The Poor box Way
An actor, an audience, and an empty space.
Keeping overhead low, we reach high.
Through simplicity, we delve into complexities.
Limiting spectacle, we expand imagination.
A light in dark corners reveals hidden treasures.
One vulnerable heart redeems the whole world
and the greatest revolution in the world is empathy-
this is the Poor Box way.
Poor Box Theater began at the Central Ohio nightclub, "Mecca" in 1997. Despite the ironies inherent in that beginning, Poor Box creates space for sincerity. "Bedside Stories" was a contemplation of the AIDS crisis and The Holocaust. Kaizaad Kotwol, Michael Milligan, and Meighan Smith used the "Poor Box" model in collaboration and independently in early productions of Hair, Urgent: Aliens, and Mr. Kotwol's short film, Below the Belt. Smith and Milligan earned high praise at the Edinburgh Fringe for their production of Lanford Wilson's Poster of the Cosmos and the Moonshot Tape. Mr. Kotwol championed the Poor Box spirit with a continuing tour of "The Vagina Monologues" throughout India. This highly successful and controversial (the best kind of success from a Poor Box perspective) tour has had an immense impact, not only on the theater, but the cultural dialogue of India. Mr. Milligan's tour of his solo show, Mercy Killers has had a similar trajectory.