Off Sides Entertainment / Midtown International Theatre Festival

Todays Date: 06/27/22
Last Update: 07/11/09 05:53:16 PM
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Off Sides Entertainment was founded in the early part of 2008 by Rick and Christopher Leidenfrost-Wilson with their inaugural production of Hockey: The Musical! The show had its world premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival in Toronto, Ontario. Since then, their combined passion for theatre and the arts has blossomed into a dynamic and exciting production company.

The name "Off Sides" was inspired by their first show- a sports term which prevents unfair advantages of one team against another by preemptively setting up an attack. This of course has many variations of metaphoric uses both in theatre and politics. While Off Sides doesn't consider itself to be a political commentator, we also don't deny the use of theatre - or any form of art - to make a political statement or promote a political mantra or ideology. In the much broader sense, we believe "Off Sides" can be interpreted as a statement of fairness and teamwork - and of course not being on the general or mundane side of any and all things. In short, standing out.

Off Sides is a multi-faceted corporation, and while consider ourselves primarily to be a theatre production company, we also coordinate entertainment for corporate theatre, public and private events; provide graphic, web, advertising as well as costume and set design services for theatres, companies and individuals; and produce and develop our own shows, music and other original works on stage or in the recording studio. No matter what our project, our commitment to excellence and to our art is always our highest priority.


The Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF), approaching its 10th year, presents the finest talent in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The Commercial Division hosts the festival's "Broadway-in-the-making" series, and the awards ceremony recognizes outstanding work. The MITF offers publishing contracts to its participants and publishes a best of the fest anthology.

Our philosophy is based on a paradoxical combination of selectivity and diversity. We select projects that are pleasing to us as well as to audiences. We also recognize that not all plays appeal to all audiences. We don't stuff the Festival with zany productions whose chief recommendation is a long title or one with "sex" in it.

We encourage diversity because theatre itself is diverse. By diversity we don't mean political correctness; Shakespeare isn't politically correct by our standards, although he had to toe the political lines of his time. But we do encourage plays of all racial and sexual stripes, as well as plays in all genres. While the word "eclectic" has bad connotations in the academic world, it describes our artistic thrust. We welcome any kind of stage play, musical or otherwise, new or classic, mainstream or specifically focused on an ethnic or cultural niche.

The festival is the brainchild of John Chatterton, publisher and editor of OOBR ("the off-off-broadway review"). Mr. Chatterton started MITF as a way to present the finest Off-Off-Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety.

Schedule of Upcoming Productions

No New Productions Scheduled

Production History

Too Much, Too Far, Too Soon  | Open: 07/19/09 Close: 07/26/09
Three short stage pieces explore the secrecy and social dilemmas that, despite legal advances, still haunt the gay community.

In "The Anniversary," a celebratory dinner turns tense as old secrets and prejudices surface among four close friends: a long-married straight couple and a soon-to-be-married gay couple.  Although the gay marriage debate is on the table, as it were, the play is less interested in making the case for equal marriage than in examining the institution itself.

"What's Going On?" is a song from Hockey: The Musical, a show that celebrates the brotherhood of team while examining the experience of being gay in the world of professional sports.  In "What's Going On?", a sports journalist struggles to face the truth of her failing relationship with a talented, secretive hockey player.

"Perpetual Check" centers on a young gay man desperate to find a meaningful connection.  Urged to get out by his friends, he winds up at a party somewhere in the wilds of New Jersey, surrounded by burly ex-jocks, a new mother on the verge of hysteria, and an attractive thrillseeker who throws basketballs at dogs.

Relationships, politics, public and private worlds, and the gray territory between homophobia and acceptance.  Ultimately, Too Much, Too Far, Too Soon eschews the political discussion for a much deeper one: how do we find love, and how do we negotiate the world, and how do we know love when we've found it?