Theater 808 is a new company with a rich history. We are proud to be boldly emerging onto New York’s theater scene, bringing audiences the purest and most provocative interpretations of classic, contemporary, and new theater. Over the past few years, we have helped to produce four critically acclaimed Off-Broadway shows - Ingmar Bergman’s Nora, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, S.N. Behrman’s Biography and Elaine Del Valle’s Brownsville Bred. These shows were hailed as “delightful,” “delicious,” and “strikingly staged,” making for “an edge-of-the seat evening of theater.” Such thrilling endeavors inspired us to come together as a company to continue to bring “riveting, indelible and must be seen” theater to the New York stage.
All of the group’s founding members first met while studying with renowned acting teacher, Fred Kareman. With a teaching career spanning four decades, Fred spent twenty-five of those guiding and inspiring his students within the walls of studio 808 located in Carnegie Hall. Over the course of years of study, many of Mr. Kareman’s students had the opportunity to work with his wife, director Pamela Moller Kareman at the critically acclaimed Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, NY.
In February 2006, Ms. Moller Kareman directed Test Pilot Productions’s staging of Nora, Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Carey Macaleer, a former student of Fred Kareman, and her husband, Joshua Coleman, founded Test Pilot. With Ms. Macaleer starring in the title role, Nora enjoyed an impressive Off-Broadway run at the Arclight Theater in Manhattan. It then transferred to the Schoolhouse to successfully complete the theater’s 2006 season. This collaboration proved significant as it set the stage for what was later to become Theater 808.
In January 2007, shortly after closing a critically hailed production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Schoolhouse, director Pamela Moller Kareman and lead actors Simon MacLean, Sherry Stregack, Cheryl Orsini, Sarah Jenkins and Kevin Albert decided to move the production Off-Broadway. Mr. Albert and his partner Nicola Iervasi offered their production company, Mare Nostrum Elements, as a vehicle through which all of the producers could work.
Utilizing the familiar stage of the Arclight Theater, the production was met with tremendous praise from New York audiences and critics alike.
The group came together again in the winter of 2008 to discuss the possibility of officially forming a company. With Kevin Albert already managing Mare Nostrum Elements, there was room for another founding member. Upon hearing this Carey Macaleer and Josh Coleman generously donated Test Pilot Productions to serve as the group’s not-for–profit. The founding members formed a Board of Directors and brought on Quinn Cassavale, a colleague and former student of Fred Kareman. A new name was given and Theater 808 was born.
Theater 808, in conjunction with Mare Nostrum Elements and the Schoolhouse Theater, produced an off-Broadway run of Biography to great acclaim at the Mint Theater in the Fall of 2009. Deeply committed to supporting other not-for-profits in the New York City community, Theater 808 supported the Theater Development Fund (TDF) with a December benefit performance of Biography, followed by a reception. Half of all proceeds from the night went to TDF’s Open Doors mentoring program.
During the summer of 2011, Theater 808 and The Schoolhouse Theater joined together to bring Elaine Del Valle’s Brownsville Bred off-Broadway to the prestigious 59E59 Theater. Simon Maclean, Quinn Cassavale, Carey Macaleer and Pamela Moller Kareman served as producers on Ms. Del Valle’s autobiographical piece which played to sold-out houses and received rave reviews.
Theater 808 has re-started in 2016 with a new Board consisting of Pamela Moller Kareman, Carey Macaleer, Joshua Coleman, Quinn Cassavale and Neal Mayer. The Board is very excited to announce that Theater 808 will be returning to 59E59 in the fall with a production of The Clearing, Helen Edmunson’s searing drama about ethnic cleansing in 17th Century Ireland.