Arnold Mittelman expands on the mission of ATF
According to Arnold Mittelman, ATF's founder and Producing Artistic Director, "You can find exceptional theater—drama, musicals, comedy, cutting-edge new works, classical works, the gamut of theater in America—all across the US. Every year with each new season America's regional theater mount productions of the highest quality."
"The problem is," Mittelman continues, "most of us don't get to see the work of these regional theaters unless, of course, we happen to live in those communities. Garnering rave notices and selling out houses, these shows close, the cast and artistic team go their separate ways, the stage manager's call book is filed away in the archives, the set goes into storage or to the city dump, costumes and props are hidden away, and the show is no more."
"At the same time, many presenting theaters across America are often dark. What we are trying to do at ATF is to move the extraordinary regional theater productions that truly deserve extended life—move them intact—to communities and venues with otherwise underserved audiences—audiences eager for fare apart from Broadway shows on tour, audiences that would never have the opportunity to enjoy these jewels of America's regional theater," Mittelman says.
How does the not-for-profit ATF fit into this scenario? What role does it play? "Matchmaker," asserts Mittelman. Drawing on his 40-plus years experience as an artistic producer staging not-for-profit regional theater, numerous co-productions with other regional theaters, and many shows that moved on to New York—Broadway and off-Broadway—as well as London, Mittelman seeks to intensively and interactively establish relationships between producing regional theaters and presenting venues. "We must identify the exceptional work and match it with venues and ticket-buying audiences across America that will give these deserving shows the extended life they deserve."
OUR MISSION: American Theater Festival, a not-for-profit company which provides outreach for extraordinary regional theater productions by identifying exceptional work and matching it with other venues and audiences across America giving these deserving shows a continued life.
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