Bob Heiide’s review of Marshall Mason’s book, The Transcendent Years: Circle Rep Theater and The 60s

Maria Irene Fornes
1930 – 2018

October 30

Received my copy of Kembrew McLeod’s
“THE DOWNTOWN POP UNDERGROUND —New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock ‘n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture” this past weekend. Started to read and didn’t come up for air until two hours later. It’s that well written. I’m pleased that I was able to contribute in a small way to the book’s creation and, more broadly, that such an incredible time is lovingly depicted on a grand canvas.


William M. Hoffman’s opera


at the Eldridge Street Synagogue

On Site Opera, known for its compelling site-specific performances, presents its latest production March 21–22 and 25: Ricky Ian Gordon’s newly-commissioned chamber opera Morning Star. The libretto by William M. Hoffman is based on the play by Sylvia Regan.

The work tells the story of an immigrant Jewish family on Manhattan’s Lower East Side whose lives are changed by the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. The New York premiere takes place at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, placing the audience members in the pews once occupied by the immigrant families like those in the opera.

Conducted by Geoffrey McDonald, the opera is performed in English with chamber orchestration by Tony-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin.

Congratulations to

Guy Gauthier

on his double success

a the Winnipeg International Writers Festival

Presentation of his play

The Hobby Horse

(Le Cheval de Bois)

French translation by Charles Leblanc

directed by Bertrand Nayet

produced by J. R. Léveillé

featuring Katrine Deniset, Gabriel Gosselin, and Janique Lavallée

performed at The Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain in Saint-Boniface

Guy was also featured reading from his journal

in Voices from Oodena at Theatre of Young Canadians.

To view Guy Gauthier’s Old Reliable Press page click here.

Congratulations to

Robert Heide

on the publication of his

25 Plays

published by Fast Books.

Robert Heide is an iconic veteran of early Off-Off-Broadway

with plays produced at the Caffe Cino and at La Mama.

We are saddened to report the passing of

William M. Hoffman

1939 – 2017

a major talent and a wonderful person.

He will be missed.

OFF-CENTER, the Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project

Robert Heie and John Gilman

Marshall W. Mason

Michael McGrinder

Barbara Montgomery

Robert Patrick

Albert Poland

Primary Stages



La MaMa E.T.C.

3-5 pm

First Floor Theatre

74a East 4th Street

Coffeehouse Chronicles #140:

Robert Patrick

Up By Wednesday

In honor of Robert Patrick’s Coffeehouse Chronicle at La MaMa, the new Kindle edition of this collection of four of his early one-act plays is available from amazon.com at the special rate of $0.99 through February 14 Valentine’s Day. It then zooms back up to the regular $2.99.
Print edition is available at $5.49.


Now available in a glossy paperback edition and as a Kindle and all other forms of e-readers including Nook and Kobo.

For all other e-readers, please go to Smashwords

Four one-acts by Robert Patrick, early Off-Off-Broadway’s most produced playwright.

Three castaways in Un Bel Di (3 m or 3 f), more at-sea than they realize, find that their temperaments are more difficult to deal with than the elements.

Oooooops!!! (2 m.) is iconic of the sixties when the word peace was confrontational, and so a young man is killed in front of Congress for impudence.

In Tarquin Truthbeauty (1 m, 1 f), two scientists from a world-wide conspiracy attempt to destroy all beauty.

Simultaneous Transactions (2 m, 2 f, 4 children) returns to the anti-war sentiment of the time, with children being taught to hate by parents who may not realize what they’re doing.


UPDATE: July 7 2016

Medical contingencies have put all activities of The Old Reliable Press on hold for about a month from this date. It could be a bit longer. We regret this includes publication of William M. Hoffman’s X’s.

Most of our books continue to be available from amazon.com

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Phoebe Wray. She directed my first production, and we would work together a few more times. We have remained friends since meeting in 1966: that’s half a century of friendship. I still consider Phoebe the best director I’ve ever known, and I learned a great deal from her, especially about working with light and space. Rest in Peace, Phoebe.

– Michael McGrinder

Relive the Dream!

Xs front cover

June 1 2016

Enjoyed a delightful conversation this afternoon with X’s (as it is familiarly called) author William M. Hoffman, in which we recalled the wonderful creative freedom we enjoyed during Off-Off’s early years. Bill lamented, “I don’t write like that anymore! I wish I did.” I wish someone did. We talked of how the plays from that exciting era that have become mainstream are the conservative works of risk-takers. I joked that the next theatrical revolution would probably be the well-made three-act domestic drama, getting a howl of laughter from Bill who hoped it wouldn’t be four acts.
Publication of X’s has clearly been delayed. One (but only one) of the reasons is Bill has been busy closing up the Soho apartment in favor of permanent residency in upstate New York. The good news is Bill has completed proofreading the galley (along with some minor editing); the obverse is I now have to make the actual corrections. I’ll try to be quick. I’m looking forward to publishing this one. I started The Old Reliable Press so that we wouldn’t lose plays such as X’s.

March 17 2016

Phoebe Wray‘s wonderful and touching ten-women play is now available in print and as a Kindle edition.

The Mulberry Bush


Update: Off-Off Oral History Project

from February 17/Spent a delightful afternoon being interviewed for The Primary Stages Oral History Project. I’m told by Executive Producer Casey Childs we can expect all interviews to be accessible online in about four or five months.

March 1 2016

I just received the DVD. I seem not to have embarrassed myself, even provided a few fun moments. What I find most interesting is hearing my own development through the Off-Off years: a credit to Casey’s interviewing techniques. I look forward to the edited version being available online and to seeing the other interviews. I’m Number 59 in the series.

February 17 2016

Spent a delightful afternoon being interviewed for The Primary Stages Oral History Project. I’m told by Executive Producer Casey Childs we can expect all interviews to be accessible online in about four or five months. Other interviewees have been George Bartenieff, Tanya Berezin, Paul Foster, Arthur French, John Guare, Judith Malina, Marshall W. Mason, Lynne Meadow, Charles L. Mee,, Robert Patrick, Albert Poland, and Jean-Claude van Itallie. Something to look forward to. It was also nice to see Sally Plass again.

All books from The Old Reliable Press are now priced at


Kindle editions remain at a super-affordable

$0.99 each

Prices for all markets outside USA adjusted accordingly.

Phoebe Wray is looking for the names of any actresses who appeared in the original production of her play The Mulberry Bush at The Old Reliable. Jere Jacobs and Jean Forest were two of the ten talented ladies. Can anyone help with the names of the others? Leave a message here or click on Phoebe’s name above to contact her directly. Thanks.

In the works right now

Phoebe Wray’s

The Mulberry Bush

William M. Hoffman’s





Original 1969 Old Reliable Theatre Poster

xs program reworked

We’re going digital and glossy.
Epubs, too!

This is exciting and great news.

The Old Reliable Press is now converting all publications to glossy paperbacks and to ebooks, as well as to epub format.

As an added bonus, prices will be reduced.

Now available in print through amazon.com:

Michael McGrinder’s
The Foreigners

Stanley Nelson’s
Mr. Optometrist

Ilsa Gilbert’s
A Dialogue Between Didey Warbucks And Mama Vaseline

William M. Hoffman’s
A Quick Nut Bread To Make Your Mouth Water

Published on May 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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