Our name "The Seeing Place" is the literal translation of the Greek word for theater (theatron):
". . . the place where we go to see ourselves."
The Seeing Place is an actor-driven social justice theater company dedicated to exploring the intersection between the actor's voice and the playwright's words, by reinterpreting masterful works live and in the moment to make them relevant, visceral, truthful, and accessible to a modern audience.
We live up to our name by engaging our community in a vivid conversation about what makes us human. Connection. Learning. Humanity. That's what theater is all about.
The Seeing Place - a 501c3 charitable organization - is an ensemble company built by actors and managed by actors to be a base for actors who want to hone their craft in a creative and supportive artistic home, resulting in unparalleled dedication and excellence. Our work is artistically ambitious and deeply compelling.
The national organization, The Network of Ensemble Theatres defines an ensemble as “a group of individuals dedicated to collaborative creation, committed to working together consistently over years to develop a distinctive body of work and practices.”
A multi-award nominated ensemble, we are forcefully committed to five key elements of theatre-making:
Through private funding and public fundraising events / campaigns, The Seeing Place ensemble feverishly fundraises in advance of each production so that it can subsidize all ticket prices to just $20 per ticket. We further subsidize 50% of our tickets at lower than $20 to make sure our theater is accessible for all. The Seeing Place Theater is a 501c3 non-profit performing arts organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Click here to read our statements of diversity and inclusion.
Click here to download our 2019 Annual Report.
Click here to see a complete history of past productions: Press Page
Click Here to See Full Ensemble Bios & Headshots (or click names below for individual entries)
For theater space/location information, please visit our Contact page.
In the mid 2000s two actors took the biggest leap of their lives, moving from their comfortable hometown of San Diego to the bright shining lights of New York City. Though they arrived in New York two years apart, Brandon Walker and Erin Cronican were both focused on a singular goal: find a theater company in New York City that nurtured actors, told bold and beautiful stories, and made a social impact in their community. After several years pounding the pavement, working with companies that took advantage of their artists and placed profit over people, a new idea emerged:
What if an ensemble theater company existed where the artists ran the show, like the famed Group Theatre of the 1930s? What if these artists were able to select plays that accurately reflected the issues facing their community, and what if an emphasis were placed on education, authenticity, and social justice with programming that would be accessible and affordable for all audiences?
In 2009, The Seeing Place Theater was born to do just that.
Since then, The Seeing Place has presented over 41 full productions of Pulitzer-Prize, Tony, and Olivier Award winning plays, as well as 5 world premieres and countless staged readings, with a particular focus on stories by and about women, LGTBQIA+, BIPOC, immigrant, and disabled communities. Programming includes a robust theatermaker training program, where ensemble members are mentored in all aspects of theater-making (management, fundraising, marketing, leadership, and design) and are trained in the craft of acting on a year-round basis. The result is unparalleled excellence and dedication to theater-making and an intimacy and vulnerability on stage that only a well-knitted ensemble can provide. When an audience experiences theater at The Seeing Place, they are able to see themselves reflected in it.
Working within a carefully crafted budget (without a dollar misspent), we're able to put heavy emphasis on the story being told, using modern interpretations to bring audience and ensemble together into a single, meaningful conversation that speaks to the times we're in NOW followed by a community conversation about action steps we can take to make the world a better place.
Our founding team created this company because we couldn't find another acting ensemble in New York that placed actors at the centerpiece of storytelling. There are many writer-driven ensembles and director-driven ensembles, but when it comes down to it, it's rare for an independent company to present published work for an acting ensemble to interpret freely. Published work - work that has been tested over time - allows the focus to rest on the actor's interpretation of the material through their unique and diverse lens, creating a rich experience for audiences who want to learn, grow, and take action based on the art they see.
We also dedicate an immense amount of time developing our artists artistically. We have a bi-weekly reading series where we invite our actors (and those interested in our way of working) to collect in a room and read a play together. This allows us to build our ensemble and our knowledge of the theatrical canon and traditions passed down to us through many generations. We also present bi-weekly workshops where we offer our members advanced training in script analysis, acting technique, personal expression and character development. In our history our ensemble has workshopped five world premiere plays, developed several new directors, and offered producing contracts to 4 solo performance artists to enable them to share their work with our audiences.
Since 2009 we've committed to subsidizing general admission tickets so that all audiences can enjoy live theater for about the price of a movie. We also frequently offer free tickets to anyone that is not able to afford to see theater. This subsidization comes solely through the fundraising efforts of our ensemble - our members personally see to it that our art is accessible to all New Yorkers.
Finally, The Seeing Place is fervently involved with the community-at-large. We have successfully involved many outside communities in our play-making, ensuring their stories are being represented on our stage:
• During the pandemic of 2020, The Seeing Place created the Ripple of Change Award, bestowed upon select non-profit organizations whose missions match the social justice themes of The Seeing Place's season. Beneficieries of the Ripple of Change Award include Black Theatre Network and The Ali Forney Center.
• We worked with several labor unions in this community throughout our 2011 production of Clifford Odets' WAITING FOR LEFTY, offering $5 tickets to any card-carrying union member.
• We have brought in many community leaders to give talkbacks for our socio-political productions of HOT CRIPPLE (focusing on the problems of health insurance in the United States), A LIE OF THE MIND (focusing on domestic violence and traumatic brain injuries) and FOR PROFIT (focusing on the Student Loan Debt Crisis).
• In August 2020, The Seeing Place's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM was named the "Best Online Theater to Stream This Week" by TimeOut NY and "What To Watch" by Times Square Chronicles.
• In July 2020, the New York Times reviewed The Seeing Place's production of DUTCHMAN, publishing our photo on the front page of the print edition's Arts section.
• In July 2020 The Seeing Place launched the Ripple For Change Award to honor and acknowledge fellow non-profit organizations that are fighting for social justice causes.
• In April 2020, The Seeing Place expanded its programing to include an online Education and Outreach program, allowing for audiences acorss the country to partake in professional level acting classes and outreach activities to theater lovers of all income levels.
• ANIMAL FARM (world premiere - 2020) sold out 12 of its 14 performances, making it the highest grossing show in the theater's history.
• THE MAIDS (2019) was nominated for THREE New York Innovative Theater awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Performance by a Leading Female Actor.
• Every production in 2018 & 2019 was named a Qualifying Production by the non-profit group, Parity Productions, which tracks and honors productions that hire at least 50% women/trans women in creative team roles.
• In 2017, The Seeing Place's JACK GOES BOATING was named a Qualifying Production by the non-profit group, Parity Productions, which tracks and honors productions that hire at least 50% women/trans women in creative team roles.
• In 2017 The Seeing Place received its official 501c3 status, allowing it to forgo its outside fiscal sponsorship and apply for grants and other funding on its own. You can make a tax deductible donation here.
• In 2016, The Seeing Place was honored with a 6 month residency at Culture Project - Off-Broadway's premiere destination for socially conscious theater.
• In 2016, The Seeing Place's production of MACBETH was named a "Great Theatrical Moment of 2016" by Talkin' Broadway Critic Howard Miller, and the production was featured in TimeOut NY's "Best Off Off Broadway Shows" for the week of December 14, 2016.
• In 2015, The Seeing Place's dual productions of THE PILLOWMAN and GIDION'S KNOT were given an "Honorable Mention" in Manhattan With A Twist's "Top 10 Off and Off Off Broadway Productions of 2015" - describing the plays as, "a risk by an independent theater company that demanded our attention, and you should give it to them." The plays were also featured by the Huffington Post in an article titled, "The Weird and Wonderful Seeing Place: Top Shelf Live Theater at Rock Bottom Rates."
• In 2015, The Seeing Place's production of BOY GETS GIRL was named a "Best of 2015 in Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway Theater" by Talkin' Broadway critic Howard Miller. It, along with its companion piece BOYS' LIFE were also named "Theater Picks of the Week" by Dave Lefkowitz of Stage Buddy.
• In 2014, The Seeing Place's repertory productions of DYING CITY and TWO ROOMS were named "A deeply compelling and richly provocative theatrical venture" by Talkin' Broadway; and "An event unlike anything you've seen before" by New York Theatre Review.
• For our 5th Anniversary season (2013-2014) The Seeing Place was granted the rights to two rare revivals: MEN IN WHITE by Sidney Kingsley (Pulitzer Prize winner, 1934) and DYING CITY by Christopher Shinn (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2008.) This was DYING CITY's first revival since its original run at Lincoln Center.
• In July 2013, The Seeing Place received a New York Innovative Theater award nomination for its production of DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA (Outstanding Lead Performance - Brandon Walker.)
• In March 2013 during its production of Sam Shepard's A LIE OF THE MIND, The Seeing Place partnered with the non-profit organizations Voices of Women and Identity Theater to hold talkbacks on the subjects of violence against women and living with traumatic brain injuries.
• In November of 2012 The Seeing Place’s production of LOVE SONG was named a "Voice Choice" by the Village Voice, a “Good Odd” by Time Out NY and Cultural Capitol called it, “as close to perfect as LOVE SONG will get.”
• In August of 2012 The Seeing Place opened its first show Off-Broadway, with the extension of the critically acclaimed DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA (putting the production in contention for the prestigious Drama Desk Awards.)
• In July of 2012, The Examiner named The Seeing Place a "TOP PICK For Affordable Theater in New York."
• In February of 2012, the management team of The Seeing Place were individually named "People You Should Know" by Visible Soul.
• In September of 2011, The Seeing Place completed a successful fundraising campaign through Indiegogo, which enabled a full season of lowered ticket prices ($10-$12 General Admission) for their entire third season.
• Throughout 2011, The Seeing Place Theater's ensemble workshopped SCOTCH KISS, a new play developed entirely through improvisation. It received its first production in September of 2011.
• In March of 2011, The Seeing Place created a more comfortable home by spearheading renovations at The Sargent Theater at The American Theater of Actors.
• In October of 2010, LOOK BACK IN ANGER was named Critic's Pick for the French Quarterly in NYC.
• In February of 2010, The Seeing Place produced Hogan Gorman's one woman show, HOT CRIPPLE, which was attended by Perigree Trade Publishing, resulting in a book deal and major distribution in 2012.
• In September of 2009, The Seeing Place's inaugural show, THE CREDEAUX CANVAS, sold out it's first run, prompting a second sold-out run of the show. Playwright Keith Bunin enthusiastically attended the show, a coup for a brand new theater company.
"The Seeing Place Theater has proved to be a bold and spirited force in independent theater, producing thoughtful works that are timelessly relevant to our cultural moment... I’ve never seen a company that felt so present and so invested in their work..."
"I hope that The Seeing Place Theater continues to push the boundaries of theater in the off off Broadway community by producing thought-provoking, smart, and well-acted theatre. Oh, and tickets are only $12. You really can’t beat that.”
See more reviews by visiting our Press & Media Page.