July 2017 – Theater is an essential part of New York City’s cultural and educational life. Live theater is getting the support it needs thanks to an award winning theater company called Urban Stages.

NYC VIBE caught up with Urban Stages at its annual gala benefit at the Boathouse in Central Park to honor the legendary Academy Award winning set and costume designer Tony Walton. The Benefit also raised funds to support Urban Stages’ mission to bring theater to everyone in New York City’s schools and communities.

Francis Hill began Urban Stages back in 1984 to champion new works by artists of diverse cultural backgrounds. Urban Stages discovers and nurtures artists through their development program and they produce new Off-Broadway plays through their Mainstage program.

One of Urban Stages’ most important activities in New York is their extensive outreach program. This unique initiative brings over 25 new and exciting theater programs to libraries, senior centers, and school in all five boroughs in New York City – serving more than 8,000 people. From Preschool students to retirees; Urban Stages brings theater to the masses with its touring programs and theater residencies in community centers.

Urban Stages produces a wide range of plays – including productions that explore science, and musicals which appeal to age groups ranging from toddlers to seniors. Urban Stages also hosts dance and mime workshops as well as magic productions.

So the next time you see a new, innovative, Off-Broadway theatrical production in New York City…..Chances are it was inspired by Urban Stages!