Support The Chocolate Factory Theater

Update (December 12, 2020): $5,000 raised from 80 individual donors!

Lately I’ve been reflecting on the meaning – or I should say, anti-meaning – of the words “norm” and “normal”, as in: the “new normal”, the “return to normal”, the “erosion of norms” (e.g. Trump) etc – words that have been stacked and sliced into such a dizzying array of incongruities that everything they touch is rendered, by the mere fact of association, supremely empty.

The world has never been “normal” and I do not wish to live in a world that pretends otherwise. Yes, this is a fundraising appeal.

This has been a crazy time; we are learning to embrace uncertainty even more deeply than we did before this mess (VUCA, anyone?) – which was, to be clear, pretty deep. And we are finding ways to truly, meaningfully support artists and our community with money, time, space, partnership and mutual aid. Nothing has really changed in that regard. The work and sustenance of artists comes first.

The Chocolate Factory is, even now, a scrappy enterprise among a community of scrappy enterprises. And though we consistently punch above our weight class, year after year, our scrappiness is a feature, not a bug. We can change course and bend to the point of breaking and double down on the things that matter. Artists matter.

This “season”, we have paid commissioning funds to artists. We have paid their collaborators an hourly wage. We have provided space and time for research and reflection. We have initiated partnerships with a few amazing local and national organizations (each of which is deserving of your support, btw). And there is so much more to come.

This has been a year of challenges for everyone (understatement of the century, ha!) but also of major achievements and incremental progress – more on that below. Please join us in embracing these challenges – and these achievements – by helping us to meet our year-end fundraising goal of $15,000 with a gift of any size. We can’t do it without you. And thank you in advance. We love you.


In Fall 2020, we:

  • Supported the creation of a new film/internet based project by Daria Faïn;
  • Co-presented the first phase of a new work by luciana achugar (co-commissioned with PICA);
  • Hosted live streamed performances by Justin Allen (with Taja Cheek and Savannah Harris, co-presented with Issue Project Room) and Laura Ortman; 
  • Presented a pop up performance by Yackez as part of Off Broadway In The Boros;
  • Hosted early stage creative residencies by Martita Abril and Angie Pittman;
  • and are presently housing (literally) Andrea Kleine for the creation of her new work The End Is Not What I Thought It Would Be.

In the coming months, Laurie BergLeslie Cuyjet, Larissa Velez-JacksonMillie Kapp + Matt ShalziSibyl Kempson (co-commission with Abrons Arts Center), Abigail Levine, Aya Ogawa (co-presentation with Japan Society), and David Thomson will each receive financial, technical and administrative support to conduct artistic research and/or create new work. Having invested in short term facilities upgrades to meet COVID safety guidelines, The Chocolate Factory’s current and (as yet unrenovated) future spaces will be made available to these artists on an ongoing basis throughout the next 12 months.

Tess Dworman, whose recent work A Child Retires was commissioned by The Chocolate Factory and premiered in December 2019 (aka “the before times”) received a Bessie nomination.

Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed by David Neumann and Marcella Murray received an Obie Award.

We are nearing the completion of Design and Construction Documents for our new permanent facility (shout out to Ayon Studio, Bankhead Real Estate, and our amazing team of design professionals), supported by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

With major support from the Lambent Foundation, we are now paying all lead artists, performers, designers and technicians an hourly wage for all residency weeks within The Chocolate Factory’s spaces.

The Onassis Foundation invited us to curate this.