Oct 24, 2020

Coffeehouse Chronicles Revisited: Robert Patrick

Curated by Michal Gamily
Educational Outreach by Arthur Adair
Photo by Diana Lundin

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From The Archive: Robert Patrick Coffeehouse Chronicles Revisited

Series Director Michal Gamily is joined live by Robert Patrick as they revisit Robert’s previous Coffeehouse Chronicles celebrating the work and career of Robert Patrick with panelists, archival footage, and live performances. This program originally aired live at La MaMa on February 4, 2017.

Moderator: William M. Hoffman

Panelists: Michael McGrinder, Natalie H. Rogers, Jordan Beswick, Carol Nelson, Magie Dominic and Jason Jenn


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Robert Patrick (Playwright) started producing plays at La MaMa in 1965 under the artistic commission of Ellen Stewart. By 1972 Samuel French dubbed him “New York’s Most Produced Playwright.” Bob was a leader in the Off-Broadway theater movement and had his play Kennedy’s Children produced on Broadway in 1975, which is set for revival this year.

Jordan Beswick trained with Michael Moriarty, Mira Rostova, Stephen Strimpell, Sandy Dennis, Shelley Winters, Sally Kirkland, Frederick Combs, Earl Hyman, Amy Wright, William Hickey, and Guy Stockwell and was a finalist for membership at the Actors Studio. Vocally he trained with Marni Nixon, and William & Irene Chapman. He studied playwrighting with Robert Patrick and Milan Stitt. His directing credits include productions in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Belgium, Berlin, Brazil, and North Carolina of his own plays, as well as those by noted playwrights Robert Patrick, Paula Vogel, Claudia Shear, Lanford Wilson, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Albert Innuarato, Jane Willis, Lyle Kessler. His plays have been presented in such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington D.C.), the Riverside Studios (London), the Lucernaire (Paris), the Manufacture des Abbesses (Paris), the West Bank (NYC), the Celebration Theatre (West Hollywood). As an acting instructor he’s worked at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute (New York – 4 years), Studio VO/VF (Paris – 13 years), the Institut für Schauspiel Film und Fernsehberufe (Berlin – 10 years, present), the Manufacture des Abbesses (Paris – 3 years, present), the Actors Centre (London – 3 years, present), Film Workshop and Laboratory (NC – 3 years), Greensboro Performing Arts (NC – 1 year). In casting he’s worked alongside such respected casting directors as Douglas Aibel (DEAD MAN WALKING, THE YARDS, SIGNS, THE CRADLE WILL ROCK, A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES), Sheila Jaffe & Georgianne Walken (DENICE CALLS UP, THE DAYTRIPPERS), Avy Kaufman (FORTY SHADES OF BLUE), and independently (URBANIA, GETTING TO KNOW YOU, DEAD DOG, YOU BELONG TO ME, SEASIDE); and his theatre casting credits include numerous productions for such award winning venues as the Vineyard Theatre, the Drama Department, BAM/Next Wave Festival, New York Stage and Film. Literary assignments included reading and evaluating scripts for New Dramatists, Circle Rep, New York Theatre Workshop and Second Stage. Jordan is a proud member of the Casting Society of America (C.S.A.)

Magie Dominic, a Newfoundland writer, artist and actress, studied at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and lives in New York. Her memoirs “The Queen of Peace Room” and “Street Angel” have been nominated for the Canadian Women’s Studies Award, Book of the Year Award-ForeWord Magazine, The Judy Grahn Award and received the Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Book Award. She was nominated for the Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Award. She is one of the early members of the Off-Off Broadway movement and was co-Curator of the Astor Gallery Lincoln Center exhibition “Caffe Cino and Its Legacy” in 1985. She has established “The Magie Dominic / Caffe Cino Collection” at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Her writing and art archives are with New York University Fales Library Permanent Collection. She co-authored “H. M. Koutoukas Remembered by His Friends” a collection of stories about the pivotal playwright H.M. Koutoukas. She has one daughter Heather Rose.  Her artwork has been exhibited in Toronto and New York including a presentation at The United Nations.

Michal Gamily is an Israeli born actress, activist, producer director . Michal Gamily was 19-years-old when she refused to serve in the Israeli army in the occupied territories. She has worked as an actress in film, TV and on stage in both Israel and the United States. For the last 22 years, Michal has worked for LaMama ETC as an actress, producer and archivist. Founder of No Visa Productions, Michal s produced the Contemporary Israeli Dance Festival at LaMama. For the past 4 years Michal is the Series Director of the Coffeehouse Chronicles.

Jason Jenn is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist, performer, writer, director, producer, video editor, creative consultant, and avowed protean-of-many-trades. He also goes by the moniker Troubadour Trixter to engage in creating provocative, uplifting, and imaginative performances for stage and video. In recent years he has toured in association with presenting staged interpretations of queer poetry by Harold Norse, James Broughton, Paul Monette, Jean Cocteau, and C.P. Cavafy. He trained and worked with performance theatre maverick Rachel Rosenthal for 7 years. He so enjoys his friendship with fellow theatrical cohort and acappella singer, Robert Patrick, that he produced Bob’s three most recent one-man shows and is working on a documentary film about Bob’s influence on/involvement in the current LA Underground Theatre scene.

Michael McGrinder’s first production, a double-bill of one-act plays, was given life 50 years ago—possibly to the day, dates are uncertain, but it was in February 1967 at The Playwrights Workshop. He later began showing his work at the Old Reliable Theatre Tavern. His plays were also produced at such leading Off-Off venues as here at La Mama, Bastiano’s Cellar, The Playbox Studio, and at The Library Theatre of Lincoln Center—as well as high schools and colleges. And prisons. (He was not a resident.) In 2006 he led a Coffee House Chronicle with a panel from The Old Reliable. He published Proscenium, a newsletter which The Village Voice described as “Off-Off talking to itself.” He thinks it was a compliment.  He also hosted a weekly cable TV show of the same name presenting excerpts from Off-Off shows and interviews with the production’s writer, director and actors. Michael McGrinder’s plays have been published by The Smith, And/Or Books, Breakthrough Press and Dramatics Magazine, and in the anthology The Scene.. His concern for the preservation of vital plays from the early years of Off-Off-Broadway led to his founding The Old Reliable Press, online as oldreliableprss.com. The Press has to date published plays by Robert Patrick, William M. Hoffman, Guy Gauthier, Ilsa Gilbert, Stanley Nelson and Phoebe Wray. He has several projects in the works, including a memoir about his involvement with early Off-Off. He has a growing list of books available online at amazon.com and smashwords.com.

Carol Nelson has been doing theatre in NYC for many years, appearing in many venues.  She has worked at LaMama, Theatre for the New City, Irish Repertory Company and Wings Theatre.  She was a founding member of the 4th E. Theatre Company which worked on East 4th Street for many years.  She has originated roles in plays by Robert Patrick, Terry Talley and Clint Jeffries.  Also, and favorite, she appeared in many plays written for her by her late husband of 31 years, playwright Steven Nelson.

Natalie H. Rogers ,Actress, director, published author ,Psychotherapist  Poet with her husband Harold Herbstman was the  Artistic Director of the Dove theatre company,at Saint Peters Church in Chelsea.The Dove ,an Anti-War experimental  theatre company was the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council For the Arts. Recently Natalie performed her one woman show “Too Much Of A Good Thing “ for two years at the Shetler studios  from 0/12 to 0 14. Natalie is an MSW with a scholarship from Columbia University, a Behavioral Psychotherapist and a World Class expert in the area of performance anxiety .Her book “Talkpower the Mind Body Way to Speak Without Fear” has been published in14 languages ,most recently in Saudi Arabia (Jarir Books).She is the president and Founder of Talkpower  Training seminars,and conducts workshops that introduce her innovative mind /body  approach to people who have high anxiety  about speakng in  public or avoid speaking in public altogether .This includes actors with high levels of performance anxiety. She travels internationally  with her workshops, most recently 8 times in two years  to China where she has collaborated with a Chinese entrepreneur to open several Talkpower schools.

Coffeehouse Chronicles


Coffeehouse Chronicles is an educational performance series exploring the history of Off-Off-Broadway. Part artist-portrait, part history lesson, and part community forum, Coffeehouse Chronicles take an intimate look at the development of downtown theatre, from the 1960s’ “Coffeehouse Theatres” through today.

Online Happenings


Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.

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