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Artistic Director of the Flea Jim Simpson, with presenter Mario Fratti and the Flea Producing Director, Carol Ostrow

2005 Recipient - The Flea Theatre

The Flea Theater was founded in 1996 as a small downtown theater in the heart of Tribeca. It has since evolved into a bustling multi-disciplinary performance complex and an active member of the lower Manhattan community. Widely known for its early support of emerging innovators such as Sarah East Johnson, Kathy Supove, and Big Dance Theater, the Flea is also recognized for presenting the experimental work of such established artists as Len Jenkin, A.R. Gurney, Irene Worth, Karen Finley, Sigourney Weaver, and Swoosie Kurtz. The Flea's mission is to present edgy and distinctive work that raises the standards of off-off-Broadway for artists and audiences alike, in an environment that is professional, welcoming, and intimate. The Flea has been honored with two Obie Awards and, in May of 2004, a Drama Desk Award for distinguished achievement. Non-institutional and resolutely non-commercial, the Flea embodies the spirit of adventure and experiment that has always defined off-off-Broadway. It maintains an open-door policy for artists, which it believes is crucial to keeping New York theatre vital. Part playground, part laboratory, and part training ground, the Flea has been a home where established artists can take risks that the commercial theatre will not allow, emerging artists can develop their ideas, and mid-career artists can build their audiences.