The Collective unites professional artists who share a responsibility to create work in the contemporary American Theatre that is emotionally truthful, socially relevant, and defiantly accessible.
The company was established in the tradition of the Group Theatre out of a belief that the current conditions of commercialized theatre necessitate collective action.
Commitment to a permanent ensemble distinguishes The Collective. Through a shared vocabulary, uniform technique, and continual practice, the group pursues a common purpose: to establish a theatre that is uncompromising, relevant, and inclusive.
The Collective began in 2007, when several recent graduates of the William Esper Studio came together to continue to create and produce work that built on their recent training and the strengths and talents of their colleagues. The parting advice to many of the graduates was to 'create your own work' as a way of taking control over one's career. The Collective exists to provide a network and a place where these individuals can showcase their talents.
Eugène Ionesco's classic absurdist comedy "The Lesson" was The Collective's first stage production, and was presented at Center Stage, NY in the Fall of 2007. The response from audiences and colleagues was incredibly positive, and interest in The Collective increased ten-fold. The immediate question became: 'What are you doing next?'
Maura O'Brien of Off Off Online noted in her review of the production: "The Lesson is the Collective's first production... It's exciting to think about how the group will apply such fierce energy to other works."
The Collective continues to actively pursue and develop new work.