Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh sad forsaken blog!

I guess that with the launch of our Community Supported Theatre, keeping up on Twitter, and developing a new play (Quantum Poetics, workshopping at the Connelly Theater mid-June), and posting on the ERPA blog, this blog has lost what little lovin' I once gave to it.

I will come back.

I promise.

How 'bout Tuesday? It's a date! I'll debrief with y'all about Sunday's semi-staged reading of Quantum Poetics...

In the meantime, some news, hot off the presses:

Stolen Chair has a profile in this month's American Theater mag. You can read it online (they call us "scrappy." How cool is that?) but you should really go out and buy the issue as it's darn good. Thanks to Eliza Bent and the fine folks at American Theater for making this happen.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Give the gift of Community Supported Theatre (or take it yourself!)

Just a few weeks left to sign up for the CST's pilot season
...or to give a unique gift to the theatre lover in your life

Stolen Chair's Community Supported Theatre (CST), the first membership group of its kind in the country, will continue accepting new members until Dec 31, 2009.

You can join the CST today or purchase it as a unique, experiential holiday gift for friends and family.

For less than the price of two Broadway tickets, the theatre (or science) lover in your life will receive eight months of arts and entertainment, including:

  • Exclusive access to every stage of Quantum Poetics' development, from its creative retreat to its world premiere; they will see first-hand how a new play is born.
  • Members-only panels, lectures, and discussions with some of the country's hottest scientific writers and thinkers, who will reveal the secrets of how their universe(s) and brain work.
  • A chance to participate in our members-only science fair and to build that exploding volcano their parents forbade in 4th grade.
  • Their name on the guest list at New York's most scientastic Valentine's Day party: "Atoms and Eves"
  • An invitation to join the CST's online social network filled with exclusive Stolen Chair and Quantum Poetics content: a feedback forum, video, photos, podcasts, and more.
  • Field trips to NYC's most exciting science-themed cultural offerings.
  • A discounted year-long subscription to New Scientist magazine, a free copy of the play anthology, Playing with Canons, andcomplimentary wine & treats at all CST events.

Don't forget: there are SIX affordable (and tax-deductible) ways to give the gift of membership!

Individual, Group, Student/Artists, E-membership, Corporate Membership, Installment Payments

Sign up or give the gift of CST here!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cheating on Stolen Chair's blog

As part of the $20k award Stolen Chair received from The Field's Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists grant, I will be occassionally blogging over on their site, chronicling the rise (and hopefully not the fall!) of the country's first Community Supported Theatre (CST).


(And stay tuned there and here and on Twitter for up-to-the-minute developments on the CST and Quantum Poetics.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A letter from me. To you.

Dear friends of Stolen Chair,

You've been getting quite a few publicity blasts from us lately, but I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts with you sans flashy graphics and HTML code. (Before I begin, though, I do want to remind you that you only have a few days left to register for our Community Supported Theatre before the Nov 22 launch event.)

Along with the rest of the core company and six incredible collaborators, I've just returned from Stolen Chair's 13th creative retreat where we noodled around with ideas for our 13th original work, QUANTUM POETICS: A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT FOR THE STAGE. For three days we worked together, lived together, and cooked together as we explored a slew of exciting theories from neuroscience and quantum physics. It might sound like serious business, but if you saw our quantum-inspired "Three Little Pigs," you be as tickled as I was.

And, for the first time in Stolen Chair's history, we'd like to invite you to be a part of these experiments. Stolen Chair has just launched the country's first Community Supported Theatre (CST), an innovative new way of connecting theatregoers with theatremakers, and we're now accepting members. On Nov 22, charter members of our CST will kickoff their season with an exclusive live showing of some of the most exciting (and most ridiculous) highlights from our creative retreat. For the eight months after that, CST members will watch each step of the project's development up until its premiere next summer, seeing first-hand how an idea becomes a play. Our members will not only have the opportunity to discuss the work with us at open rehearsals and work-in-progress presentations, but to learn alongside Stolen Chair as we invite some of the country's hottest science writers to come speak to us. (Members will also build exploding volcanos with us at our members-only science fair and dance the night away at our "Atoms and Eves" themed Valentine's Day Party!)

As the director of QUANTUM POETICS, I could not possibly be more exhilarated by the possibility that this work will be developed through collaboration with a circle so much wider than the artists in our creative team. As co-artistic director of Stolen Chair, I am proud that our organization is the first in the country to offer this depth of engagement to our audience. As someone who has faith in theatre's power to bring people together, to challenge our perspectives, and to delight us, I feel so lucky that I'll have the chance to participate in this novel experiment in building a real community comprised of engaged art-makers and art-lovers.

Hope you'll join us! Remember, the party starts Nov 22nd.

To read more and sign up, please visit:

If you have any further questions, please email cst[at] for more info.


Jon Stancato

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flux considers Community Supported Theatre

Great post over on Gus' Flux Theatre Ensemble blog and a very interesting discussion ensues. Basically, Gus works to problematize some of Isaac Butler's recent statements over at Parabasis about why theatre shouldn't be "supported" in the context of our new social business model which boldly puts "support" right in the middle of its name. Turns out (as is so often the case), "everything is everything" and the debate is actually just dialogue, but it is an important one that all cultural organizations should probably be having both internally and with their "supporters."

Oh, and is now live, though the content will change a lot over the next week.

Oh, and we're compiling a FAQ to eventually live (how's that split feel, Mr. Infinitive?) on that page so if, as Radioshack says, "You've got questions; we've got answers." Free bottle of wine (you arrange NYC pickup) goes to the best suggestion for our FAQ!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Huge, massive, earth-shatteringly good Stolen Chair news

I apologize for the unfathomably long blog silence but we've been very very busy with this...

After 9 months of research and development funded by an innovation grant from The Field's Economic Revitalization for Performing Arts (ERPA), Stolen Chair has been awarded a $20,000 implementation grant from ERPA to adapt the business model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to the theatre.

So...IT'S ALL HAPPENING, FOLKS! We're gonna create the country's first Community Supported Theatre (CST), a development playground/research lab/community of audience-investors who will trace our newest project, Quantum Poetics (A science experiment for the stage), from its first creative retreat to its first public work-in-progress presentation.

You can read about the grant and our plans here and listen to my presentation (at the WNYC Green Space!).

Please tweet this, blog this, facebook this, talk about this at water coolers, and mention it loudly on subways: people interested in becoming charter members of our pilot Community Supported Theatre should visit to find out more and drop a line of interest to cst[at] We're especially looking for a small group of booster members who will receive highly discounted or free memberships in return for help recruiting other members.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Support indie theatre's fairy godparents!

I can't say enough about the incomparable Martin and Rochelle Denton, without whose support and encouragement, Stolen Chair (and scores of other indie companies) would not likely be here today.

The Dentons need your help, in much the same way Stolen Chair needed your help a month ago. It's another one of those popularity contest grants; given how many people Martin has published and reviewed, and given how many people depend upon as their go-to site for intelligent and thoughtful theatre criticsm, Martin and Rochelle should have no trouble sweeping the proceedings...that is, of course, if YOU vote!!!

Here's the details, straight from the man himself:

Today I write to ask for about 10 minutes of your time to help and The New York Theatre Experience, Inc., win a grant from Microsoft.

We have entered the "Show Your Impact" Contest, which is sponsored by TechSoup and Microsoft Corporation. The winners of this contest -- there will be three -- will each receive a $5,000 cash grant from Microsoft plus $25,000 in donated software. For a technology-based small nonprofit company like ours, this is a fantastic opportunity! And we believe we have a shot at winning.

To enter the contest, we had to write a "story" about the impact that Microsoft software, which we received via their donation program with TechSoup, has had on our organization and on the community of theatre-goers and theatre-makers we serve.

We now need to get our friends and supporters to go online to the "Show Your Impact" contest website and vote for our submission. So this is where you come in: please follow the link below, register, and vote for

The public voting process ends on Friday, June 5, and then the top vote getters in each category will move on to the finals, to be judged by Microsoft and TechSoup.

Anyone can vote. It will take you a few minutes: the contest rules require that you register (all they ask for is an email address) and also that you vote for a minimum of 3 projects (so you can't just vote for us--you have to pick a couple of other projects in order for your vote to be counted). It's kind of complicated and I'm sorry about that--but if you'll bear with the process and vote, we will be very appreciative!

Our submission is called Our submission date is 5/20/2009. Our category is "Optimize Mission Delivery." There can only be one winner per category, so you'll maximize our chance to win by not selecting any other entries in that category.

Please pass this information along to anyone you think would like to help us! Your support is enormously appreciated.

And please take a few moments to read our submission entry, which details some of the work we've done over the past several years to prepare and our other websites for Web 2.0 and beyond. Your comments and thoughts are welcome!

But the bottom line, once again: please vote for our submission to help us win this grant from Microsoft. Click here:

Read our story, register, and vote for us. Thank you!

Email me if you have questions. Learn more about TechSoup, the great nonprofit organization that has put together this contest, here.