Boomerang Theatre Company
Boomerang Theatre Company is the quintessential indie theater company: scrappy, inventive, and full of talent bursting out from under the radar. What is it they do? Everything. Free outdoor Shakespeare every summer, a new works reading series every fall, and a full repertory season each year featuring classics by the likes of O’Neill, Stoppard, and Moliere, along with world premieres by up-and-coming playwrights, including The Monster Tales by Mary Jett Parsley; Substance of John AP Book V: Jack Kerouac and Giant-n-Variation, both by Francis Kuzler; The Heart Has a Mind of Its Own by Larry Kirwan; Parking Lot Lonely Heart by Colin McKenna; Endless Summer Nights by Tim Errickson; Burning the Old Man by Kelly McAllister and Fenway: Last of the Bohemians by Kelly McAllister & Lisa Margaret Holub.
In their 2010 season alone, they produced The Tempest, which was presented free to the public in several parks throughout the city; a repertory season of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, Venus Observed by Christopher Fry, the aforementioned world premiere of Endless Summer Nights by Tim Errickson—all at the Connelly Theatre; and their annual First Flight series, which featured readings of six new plays. And that is a typical season for this group.
When you go to a Boomerang show, the one thing you know for certain you are going to get is a piece of theatre that has been worked on by a group of smart, inventive, and slightly crazy artists—which is the best kind of theatre, in my opinion. Like most indie theater companies, they are nomads, wandering from theatre to theatre, making each one their home for a bit, and then moving on.
There is a long list of artists who have worked with the Boomerangs, and they are among the best indie theater has to offer, including Philip Emeott, Cailin Heffernan, Michael Criscuolo, Mike Folie, Christine Goodman, Frank Kuzler, Jennifer Larkin, Christopher Thomasson, Sue Abbot, Vinnie Penna, Reyna de Courcy, Jack Halpin, Sara Thigpen, Mac Brydon—the list is endless of super-talented people who have worked there—and they are the cornerstones of the indie theater scene in NYC.
First among equals would be Tim Errickson, artistic director from its founding. I first met Tim at a production he directed of As You Like It at the now-defunct Expanded Arts. It was a wild production, with all the genders switched and a cast of about 20 done in a storefront theatre on the Lower East Side that sat about 25. There was no backstage, no lighting grid, no nothing, really, but sheer determination to make great theatre. I think that ethic has stayed with Tim ever since.
And that ethic has served the Boomerangs well. They’ve fully produced more than 45 plays in the last ten years, including six world premieres. They’ve been nominated and won awards from OOBR, NYIT, the STAR Initiative, and WNYC. Plays that premiered with the Boomerangs have gone on to be published by NYTE, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books—and have also gone on to productions around the country and around the world. In 2008 they were awarded the NYIT Caffé Cino award, which is given to groups for consistently producing outstanding work. Who knows what the future will bring next to this intrepid group—probably a hit show off-Broadway. Whatever it is they do next, I know right now that it will be worth seeing.Published on March 12, 2011