TO EXPLORE, TO CREATE, TO COMMUNICATE
The program is offered to children and adolescents ages 5 to 18, regardless of race, color, religious belief, gender, or sexual orientation. PPCT is committed to creating a non-threatening environment where children and adolescents explore their creativity, learn new theatrical and musical skills, and develop artistic values such as self-discipline, teamwork, commitment and leadership; helping them excel in all aspects of daily life and in their future professions. Older and more advanced adolescents are encouraged not only to help those with less background, but also to learn their material with the aim of preparing themselves to teach the younger students, lead rehearsals, and even direct productions.
Six to eight full-scale productions are mounted each season. Productions last six to twelve weeks depending on the complexity of the work being produced. Cast members rehearse an average of two hours, three times a week. During the course of each production, participants are taught performance skills including acting, singing, and dance. Older participants are also exposed to technical theatre, stagecraft, and costume design.
The Pied Piper
Children’s Theatre of NYC was founded at Holy trinity Church, Inwood in 1999 by
Reinaldo ‘Rey-Rey’ Martinez-Cubero, the theatre’s former Executive and
Artistic Director. During a long
search for a possible venue, Rey-Rey came upon the theatre space at Holy
Trinity Church, with its rundown stage that at the time was used as storage for
folding chairs, lumber, and oversized toys of a children’s indoor
playgroup. The Reverend
Johanna-Karen Johannson, herself a former performing artist who had wanted to
start arts programming and community outreach through theatre at the church,
invited Rey-Rey to give a presentation to the vestry. The vicar, wardens, and vestry of Holy Trinity Church, Inwood
approved the program and The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre of NYC (PPCT)
presented its first production, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, in October
1999 with a cast of 27 children ages 5 to 13. Since then, over five hundred and fifty children have participated
in the program. This has created a strong community of families from different
income levels and ethnic backgrounds.
In 2003, Rey-Rey developed the Delphi Theatre as a branch of PPCT in
order to present productions involving professional performers, adults from the
community and the participants of The Pied Piper Theatre.
award winning Broadway performer and Rey-Rey’s long time friend, took an
interest and watched the theatre’s progress from its beginning. Impressed with
the theatre’s fast development, she decided to co-produce and star in a benefit
concert version of SNOOPY to commemorate the theatre’s 5th anniversary. The concert took place on Monday, April
12, 2004 at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, and featured an all-star Broadway
cast including Christian Borle, Ann Harrada, Deven May, Hunter Foster, and
Jennifer Cody, as well as a chorus of PPCT participants.
celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala presentation that
included scenes and musical numbers from shows produced by the theatre during
its first 10 seasons. The performers were PPCT’s current participants, former
participants who returned to the theatre to take part in the celebration, and
past Delphi Theatre performers. This incredible reunion and celebration
took place on Saturday, January 3, 2009 in the theatre’s home space at Holy
its sixteenth season, PPCT/Delphi has presented over 100 productions ranging from
Shakespeare and classic Greek theater to adaptations of fairy tales and
bi-lingual plays to contemporary musical and dramatic plays. Each season, PPCT reaches over 5,000
people from Northern Manhattan and Bronx communities. These include children and adults participating in one of
our productions, classes and workshops, as well as adults volunteering in many
different capacities. In addition,
audience members enjoy what has become an important, bi-monthly, social and
family event in the community.
Since productions are usually double cast, as many
as 45 families work to produce each theatrical event. The theatre also reaches out to the community by providing free performances of productions
ranging from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM to YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, at
senior citizen and day care centers.