“Epic’s favorite thing about working and producing at Theatre Row is accessibility and inclusion … we serve a lot of non-traditional audiences … people who often feel excluded or unwelcome at Off-Broadway theater … Theatre Row makes them feel comfortable, welcome, and included.”
– Ron Russell, Epic Theatre
Theatre Row nurtures a broad range of artistic voices. Its spaces encourage nonprofit theater companies and artists to collaborate, produce work, and build a professional home for themselves. Within this supportive environment, Theatre Row hosts seasonal programming that reflects diverse, creative voices of the Off-Broadway community and enables companies to experiment with producing a variety of work without the commercial stipulations of a Broadway house, while still reaching a broad range of Broadway audiences. To serve a wide variety of audiences, Theatre Row prioritizes strategic partnerships with community-based organizations that reach historically underrepresented artists and theatergoers.
Epic Theatre Ensemble and Theatre Row have partnered on audience development initiatives that will create opportunities for thousands of truly new audience members each year to access Off-Broadway. Epic runs high school education programs, which give high school students and their families the opportunity to experience professional theatrical productions. Epic has one of New York City’s most diverse groups of artists and ticket buyers in terms of race, ethnicity, and age. Of the 1,700 students it serves annually from underserved, low-arts public high schools who frequent Theatre Row, 41% self-identify as African-American or Black, 38% Hispanic or Latino/a, and 15% two or more races. Over 25% of Epic’s audiences are under 25 years old.
The Chase Brock Experience, the “candy-bright company” (The New Yorker) celebrated for its “stylized showbiz mayhem” (The New York Times) and “whose dances mix a witty Broadway sensibility with rock-and-roll zest” (New York Magazine), is the Brooklyn-based dance company of choreographer Chase Brock. Since 2007, the company has premiered six original scores and 30 dances in New York seasons.
Traditionally, the musical theater writing community and its audiences have been predominantly Caucasian; NYMF has emphasized the inclusion of historically underrepresented voices, focused on gender parity and LGBTQ+, African-American, Latino, Muslim-American, and differently-abled communities. NYMF and Theatre Row created partnerships, offering rehearsal and office space to commissioned writers/teams for their development of micro-musicals (30 minutes or less) inspired by, or in response to, textual prompts, in an effort to create more space in the Festival for arts-based civic engagement. This program focuses specifically on amplifying stories by people of color, women, the differently-abled, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Mint finds and produces worthwhile plays from the past that have been lost or forgotten. It is their mission to create new life for these plays through research, dramaturgy, production, publication, readings and a variety of enrichment programs.
Keen creates theater that provokes identification, reflection and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, the company tells stories in which people strive to live with integrity. Keen seeks to build a lasting community of artists and audiences who share a passion for theater that champions sincerity and speaks to life’s profound moments.
New York City Children’s Theater creates original, entertaining and enriching theater for young audiences and adults to enjoy together. The mission is to promote children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs, including full-scale productions, small touring shows, interactive workshops and in-school residencies. NYCCT demonstrates that engaging young people in the arts has a positive impact on their cognitive, emotional and social development, and furthers a lifelong appreciation of the arts.