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Exciting & Inexpensive Theatre: 15 Shows to See Off-Off Broadway This October

By: Andrew Block
Date: Oct 13, 2023

Catch a new musical about a real-life genderless evangelist, a feminist look at the Harlem Renaissance, shows in Korean and Hebrew and more


Adventurous audiences know that some of the biggest theatrical thrills are found on NYC's smallest stages. These shows are also great for theatregoers on a budget. In fact, TDF members can see dozens of Off-Off Broadway productions for as little as $11! Not a TDF member? Consider joining our Go Off-Off and Beyond program, which gives you access to discount tickets to indie theatre, music and dance performances for a one-time fee of five bucks.

If you're a TDF member, log in to your account daily to see what we're selling as ticket inventory changes frequently.


14Y Theater: Best Friends - begins October 4

14Y Theater, 344 East 14th Street between First and Second Avenues in the East Village

Begins October 4. Closes October 28.

Part of the Stav Festival, a celebration of Israeli arts and culture at the 14th Street Y, Best Friends is a bittersweet exploration of what brings people together and tears them apart, as three former BFFs reluctantly reunite and parse the ups and downs of their 20-year relationship. Written by the late Israeli playwright Anat Gov, the production is performed in English or Hebrew at different times, so be sure to check the schedule carefully.


Axis Theatre Company: Rip Tide - begins October 4

Axis Theatre Company, 1 Sheridan Square at Washington Place in the West Village

Begins October 4. Closes October 28.

Singular storyteller Edgar Oliver returns to Axis Theatre Company with Rip Tide, a solo celebration of the East Village in the early '80s, especially the late, lamented Pyramid Club on Avenue A where the performer got his start. Oliver has an uncanny ability to conjure people and places long gone so vividly, you come away feeling like you were there, partying alongside them. Oliver's longtime collaborator Randy Sharp directs this sensational séance.


Boomerang Theatre Company: The Great Divide - begins October 5

HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue at Dominick Street in Soho

Begins October 5. Closes October 22. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Playwright-performer Amy Crossman has extensive experience in Shakespeare, improv and clowning. Sounds like the perfect background for her new solo show The Great Divide, an amusing and empathetic exploration of suicide and its aftermath. What happens to those left behind? How do they ever love or laugh again? Scott Ebersold directs this world premiere for Boomerang Theatre Company.


The Pool Plays 3.0 - begins October 8

59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues in Midtown East

Begins October 8. Closes October 28. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets to Antiquated F*ckery.

A trio of intriguing world premieres are running in rep as The Pool Plays 3.0, a unique, artist-led initiative that helps playwrights produce their own work. This year's edition consists of Jessica Charles' Antiquated F*ckery about two aspiring Black queer theatre performers dismissed as too Black or not Black enough; Naren Weiss' history-inspired dark comedy Two Brown Porters about the 12 hours when the priceless Koh-i-Noor diamond went missing in Delhi in 1850; and Andrea Stolowitz's The Berlin Diaries, which explores the fates of her ancestors lost to the Holocaust.


Headwall Theatre Company: 1 in 4 - begins October 12

Court Square Theater, 44-02 23rd Street between 44th Road and 44th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens

Begins October 12. Closes October 21. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $13 tickets.

Michelle Orosz and B.J. Boothe's new dramedy delves into the grief of miscarriage as an almost-40-year-old woman struggles to become a mom for the second time. Although a widespread occurrence—one in four, as the title says—it's rarely discussed. This world premiere presented by Headwall Theatre Company aims to combat that stigma.


Chasing Happy - begins October 11

Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 11. Closes November 11. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $29.50 tickets.

Michel Wallerstein's new comedy about looking for joy in all the wrong places centers on Nick, a fifty-something architect grappling with a plastic surgery-obsessed ex-wife, a famous dead boyfriend and a last-chance love affair with a much-younger man who comes with a possessive boyfriend. Punch lines and epiphanies ensue in this wacky, sitcom-style play—cue the scantily clad hunk and a sad man in a bunny suit!


The Brick: Room, Room, Room, in the many Mansions of eternal glory for Thee and for everyone - begins October 12

The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue near Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Begins October 12. Closes October 28.

A genderqueer collective of artists is behind this acoustic pop-folk opera about Public Universal Friend, a real-life 18th-century preacher who was raised Quaker but, after a life-changing vision, claimed to have been reborn as a genderless evangelist. This time-hopping, genre-defying tuner explores Public Universal Friend's trailblazing life as well as the experiences of gender-nonconforming folks trying to navigate the world today.


Brick Aux: This Show Is My Funeral - begins October 13

Brick Aux, 628 Metropolitan Avenue between Lorimar and Leonard Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Begins October 13. Closes October 21.

When comedian and New Yorker humorist Josephine Simple began to transition, they knew there would be challenges. But they were surprised and annoyed that so many friends referred to their former self as dead. This solo comedy serves as a send-off for Simple's old life as well as an examination of death, rebirth and reinvention.


Randomly Specific Theatre: Good Night, Baby Girl - begins October 13

The Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 13. Closes October 22. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.

Sometimes a stranger can change your entire perspective. Vivian believes she is content. She loves her husband and her job teaching yoga. But when she decides to mentor a pregnant teen in her class, Vivian begins to question everything about her own life. Randomly Specific Theatre presents this complex new play by Larry Phillips.


The SuperGeographics: Helen. - begins October 13

La MaMa's The Downstairs, 66 East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village

Begins October 13. Closes October 29. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.

Two endlessly innovative downtown theatre companies, La MaMa and En Garde Arts, present this funny, feminist reinvention of the myth of Helen of Troy as she sets out to seek adventure only to be repeatedly stymied by men, gods and societal constraints. Caitlin George's imaginative rewrite reclaims the stories of Helen and her sisters from patriarchal history.


JACK: To the Ends of the Earth / 땅끝까지 - begins October 13

JACK, 20 Putnam Avenue between Grand and Downing Streets in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Begins October 13. Closes October 28.

Masks are required at all performances.

Jeesun Choi's new bilingual two-hander explores the Korean diaspora through a freewheeling conversation between a pair of strangers. Or are they mother and daughter? Or BFFs or frenemies? Their identities are mutable in this play interrogating the knotty issue of identity.


New Federal Theatre: Telling Tales Out of School - begins October 17

Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 17. Closes November 12.

Three Black literary legends, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen and Jessie Fauset, and their ally and editor Nancy Cunard reunite at the 1954 memorial service for Alain Locke, the so-called Dean of the Harlem Renaissance. It's been 20 years since they've seen each other and they gather afterward for tea and talk. Wesley Brown's world-premiere play offers a fresh look at an iconic cultural movement through the eyes of four women who didn't always get their due. Woodie King, Jr. directs this production for his New Federal Theatre.


Ensemble Studio Theatre: Redwood - begins October 18

Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 18. Closes November 18.

Brittany K. Allen wrote and stars in Redwood, a provocative new play about a DNA-fueled discovery that rocks an interracial couple and their respective families. How do you plan a future when your past isn't what you thought? Mikhaela Mahony directs this smart exploration of identity and history.


The Tank: Use Your Words - begins October 23

The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 23. Closes November 13. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.

Karen Eleanor Wight's new solo show is a silent celebration of new mothers. In five wordless scenes, Wight, an actor, mime and mom, conveys the agony and the comedy of caring for an infant. Don't worry, no actual babies were harmed during the making of this deliriously funny physical theatre piece.


Off the Wall Productions: #UGLYCRY - begins October 26

The Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Begins October 26. Closes November 18.

In Katie Mack's interactive solo show, she uses social media to try to raise the dead—specifically her real-life ex Eric Anthamatten, who was murdered while intervening during a robbery. Bring your phones as she enlists the audience's help in this meditation on loss in the age of Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.


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Andrew Block is an Ovation Award-winning director who hails from New Orleans and now works primarily with the vibrant NYC independent theatre community. He also serves as TDF's Manager of Off & Off-Off Broadway Services.