TRUE COMEDY THEATRE COMPANY, based in New York City, has for over 20 years produced original plays and performance artworks. It has brought to the stage comedies that aim to provoke thoughtful laughter, humanize, expose folly to ridicule, enhance civilization, give theatrical and mythic form to the present and the great traditions of the past, and encourage audiences both to think and to imagine. Among its productions are works by Eugene Ionesco, Richard Foreman, Vaclav Havel, Yolanda Hawkins, Jim Neu and William Niederkorn.
True Comedy's production of "The Increased Difficulty of Concentration" by Vaclav Havel, directed by Yolanda Hawkins opened the 2007-8 subscription season at Theatre Project of Baltimore and was honored by Baltimore City Paper as No. 1 of the Top 10 2007 for "The Year in Stage."
In November 2006 the company produced "The Increased Difficulty of Concentration" at the Ohio Theater in SoHo. The play was among 18 plays in a festival of Havel works organized by Untitled Theater Company # 61, Edward Einhorn artistic director.
The company participated in a festival of the works of Ionesco in 2001, producing "Improvisation," directed by Yolanda Hawkins and "The Leader" directed by John Hagan. In the rarely produced "Improvisation," also titled "Impromptu at Alma or the Shepherd's Chameleon," Ionesco responds to academic critics in a takeoff on Moliere's "Impromptu at Versailles." These plays were produced as part of Untitled Theater Company #61's Ionesco Festival.
The plays by Richard Foreman, directed by Yolanda Hawkins, include the New York premiere of "Eddie Goes to Poetry City, Part One," as well as an original play using Foreman texts, "How Tight You Hold Me/Verbal Hands."
The company helped produce the premieres of six original plays by the actor-playwright Jim Neu, directed by Keith McDermott.
Several comedies on historical subjects that the company produced were written by William Niederkorn, a co-founder of the company. They include "The Further Adventures of Joan of Arc"; "Peter & Noel and Noel & Gertie," about Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence and the author G.B. Stern; "Young Eisenstein," about Sergei Eisenstein and his encounters with James Joyce and Paul Robeson; "The Chaplin Acts," about Charlie Chaplin's encounters with Coward and Eisenstein; and "Two Nietzsches in Love," about the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his sister, Elizabeth Forster, and their circles.
Besides theatrical productions, the company has organized important symposiums on theater and published their texts, with participants including the New York artists Ann Wilson and Jack Smith. In 2006, the company helped fund the acclaimed documentary film "Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis" directed by Mary Jordan. The company also made a major contribution to this film by providing sound recordings of Jack Smith's voice from his participation in the company's symposiums "The Artist Versus the Hippopotamus" and "The Double Symposium on Acting."