Every day in New York City, hundreds of companies and thousands of artists make innovative and deeply original work in independent (downtown or Off-Off Broadway) theaters. This diverse community is the research and development wing of the American theater.
The independent theater sector is a breeding ground of artistic and managerial innovation with influence far beyond its means or visibility. It’s where Sam Shepard, Edward Albee, Eugene O’Neill, Tony Kushner, Al Pacino, Martin Sheen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Judith Malina, Maria Irene Fornes, Jean- Claude Van Itallie, Lanford Wilson, Charles L. Mee, Jr., Amiri Baraka, Charles Busch, Bernadette Peters, Michael Greif, Sarah Ruhl, Allison Janney, Alex Timbers, Elizabeth Meriwether, Moises Kaufman, Michael Emerson and Mindy Kaling began their careers. The place where Genet and Ionesco were first seen in America. The place where Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons, Hair and Urinetown got their starts.
We celebrate independent theater in New York City — a living cultural treasure — with the LIT Fund, a mechanism for its self-sustainability.
MISSION. The LIT FUND protects, sustains and strengthens independent theater presented in the five boroughs of New York City. In addition to granting vital financial resources to theater companies and individual artists, we stimulate the growth of independent theater by seeding projects that support and develop the community as a whole.