Ohio Theatre & 3-Legged Dog partnership

With all the recent talk of arts organizations facing eviction or negotiating potential mergers, here’s a bit of strategic partnering: 3-Legged Dog and The Ohio Theatre announced OHIO INTERRUPTED @ 3LD, the Ohio’s new 3-year residency at 3LD Art & Technology Center.

Robert Lyons, Artistic Director of the Ohio Theatre says, “Losing our home of 29 years is truly a disaster. But it is at times like this, when everything is in flux, that unforeseen opportunities appear. 3LD has been one of my favorite venues since they opened. I’ve always admired the work I see there, and the spirit of community they foster. I feel Kevin and I value very similar things. I’m very excited by this opportunity.”

For 3LD the partnership will expand and deepen the 3LD community and contribute to 3LD’s “strength in numbers” tactical response to the recent devastating cuts in arts funding in New York. 3-Legged Dog’s Executive Artistic Director Kevin Cunningham says, ”We got together, looked at our circumstances, our aesthetic programs and missions and our operating assumptions and quickly concluded that our similarities make this partnership an obvious choice. We believe we have developed an innovative improvement on the merger model with an agreement that preserves the autonomy of both organizations but allows us to work together for our common betterment.”

This residency will provide a secure platform that will allow the two-time Obie Award-winning Ohio Theatre to continue its long history of producing, presenting and curating the high quality programs that have established it as an indispensable pillar of the downtown theatre community. At the same time the addition of the Ohio’s programming to 3LD’s award winning mix will bring together under one roof two of the most active and important centers for arts production in New York and will deepen ties within the beleaguered downtown arts community, creating a more secure atmosphere for the creation of new artwork for all involved.

OHIO INTERRUPTED is an informal coalition, led by Soho Think Tank, of the core companies who produced at the Ohio Theatre. Ohio Artistic Director Robert Lyons adds, “The goal is to build on the long-term relationships that developed within the Ohio Theatre artistic community, in order to define and create new opportunities for further cooperation.” These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the pursuit of a long-term rental or purchase of a new theatre space in Lower Manhattan.

Companies participating in OHIO INTERRUPTED @ 3LD next season include Clubbed Thumb with Roadkill Confidential by Sheila Callaghan, New Georges with The Germ Project, and Soho Think Tank’s Ice Factory 2011.

Both award-winning companies have faced difficulties recently despite their stellar track records as producers and presenters of some of the best cutting edge artwork in New York. 3-Legged Dog has been struggling to recover from the loss of 90% of its contributed income due to the recession and was recently threatened with eviction by its landlord, the MTA. The MTA has withdrawn those threats. The Ohio Theatre will be evicted from its home of 29 years in Soho to make room for yet more high-end retail in Soho. The final performance in the space will be August 14th, immediately followed by a blow out dance party.

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