Today, the Arts are a “Life & Death” Situation

Laurie Rae Waugh and the American Theater of Actors have been part of the off-off Broadway movement for decades. She began her career at the historic AIDS benefit honoring Michael Bennett in the early 80s, and the ATA is one of the last of the historic theaters of the movement. Once a skyline that included Caffe Cino, LaMama, 13th Street Repertory Theater, Theatre Genesis, the Judson Poets’ Theater, New York Theatre Ensemble, The Old Reliable, The Dove Company, The Playwrights Workshop, and Workshop of the Players Art (WPA); now only a few remain.

Laurie latest work at the ATA are two works looking at life and death through decisions we make or made. Her cast of power-players spoke out about indie art in this “new world.”




“The more freedoms are suppressed, the more people need to express themselves. The arts allow you to transcend restrictive politics. If the endowments to the arts and humanities are rescinded, there will hopefully be enough patrons to support the arts from private funds.”  … Amy Losi






“I believe that indie theatre will continue to thrive. As long as there are writers who want to write and Actors who want to work on their craft and develop their instrument, coupled with the fact that this group works for free, Independent Theater will continue.”    …Anthony Gallo








“I think Independent Theater will be kept alive and relevant, by those who continue to have a passion for theater. I am afraid that some independent theater companies may fall by the wayside, in the current environment, but I also believe that the current environment will inspire others to get into theater to have their voice heard.”   …Ken Coughlin








“I think now more than ever, artists will try and create more independent theater as a way to be heard but will likely lack bigger venues for production. Also, if the government lessens or removes art funding, a lot of mid-size theaters that benefited from government subsidies, will become more independent with less original productions and, probably, will lean more of classics to bring people in to make the bottom line in their budget.” 
 … Eugene Kopman



“We are in a period of crisis but I believe we will prevail. Many artist’s worst fears are coming true.

The fight is on.”  

… James Crafford



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