Monday, November 1, 2010

'Knitting' together a theater community

Joseph Hendel (center) has founded the Williamsburg Theatre Company with Harry May-Kline (left)  and Andrew Mcnay.

By Meredith Deliso

Williamsburg may be one of the foremost neighborhoods for culture in Brooklyn, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do without a little more theater.

That’s what Joseph Hendel thinks, as least. As the founder of the Williamsburg Theatre Company, he launches the brand new troupe this month with a production of David Ives’s “All in the Timing.” But he’s not doing it at your traditional theater. Instead, he’s turned to the music venue Knitting Factory, which, thanks to a run of one-acts this month, is quickly becoming a destination for theater.

For now, the fun on the boards will take place on Monday nights with “Can I Really Date A Guy Who Wears A Yarmulke?” at 7:30 pm followed by “All in the Timing,” a collection of popular one-act comedies by the absurdist writer, at 10 pm.

“That’s my theater night,” said Ellen Jacobs, who books special events at the Knitting Factory. “If it’s empty on Monday nights, I want to get some really creative stuff going on here.”

It doesn’t stop in November, either. Early next year, Jacobs is producing an original musical by Alex Davis about his transgendered experience, and she looks to work with a new musical by Lloyd Miller of the Deedle Deedle Dees.

For non-musical productions like Hendel’s, the club setting can still work to his advantage. When he directs “All in the Timing,” he’ll use the whole space, including the stage, the floor and the bar, to rework the acts in the unconventional setting.

“The whole idea of the production is that we’re doing it at a club,” said Hendel. “We’re not changing the six pieces, but how you present them is another part of the theater experience.”

Theater at the Knitting Factory [361 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemayer Street in Williamsburg, (347) 529-6696], Mondays in November. For info, visit


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