Naked Angels (theater company)
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Naked Angels is an American theater company founded in 1986 and based in New York City. It was named after John Tytell’s book about the Beat Generation, Naked Angels. It is notable for having produced plays on controversial social topics, such as the critically acclaimed Broadway transfer Next Fall, and for featuring many Hollywood stars.
Naked Angels was originally based out in a former picture-frame factory on West 17th Street in Manhattan. It "soon became the 'it' place for a generation of about-to-be famous young actors and playwrights."
One of the company's longtime efforts is "The Issues Project", featuring plays or groups of plays focusing on socially relevant issues, often in collaboration with organizations like Amnesty International, The Center for American Progress, Project A.L.S. and The Culture Project. Also known are the group's long-running "Tuesdays@9" cold reading series, where new playwrights, novelists, short-story writers, and actors get together to review work that is still being written.
Known for "glamorous parties" and "provocative productions", after the first decade the group seemed to have lost the focus on theater. In 1995 the venue on 17th Street (often called "The Place") was closed and by that time many of the early members had gone on to fame in Hollywood or on Broadway.
In an 2005 attempt to revive the company, Jenny Gersten became artistic director in February. In 2008, Geoffrey Nauffts became Artistic Director. Since then several new works have debuted, notably a set of 14 one act plays called Armed and Naked in America. relating to the effects of war. In 2011, Andy Donald became Artistic Director.
The theater company has a long list of co-founders and participants in its many productions over the years.
People identified as co-founders include:
Actors and directors:
- Jon Robin Baitz
- actress Jodie Markell
- Joe Mantello
- Ned Eisenberg
- director Jenifer Estess (Producing Director until 1993)
- director Pippin Parker (former Artistic Director)
- Toby Parker
- Tim Ransom (former Artistic Director)
- Geoffrey Nauffts (became Artistic Director in 2008)
- actress Gina Gershon
- actor Rob Morrow
- actress Mary Stuart Masterson
- actress Helen Slater
- actor and producer Fisher Stevens
- actress Marisa Tomei
- actress Nancy Travis
- actor Jeff Williams
- actress Ilana Levine
People associated with the company:
- actor Matthew Broderick and his wife actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who first started dating at Naked Angels where Sarah's brothers Toby and Pippin were co-founders 
- Actor Chris Stack
- playwright Daniel Reitz
- playwright Stephen Belber
- director Charlie Stratton
- numerous others
- For Naked Angels, the Party's Over. Time to Get Serious Again. The New York Times, May 14, 2006
- "Stage show strips war down 'Naked'", The USA Today, 2007-04-19
- A Downtown Firmament April 19, 1993, Newsweek, By Marc Peyser