Event Details
  • Non-members, please pay at least $8 to help keep us running.
    July 28, 2023
    5:00 pm - 6:45 pm
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Outside the Box: Alternative Spaces and Site-Specific Theater
Friday 7/28 at 5pm ET

Community Gathering on Zoom - register with the bright red reservation box to receive the Zoom link. These gatherings are a service for the theater community and are offered free for TRU members; we ask that non-members help keep us running by making a donation or joining as a member.

In the room: Anita Durst, founding artistic director of ChaShaMa, a company that "helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate" into space for creatives; and Anne Hamburger, founding executive artistic director of En Garde Arts, an artist-centric company that "uses the city as our stage to offer accessible theatre that explores the salient social issues of our time." Anita interned with Anne when she was 18, and developed a fascination with renovated performance spaces through her work with En Garde Arts. Many years later both women have had a profound impact on the New York theater scene. How have these women influenced each other? Where do their visions diverge? The art they have both created and helped nurture used to be called "avant-garde." Has yesterday's avant-garde become a more widely accepted form of art?

    has been a star, a muse, and a patron of the avant-garde performing arts and emerging arts scene in New York City, since she was 18. She founded chashama in 1995 following the death of her mentor and artistic professor Reza Abdoh. While performing and working in his company, Dar A Luz, she learned the value of unbridled expression and how to value art objectively. In the wake of Reza’s absence she was driven to create a place for artists free of financial and subjective constraints. Anita has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to secure over one million square feet of space in New York City for artists. She believes programs like Chashama are the vital building blocks to ensuring cultural capital in New York City. Anita was born in New York City and was the flower child to hippie parents living in New Foundland Canada, Ibiza Spain, and the suburbs of New York City. As a precocious teenager she resisted conventional schooling. Shortly after graduating high school she moved back to New York City to help care for her grandfather. She is a proud mother who ensures her entire family eats healthy, practices mindful movement, and lives in the moment. True to her ability to be in the moment and greatest strength of objective thinking, she believes all art to be valuable.


    has a long track record for spearheading cultural innovation and entrepreneurship. She is nationally recognized for a distinctive approach to producing where content, form, place, community and audience are all interwoven into the process. She founded and led En Garde Arts from 1985-1999, and re-launched the company in 2014. En Garde was a pioneering force in the field of site-specific theatre and is highly respected for presenting inventive productions in inspiring locations across New York City. En Garde Arts received six OBIEs, two Drama Desks and an Outer Critics Circle Special Award. Anne was recognized with the Edwin Booth and Lee Reynolds Awards for her work. In 2014, she received an Exception Merit in Media Award from the National Political Women’s Caucus. Anne became Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse in 1999. The Tony award- winning musicals Thoroughly Modern Millie and Spring Awakening began production under her tenure. A year later, she became an Executive Vice President at Disney and led the creative development and production of all the major stage shows for the parks worldwide. For the first time in Disney’s history, she brought in renowned theatrical artists to create Broadway caliber theatre. Many of the shows developed under her tenure are still running today. Anne is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.  She graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.