felt compelled to write about it. Giving themselves a weekly deadline, they began meeting on a regular basis to share their experiences, and thus Tuesdays@9 was born. Nineteen years later, it’s still going strong. An arena for new works hot-off-the-press, T@9 has an open submission policy that serves more than 280 new works by nearly 200 New York and LA writers each year. Writers are invited to submit a 10-page sample; selections are made each week, cast on the spot, and given a cold read.
This salon, led by Creative Directors Joe Danisi in New York and Steve Altman, Kevin Hoffer and Liz Warner in Los Angeles, attracts over a hundred people each week who gather to listen and participate in readings of scenes, short new plays, and fiction, often fresh from the printer. From renowned writers such as Kenneth Lonergan to those just beginning to shape their voice, it continues to be one of New York City’s preeminent developmental programs.
Through June 26 we are running a Crowdrise campaign to support Tuesdays@9 and Naked Angels. Click here to learn more.