Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the theater, but not just because it provides a source of nicely air-conditioned entertainment. The summer of 2014 on Staten Island has offered up some wonderful shows – including some family-favorites; and the best part is, you don’t have to head to Broadway to enjoy them. Read on to find out more about Staten Island’s local theater groups, and what amazing shows they will be performing in the upcoming weeks.
Sundog Theatre Company
Sundog Theatre is a performing arts organization that provides entertainment for both children and adults in the form of original and contemporary theatre. Since 2002, Sundog Theatre has worked with hundreds of individuals from both Staten Island and the greater New York City area to produce present-day shows such as Blood Brothers, Charlotte’s Web and A Christmas Carol, as well as original pieces such as My Mariners, If You Could See: The Alice Austin Story, and Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry.
Sundog Theatre also provides art-based residencies for students from grades Kindergarten through high school in New York City schools and community-based organizations. Through these residency programs, students work with professional teaching artists and are engaged in theatre, dance visual arts and music either during or after school. Even further, young people ages 9-14 can participate in acting and musical theatre classes, taught at the Staten Island Children’s Museum and Staten Island Zoo.
This summer, Sundog Theatre presents “The Originals: Sundog Theatre’s Summer Reading Series,” which consists of the lively readings of brand new plays with actors from across New York City. The plays range from tragic drama to slapstick comedy and take place every Thursday until September 18th at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Building G, Studio #201 at
8:00 pm. All readings are free of charge.
For more information, visit http://www.sundogtheatre.org/.
Harbor Lights Theater Company
Another popular theater company on Staten Island also happens to be the first and only Equity Theater Company in the history of Staten Island (Equity is the theater union, which sets standards for pay and working conditions).
Founded by Broadway veterans in 2010, Harbor Lights Theater Company has begun to bridge the gap between the best on Broadway and Staten Island’s finest talent. In just four seasons, the group has presented over 70 different Broadway professionals.
Harbor Lights also has an educational program, located out of Snug Harbor, called “Enter Stage Right.” Targeting serious youth ages 11-18; the program offers intensive training in the areas of acting, theater dance, and vocal instruction.
This summer, you can enjoy the production of “The Bikinis, a new musical beach party,” on stage at Snug Harbor Cultural Center from August 7-17. Also, Harbor Lights is offering their “Theatrical Intensive For Youth” program from August 11-22.
For more information, visit their website at http://hltc.org/.
In the Wings Productions
In the Wings Productions is another theater group located out of Snug Harbor Cultural Center that aims to bring high-quality theatre to Staten Island. In the Wings deliberately selects their productions to encourage and highlight the talent of all ages. In 2014, In the Wings brought Cabaret and Shrek The Musical, to Snug Harbor. My personal favorite was their 2013 production of Les Miserables.
Visit their website at http://inthewingsproductionsny.com/index.html for more information on upcoming events.
Sea View Playwright’s Theatre
Located at 460 Brielle Avenue, Sea View Playwright’s Theatre has been providing theatre to Staten Island since 1979. Although the Sea View Playwright’s Chapel Theater is small (holding about 75 patrons), the group’s mission is large. Dedicated to serving the Staten Island Community by presenting both classical and contemporary plays, the group also aims to provide productions, workshops, musicals and children’s theatre that will benefit both participants and patrons alike.
As they strive to keep interest in live theatre alive, Sea View Playwright’s Theatre produces about five to six staged plays per year. Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeaViewPlaywrightsTheatre/info for more information on upcoming events.
Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre
Considered the longest running show on Staten Island, the Staten Island Shakespearean Theater was founded in 1975 by a group of individuals dedicated to providing “high quality live theatre for the community of Staten Island and to offer a creative outlet for performers, directors and designers who choose to make that community their home.”
For over 35 years, the company has been run by volunteers and an unpaid staff, and has produced or presented over 200 theatrical events. Originally located out of the Nurse’s Residence on the grounds of the Seaview Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, the group currently performs at various sites, including the Third County Courthouse at Historic Richmond Town, the St. George Theatre, Veterans Memorial Hall in Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Hall at St. Andrew’s Church, and the Conference House, until they find a more permanent facility to house the organization.
This fall, residents can enjoy the production of Agnes of God by JohnPielmeier. Visit their website at http://www.sistny.org/index.html for more information.
Staten Island Children’s Theatre Association
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Staten Island Children’s Theatre Association. With a North Shore location at Snug Harbor, and a South Shore location as well, this group aims to involve as many youth as possible in a fun, creative and engaging environment that introduces children to acting, vocal and performance techniques, dance, song and musical theatre history.
Sponsored by the Staten Island Mental Health society, this organization’s mission is to promote positive mental health through the arts. For over 50 years, this organization has shared their love of theater by bringing live theater to Staten Island children and families.
Registration for their fall classes is currently underway. Through the program, young children ages 5-8 will appear in a production of “Disney’s Cinderella, KIDS (a 30-minute adaptation of the movie), and youth ages 9-18 will appear in the production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.”
For more information or to register for a class, visit their website at http://www.statenislandchildrenstheatre.com/index.htm.
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