Retro Productions is a New York City based Off-Off-Broadway theater company. Its artistic director is Heather E. Cunningham, an actress and producer whose performance as Rose Walker in the Retro production An Appeal to the Woman of the House by Christie Perfetti Williams won her a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role.
Retro Productions' mission is to produce works of "Retro Theater," mainly straight plays that take place in the 20th century  and is not to be confused with Gary Wright Music c/o Retroprods which is a NYC based Arts-in-Education provider responsible for "The Great American POP Show! A Lively History of Popular Song in the USA" and "Singing BOOKS! A Musical Magical Carpet Ride Through Classic Children's Literature."
The company was formed in 2005 under the original name River Heights Productions. Under this name the company produced two plays: Catholic School Girls by Casey Kurtti and Mrs. California by Doris Baizley. The production of Mrs. California was the New York City premiere.
Following the production of Mrs. California, River Heights Productions was dissolved and renamed Retro Productions.
Since then the company has become a resident theater company of the Spoon Theater and produces two shows per year at the 38th street space in Manhattan. It has also acquired twenty-one company members who regularly perform in, design, direct, and stage manage the productions. When the Spoon Theater closed, the company became "gypsies" - moving from venue to venue based on the needs of the show.
In 2009 they produced the New York premiere of Holy Days by Sally Nemeth.
In May 2010 they mounted the World Premiere of Women and War by Jack Hilton Cunningham.
In 2014 they produced the World Premiere of An Appeal to the Woman of the House by Christie Perfetti Williams.
Productions and Awards
Retro Productions has been nominated for a total of 21 New York Innovative Theatre Awards since the company was founded, winning two.
In 2014 Retro was nominated for three awards: Outstanding Premiere Production, Outstanding Full Length Script (Christie Perfetti Williams) and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role (Heather E. Cunningham - who won this honor) for An Appeal to the Woman of the House.
In 2012 Casandera MJ Lollar was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role for playing Sister Rita in The Runner Stumbles.
In 2011 they received four nominations: Outstanding Production of Benefactors by Michael Frayn as well as Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role for Kristen Vaughan (who won that honor that year) and Heather E. Cunningham, and Outstanding Ensemble. The fourth nomination was for the Set Design for Dear Ruth, designed by Jeff Stander.
Six nominations were given in honor of their May 2010 production of The Desk Set by William Marchant. Included were nominations for Outstanding Set Design (Rebecca Cunningham), Outstanding Costume Design (Viviane Galloway), Outstanding Sound Design (Jeanne Travis), Innovative Design (Heather E. Cunningham and Casandera M.J. Lollar for Properties Design), and Outstanding Leading Actress (Kristen Vaughan).
In 2008, five nominations were awarded for their production of Mill Fire by Sally Nemeth. They included nominations for Outstanding Leading Actress (Lauren Kelston), Outstanding Leading Actress (Kristen Vaughan), Outstanding Lighting Design (Kerrie Lovercheck), Outstanding Set Design (Jack and Rebecca Cunningham), and Outstanding Sound Design (Amy Altadonna). Their sixth nomination that year was for Outstanding Costume Design (Rebecca Cunningham) for their production of What I Did Last Summer by A.R. Gurney.
In 2007 Heather E. Cunningham's portrayal of Cheryl in Still Life: A Documentary by Emily Mann was named a 2007 Back Stage Performance to Remember.
List of Productions
- Catholic School Girls by Casey Kurtti (as River Heights Productions), March 2005
- Mrs. California by Doris Baizley (as River Heights Productions), March 2006
- Still Life: A Documentary by Emily Mann, March 2007
- What I Did Last Summer by A.R. Gurney, November 2007
- Mill Fire by Sally Nemeth, May 2008
- The Tender Trap by Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith, November 2008
- When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? by Mark Medoff, May 2009
- Holy Days by Sally Nemeth, November 2009
- Women and War by Jack Hilton Cunningham, May 2010
- The Desk Set by William Marchant, May 2010
- Benefactors by Michael Frayn, November 2010
- Dear Ruth by Norman Krasna, May 2011
- The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt, November 2011 and May 2012
- A Day in the Death of Joe Egg by Peter Nichols, May 2013
- The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel, November 2013
- An Appeal to the Woman of the House by Christie Perfetti Williams, May 2014
- "2014 New York Innovative Theatre Awards Recipients" http://www.nyitawards.com/news/newsitem.asp?storyid=387
- Deliso, Meredith. "Brooklyn Troupe Keeps it all in the Family for 'Summer'" Courier Life, November 1, 2007.
- The 2010 Nominees are...: http://nyitawards.com/news/newsitem.asp?storyid=177
- 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Awards Nominees and Recipients: http://www.nyitawards.com/anr/2008honorees.asp