Theatre East History

2008
Oct 14

Theatre East Is Founded

A group of folks gathered in a small studio with a few bottles of wine and some cake. They posed the following question:  Can we build a theatre company whose commitment to community, whose commitment to operating in a transparent and inclusive manner, whose commitment to the incredible power theatre possesses, was only matched by the commitment to producing earnest, catalyzing, provocative, needed, and great work? The answer? Yes.

2009
Jul 20

Laurette Taylor Award

The Theatre East Laurette Taylor Award is founded to pay tribute to the exceptional artistic contributions of Laurette Taylor, and to honor those industry members who have made vital contributions, on stage or off. The inaugural award honors Tom Oppenheim and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and is presented by  Tovah Feldshuh.

Sep 25

Main Stage Production

The New York Premiere of Eye of God by Tim Blake Nelson opens at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row. The show tackles the issue of reproductive rights in the deep South and examines the folly of blind faith.
Critics call it a, “successful dangerous play“. Stage and Cinema Magazine reports, “Judson Jones and Christa Kimlicko Jones have co-founded Theatre East to bridge differences in our community and tackle subjects that are universal.

2010
Apr 19

Community Engagement

Theatre East participates in the MS Walk for a Cure. It is not enough to raise social awareness on stage: we actively seek to do so off stage as well, thereby effecting change in our community and surroundings. With this goal in mind, Theatre East teams up with various non-producing organizations, volunteering our time and helping shed light to various worthy causes.

Jun 23

Educational Programming

New Rites Collective, an educational residency program is founded. Its focus is for youth to gain exposure to visual and performing arts through an innovative blueprint for social and cultural change. The inaugural program is held at Innovation Diploma Plus High School in Manhattan. The program culminates in Voices of Conflict, a collection of short plays written by students and performed by professional actors.

Oct 14

Neighborhood Reading Series

The Neighborhood Reading Series is founded at O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub to provide a platform for discussion and community. Since the readings are free and open to the public, it also aids us in the dedication to the ideal that theatre is not a luxury but should be accessible to everyone, no matter one’s economic or social status.

The first season of readings include:
Lone Star September 19
Laundry & Bourbon September 19
The Weir October 17

2011
Feb 04

Educational Programming

New Rites Collective holds its second installment at Innovation Diploma Plus High School on the Louis D. Brandeis Education Campus. The program culminates in In These Halls written by students and performed by the students along with professional actors.

Mar 25

Main Stage Production

The New York Premiere of The Soldier Dreams by Daniel MacIvor opens at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row. The production discusses marriage equality through the lens of hospice care. Critics hail it as, “an honest and touching drama that in a mere 80 minutes reminds us how distinctive each life is and how we all intertwine and touch one another.

Dec 10

Community Engagement

As a part of the commitment to the community Theatre East goes on a shopping spree for families in NYC shelters with Stockings With Care.

2012
Feb 20

Neighborhood Readings Series

The season of readings include:
The Boy’s Own Jedi Handbook February 20
A Name for a Ghost to Mutter October 17
Crimes of the Heart March 19
Right You Are May 29
featuring Dominic Chianese
Moonlight Serenade June 7

Aug 31

Main Stage Production

The World Premiere of Normalcy by Bennett Windheim opens at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons. The show takes a brutally honest look at transracial adoption, from the point of view of white prospective parents, their circle of family members, social workers, and transracially adopted adults. NY Theatre Magazine wrote, “Honest conversations about race in a diverse public forum are too rare, and I am glad Theatre East has chosen to produce a piece with depth.

Sep 01

Main Stage Production

The World Premiere of The Jungle Book by Megan O’Brien opens at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons. The show explores adoption, identity, and fear of the other. Back Stage calls it, “a perfect metaphor for the way we apprehend stories“.

Sep 24

Community Engagement

ART/NY honors Hugh O’Lunney at the Annual Curtain Call with the DeWitt Stern Local Hero Award. Theatre East nominated Mr. O’Lunney for his generosity in hosting the Neighborhood Reading Series at O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub through the years. The award is presented by New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

Nov 19

Neigborhood Reading Series

The season of readings include:
A Piece of My Heart November 19
Property February 11
Julius Caesar March 18
Muses April 15
Prodigal May 30
Lilies June 24

Dec 12

Community Engagement

Theatre East goes on a shopping spree for families in NYC shelters with Stockings With Care for the second year in a row.

Dec 14

Educational Programming

New Rites Collective holds its third installment on the Louis D. Brandeis Education Campus. The program culminates in Facets which is done in collaboration with student and professional playwrights and student and professional actors.

2013
Mar 23

Community Engagement

Continuing the commitment to community, Theatre East participates in the MS Walk for a Cure.

Aug 26

Neighborhood Reading Series

The season of readings include:
Empty Room August 26
Hit. September 16
Friday the 13th October 28
Home Land November 18
The Grass Harp January 27
Eleemosynary March 27
Holy Ghosts May 5
Petie June 24

2014
May 03

Community Engagement

Theatre East helps beautify Sunnyside Queens at the Make Your Mark event.

May 19

Laurette Taylor Award

The 2014 Theatre East Laurette Taylor Award celebrates Dominic Chianese’s career spanning 6 decades in music, film, stage, and television. From Dog Day Afternoon, to The Godfather: Part II, to The Sopranos, Dominic has left an indelible mark on the industry.  The award is presented by The Sopranos creator David Chase. Special guests include Film and Television Director Alan Coulter and Singer/Songwriter Graham Russell of Air Supply.

Nov 11

Production Workshop

A week long workshop is held of Theatre East’s brand new musical, Devil and the Deep, at Abingdon Theatre.

2015
Feb 23

Neighborhood Reading Series

The seasons of readings include:
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean February 23
A Christmas Carol December 8

May 28

Laurette Taylor Award

The 2015 Theatre East Laurette Taylor Award honors Elizabeth Parish for the many lives she has impacted through her decades of performance and teaching both at Yale and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. The award is presented by Kate Mulgrew with personal tributes from Meryl Streep and Tom Oppenheim.

Jun 11

Main Stage Production

The World Premiere of Devil and the Deep with Music & Lyrics by Graham Russell of Air Supply and Katie McGhie, and Book by Melissa Bell goes up at Mint Theatre. The production is a reimagining of Stevenson’s beloved text, Treasure Island. Epoch Times says, “Looking for a musical for the whole family that will not break the bank? The answer is Theatre East’s Devil and the Deep.

2016
Feb 15

Neighborhood Readings Series

The season of readings include:
The Gravediggers April 27
Intimate Strangers September 21
Friday the 13th Part II October 26
My Bloody Valentine February 15
A Beautiful View June 20
In On It June 20

May 14

MAIN STAGE PRODUCTION

The 5X5 Drama Series is founded and utilizes non-traditional spaces such as bars, breweries, rooftops and living rooms. Theatre East visits all 5 boroughs to bring you 5 new plays by 5 different playwrights and 5 different directors. The 2016 selection includes CleavageIn the BasementPrincetonStanding Room Only, and The Number.

Jun 02

Boot Stomp

Dancing was a big part of a Texas upbringing. On any given weekend, whether it was slow Western Swing or the Texas Two Step, you’d find people gathering to dance. We decided to bring this tradition to the northeast and add in some New York flair. The dance is held for the first time at Judson Gym with Honorary Chair Tim Blake Nelson and sponsored by Hill Country BBQBronx Brewery, and Tanteo Tequila with live music by Texas Blues Artist Seth Walker.