Artists Reveal Their Theatrical Stocking Stuffers


What do you get for the theatermaker who has everything? Socks are always useful and a bottle of Scotch rarely goes amiss. Still, artists often have particular wish lists. We asked a selection of our favorites to tell us what they’d most like to see beneath their tree, beside their menorah, or under their secular humanist wrapping paper. Here are their responses:

Michael Friedman/composer I’d love to see City Opera back and alive.

Annie Baker/playwright A long-running Sibyl Kempson play. Maybe Ich, Kürbisgeist could come back every Halloween.

Sibyl Kempson/playwright For Charas on 9th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C to open back up so we can have $6 per hour rehearsal space. It’s been sitting empty for over a decade.

Young Jean Lee/playwright-director I want some company to come up with a brilliant alternative method of funding their work that the rest of us can steal.

Richard Nelson/playwright I wish for side seats and last-row seats and uncomfortable benches on which kids (or others) can see plays for nearly nothing.

Sheila Callaghan/playwright More productions by living female playwrights and playwrights of color at major theaters, please. For fuck’s sake.

Vallejo Gantner/artistic director, P.S. 122

A New York Times that can cope with the idea of multidisciplinary.

Austin Pendleton/performer-director-playwright I want two tickets to see, every other night, Mark Rylance.

Brian Rogers/artistic director, The Chocolate Factory Would love a break from all the Shakespeare. Just a small reprieve.

Erin Courtney/playwright A battalion of producers (armed with huge budgets) who only want to produce experimental theater by the likes of Karinne Keithley, Erik Ehn, Jeffrey M. Jones, Mac Wellman, Julia Jarcho, and the Wook Taut Majesty.

David Greenspan/performer-playwright

I wish more actors could make a living from their stage work.

Ayad Akhtar/playwright More Cherry Jones. More Marin Ireland. More Bill Camp. More Taylor Mac. How about as Hedda?

Taylor Mac/actor-playwright All I want for Christmas are New York productions of my two new plays: The Fre (an all-ages play about American polarization, where the audience sits in an actual mud pit) and Hir (a kitchen-sink drama about the end of patriarchy and kitchen-sink dramas).

Pam MacKinnon/director Rush-seat tickets without restrictions for $35 and under everywhere. Undersold houses of shows that people claim to want to see make me sad.

Mike Daisey/writer-performer Under my tree I’d like to see theater labor become part of the real conversation in our city.

Todd Robbins/performer A younger generation of people less interested in finding the best cupcake in Manhattan and more eager to find the best new theater work.

Evan Cabnet/director A Harry Kondoleon festival.

Jay Scheib/director I would love to have New York City Opera back. And quality high-speed Internet for The Kitchen. Santa! Help!

Richard Foreman/director-playwright Like, I’m sure, many people in NYC apartments, I’d like a way to control the winter heat in the radiators of my alternately overheated or too-cold loft. Would that facilitate more plays pouring out of me? Maybe not, but . . .

David Herskovits/artistic director, Target Margin I’d like more Queens, please. There’s the borough: the other other borough where new things can nestle and grow. There’s the party person: the big flamboyant sexually ambiguous genius loci of the theater. And there is royalty, actual royalty. Let’s crown ourselves: queens, kings, barons, and earls. No one else will.

Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska/co-artistic directors, Nature Theater of Oklahoma What we’d like to see under our Christmas tree? The best thing ever? Our two cat friends, Miles and Ancho, sleeping peacefully.