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Off-Off-Broadway theatrical productions in New York City are those in theatres that are smaller than Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres. Off-Off-Broadway theaters are often defined as theaters that have fewer than 100 seats, though the term can be used for any show in the New York City area that has neither an Off-Broadway nor a Broadway contract. The shows range from professional productions by established artists to small amateur performances.


The Off-Off-Broadway movement began in 1958 as a reaction to Off-Broadway, and a "complete rejection of commercial theatre". Among the first venues for what would soon be called "Off-Off-Broadway" (a term supposedly coined by critic Jerry Tallmer of the Village Voice) were coffeehouses in Greenwich Village, particularly the Caffe Cino at 31 Cornelia Street, operated by the eccentric Joe Cino, who early on took a liking to actors and playwrights and agreed to let them stage plays there without bothering to read the plays first, or to even find out much about the content. Also integral to the rise of Off-Off-Broadway were Ellen Stewart at La MaMa, and Al Carmines at the Judson Poets' Theater, located at Judson Memorial Church. Another name worthy of mention is the Nuyorican Poets Café founded by Dominican playwright Miguel Piñero in the mid 1970's.

An Off-Off-Broadway production that features members of Actors Equity is, of necessity,...
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