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Web's only online theatre dictionary launches third year by collaborating with four off-Off Broadway theatre companies to produce new videos

Date: Nov 17, 2014


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In celebration of the beginning of the third year of TDF’s fun and informative online Theatre Dictionary, the not-for-profit service organization has commissioned four off-Off Broadway theatre companies (Clubbed Thumb, New York Neo-Futurists, the PIT, and F*It Club) to collaborate with TDF to create a series of humorous and inventive Theatre Dictionary videos.  Three of these new videos are being premiered today, with three additional videos to be released each month over the next several months.

Today’s premieres include videos that define “Experimental Theatre” (with Clubbed Thumb), “Heckling” (with F*It Club & the PIT), and “Understudy” (with New York Neo-Futurists).  As always, these videos will be accompanied by in-depth essays on the Theatre Dictionary site, which will provide more information to those who want to learn more about the term being defined.

“This was a liberating and exhilarating way to collaborate,” says Mark Blankenship, TDF’s online content editor and producer of the Theatre Dictionary. “The Theatre Dictionary has always been dedicated to giving theatre artists a chance to show what they can do in the online world, and I’m delighted all these great companies came on board. Even better, they’re all funny!”

For this project, TDF commissioned a group of artists from each company to come work with Blankenship and a professional videographer. Together, the team started from scratch, quickly writing and filming a series of short, humorous definitions of theatre slang. All told, the project resulted in 13 new videos.  When these new videos are all released, TDF’s theatre dictionary will boast 72 theatrical phrases and expressions

The TDF Theatre Dictionary is a video guide to common and not-so common theatre lingo. It defines theatre terms with short, original films that have been made by TDF or commissioned from performing arts institutions across North America. The videos that describe these terms are paired with in-depth essays on the term being defined, letting the TDF Theatre Dictionary act as a reference tool as well as a video art project. A blog feature also lets users respond with comments, questions, or their own definitions.
The Theatre Dictionary empowers audiences by bringing them closer to the theatre’s language, helping them to become ‘theatre insiders’. It empowers theatre artists by inviting them to make art. It sparks essential conversation by encouraging everyone to celebrate the theatre’s place in our culture.

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 87 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.4 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community and a 2013 Lucille Lortel honor for “Outstanding Body of Work” in support of the Off Broadway community. For more information, go to: