Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 18, 2012.


The undergroundzero experimental theater festival presented at the Living Theatre and Clemente Soto Velez June 26 - July 28, 2012

Coming this July 2012: Eleven New York City independent theatre artists and companies. Five downtown venues. Cutting-edge international collaborations and local guest artists. We have an incredible lineup ready to be seen by NYC audiences, and we need your support this Spring to launch our cooperative venture.  The overall festival budget is much greater than our Kickstarter goal, but with $11,000 from individual supporters we can secure the festival venues and give the green light to international programming. THANK YOU!

The undergroundzero festival and cooperative is a group of New York City based independent theater artists and companies who have joined together to share their resources, networks, and combined talents to ensure sustainability and artistic excellence.  The cooperative presents the annual undergroundzero festival to showcase their work and the work of local and international guest artists.   

The resident artists and companies are: Paul Bargetto / East River Commedia, Anna Brenner, Jeff Clarke / Performance Lab 115, Alec Duffy / Hoi Polloi, Connie Hall / Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant, Daniel Irizarry & Laura Butler Rivera, Doris Mirescu / Dangerous Ground, Shige Moriya & Ximena Garnica / Leimay, Judith Malina & Brad Burgess / The Living Theatre, Jill A. Samuels, and Shannon Sindelar.

The undergroundzero festival began at Collective:Unconscious (2007-2008) and continued on at Performance Space 122 (2009-2010).  In 2011, eleven companies and individual artists came together to form the undergroundzero cooperative. 

This year the undergroundzero festival will be presented at The Living Theatre and Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in New York City's historic Lower East Side June 26 - July 28, 2012.  In addition, resident artist Shannon Sindelar will present an original piece in East River Park and the actors of Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant will present Little West 12th Night, a tour of the Chelsea Meatpacking District based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Artistic Director Paul Bargetto, Producer Amiel Melnick, and Bartek Frackowiak the director of the HOBO Arts Foundation in Warsaw, Poland will present Debt!  a series of performative lectures about the concept, history, and meaning of debt with local experts and international collaborators including festival video designer Cinty Ionescu, documentarians Daniel Popa and Summer Wood, and many more.  In addition, Arnold Aronson, professor at Columbia University and author of American Avant Garde: A History, will present a lecture with invited guests on the history of the theatrical avant garde in New York City.  Playwright Saviana Stanescu will present playgroundzero, a series of staged readings and works in progress about revolution and immigration.  

International guests B-Floor Theatre Company from Thailand will present the US premiere of their new play Oxygen.  In addition, one of our favorite local companies The Assembly will present a reprise of their play about the Weather Underground: HOME/SICK.  

There will be an exciting series of free events, meetings, and dance parties happening throughout the festival.  Come join the conversation, get carried away and inspired, and get your boogie on out on the dance floor!

Every night at 11:00pm artists and audiences will gather and mix at the Living Theatre for late night drinks and conversation.  

On Tuesday nights at 7:30pm in the Kabyitos Theater at Clemente Soto Velez, meet the artists and directors of undergroundzero for common ground, the live, internet broadcast festival talk show, hosted by Paul Bargetto, Connie Hall, and Saviana Stanescu.

On Friday nights at 11:00pm join us for latenightzero our dance-until-dawn party, with special guest DJ's, door prizes, and artist boogie downs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q: How can I show my support for individual companies?
  • A: Email undergroundzero's Executive Director Connie Hall at, or leave a shout-out to your favorite company in the "comments" section here. We would be glad to include "in support of xyz company" in our crediting language.
  • Q: Should I still donate if you are funded?
  • A: YES!  The overall festival budget is much larger, and we need to do additional fundraising to keep ticket prices low.
  • Q: What if I make a donation and receive tickets as a reward but I cannot go.  Can I give them to someone else?  
  • A: Yes!  Your friends will come as your guest!
  • Q: Who designed the video?
  • A: Cinty Ionescu - you can find more about her HERE.
  • Q: Who designed the graphics?
  • A: Ola Niepsuj - you can find out more about her HERE.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    HOOFERS: A VIP invitation to the undergroundzero opening night party. Come kick up your hooves with the artists and dance until dawn! You and your guest will receive a special toast in your honor.

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    PREENERS: Feel good and look good doing it! Receive a festival t-shirt designed by festival designer Ola Niepsuj plus an invitation to the opening party and a toast in your honor.

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    ROOTERS: Help us dig up a truffle of inspiration and you will receive a free ticket to any show at either the Living Theatre or Clemente Soto Velez, plus any of the above gifts.

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    FEATHERERS: Help us feather our wings and you will receive TWO free tickets to any show plus any of the above gifts.

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    HOGGERS: For your extraordinary generosity you will receive a limited edition festival poster signed by the undergroundzero cooperative resident artists, plus any of the above gifts.

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    AVIATORS: Your gift for flights of fancy and high altitude generosity will place you among our funding dieties. You will receive a special handmade set of undergroundzero Flying Pig pins! These one of a kind creations are designed by festival designer Ola Niepsuj, plus any of the above gifts.

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    JET SETTERS: You know how to fly and how to get there in a hurry! You will receive a festival pass! See any and all shows for the run of the festival and cut to the head of line at the entrance! Also choose any of the above gifts.

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    WILD BOARS: You have regal tastes for cutting edge theater and the avant garde. Receive an appearance in the festival video trailer and a copy of a special post-festival video with highlights and interviews. Also receive any other gifts you desire.

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    WALLOWERS: For your beneficence and superlative generosity you will be entitled to free tickets to Little West 12th Night, a theatrical walking tour of Chelsea's Meat Packing district. Then spend the night on the luxury hotel set of the show. Also receive any of the above gifts.

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    FLYING PIGS: You are the ones who defied all odds, and gave the gift of flight. You will receive a PIG ROAST in your honor with the festival artists and fellow Flying Pigs plus any of the above gifts.

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- (30 days)