While many tourists and New York natives alike will head to broadway to see a play, some people want to head to a more cozy and quaint environment. For those who want to see a top quality performance in a small venue, check out The Flea. The Flea is now a hub for creative artists across a number of disciplines, attracting audiences who seek unique and bold work. This theater puts on a number of avant garde performances, and its history is just as one-of-a-kind as the performances that take place there.
The Flea was founded in 1996 by three of the most acclaimed downtown theater artists in New York City: director Jim Simpson, playwright Mac Wellman, and designer Kyle Chepulis. Producing Director Carol Ostrow joined Simpson at The Flea’s helm in 2001. Soon after Ostrow’s joining the team, The Flea set a goal to present work that raised the bar for Off-Off-Broadway performances. Niegel Smith became the Artistic Director of The Flea in May of 2015 and the next chapter of The Flea began. Now, The Flea is one of New York’s only professional theaters that maintains an open-door policy for artists.
Each year, The Flea produces several original world premiere productions in addition to new and inventive work. It has two topnotch performance spaces which are constantly in action, showing up to three shows a night. No matter what kind of a performance you’re looking for, The Flea has you covered. They show theater, dance, music, and a number of cross-disciplinary performances. The Flea’s resident acting company, known as The Bats, is very well renowned, working to sustain a lifelong involvement in the arts. The Flea also has a Resident Director Program for emerging directors and a series of artist-driven playwriting workshops called Pataphysics. Esteemed actors such as John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei and Sigourney Weaver have performed at The Flea. In fact, Sigourney Weaver is a member of the founding board.
The Flea is a venue that once began in a tiny venue but now rents three floors of a converted Tribeca factory, in addition to its administrative office in the sub-basement. It is now an active member of the lower Manhattan community that attracts 17,000 people from all walks of life to watch extraordinary and thought-provoking performances. Both of The Flea’s theaters are fully equipped, one with 74 seats and the other with 40 seats. While most of the people who visit The Flea are from New York City, the theater has recently attracted people from all around the country and even the world.
The Flea soon plans to build a new performance arts complex four blocks away from its current location. The Flea hopes to create three performance spaces, two lobbies and plenty of backstage and administrative space in this new complex. It is an exciting time for The Flea, a quickly growing theater that showcases the beauty of Off-Off-Broadway theater.
This cultural center has a fascinating backstory, an incredible reputation and a charming feel. If you’re in New York City and want to go to a unique show, you’ll definitely want to check out The Flea.
Melissa Ko is the Managing Member of Covepoint Capital Advisors, LLC and serves as the Chief Investment Officer of its flagship, the Covepoint Emerging Markets Macro Fund. Please visit https://about.me/melissako, https://melissakoblog.wordpress.com/, http://melissakocovepoint.tumblr.com/, and http://www.slideshare.net/MelissaKo1 to learn more!