Filmmaker Lawrence Page has bought and renovated downtown venue The Actors’ Playhouse with the intention of producing a reality TV skein about thesps putting on dueling legit shows.
Auditions for the TV show, to be called “The Actors’ Playhouse,” are already underway. According to Page, thesp participants will eventually be winnowed down into two teams of five that will write, direct, design, produce and market competing productions that will play in the 165-seat Playhouse.
Page said he is in talks to find a home for the TV show, but no details or timeline have been nailed down.
The filmmaker (“Confessions,” “Murda Muzik”) bought the Playhouse for about $600,000 three months ago, he said, and has completed renovations to the previously rundown venue including new air conditioning and a reinforced stage.
Page plans to rent out the Playhouse when it’s not in use for his own projects, with its first rental occupant expected in the next month.
The TV skein would eventually culminate in full stage shows to play at the Playhouse, with a cash prize going to the offering that draws the biggest crowds.
Episodes would detail the struggles of the teams to mount their productions. “We’re going to have to show the nuts and bolts of the theater, and the catfights,” Page said.
Last occupant in the Playhouse, located in Greenwich Village, was “Gutenberg! The Musical!” in 2007.