The mission of HOFOPRO is the promotion and development of theater by making grants to artists and artistic companies needing funds to complete their projects and providing a venue for the performance of their works.

HOFOPRO gives artists and performers a chance to be seen and heard. Acting companies, dance companies and solo performance artists, children’s theater and poetry, film script and play readings—all have worthy projects artists have poured their hearts and souls into creating, developing and performing only to see their efforts die a lonely death on a small stage because they can’t afford to move to a larger venue.

HOFOPRO changes that by making grants to pay for free or reduced rent at Theatre 80. HOFOPRO honors the work of Howard and Florence Otway, who built Theatre 80 in 1964. Their son Lorcan Otway and his wife Genie Gilmore-Otway, civil rights lawyers and long-time community activists, formed the Howard Otway and Florence Otway Opportunity Project to honor his parents’ life-long commitment to the arts.

Howard and Florence Photo1
Click here to learn more about Howard and Florence Otway


Non-profit HOFOPRO turns downtime into opportunity for artists by making grants to use Theatre 80.  Grants cover all or part of theater rental, including basic lighting package, some tech and rehearsal time, ticketing, performance time, and a house manager, usher, and box office attendant.The grantee sets the ticket price.  Some may choose lower prices for audience affordability; others, may use their grant for fundraising. HOFOPRO grantees take advantage of Theatre 80’s unique space: both stage and seating are unusually wide, which allow for great sight lines and larger casts. The spacious lobby features photos and posters documenting its founders’ past.

HOFOPRO is reaching out to individuals and companies that would otherwise have difficulty being seen, including those from outside Manhattan that seek a wider audience. Applications are now being accepted.


The Howard Otway and Florence Otway Opportunity Project is a 501 (c) 3 organization. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Click here to learn more about Theatre 80 St Marks