Theatre NOW New York Premieres CARRIE, The Musical At Irvington Town Hall Theatre, Halloween Weekend
| by Morey Storck |
Theatre NOW New York (TNNY) is a non-profit professional theatre company emerging from two established companies: the Genesius Theatre Guild in New York City and ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Its mission is to “facilitate the creation and development of new theatrical works, the re-imagining of previously produced known titles and the reinterpretation of classic works through readings, workshops, work-in-progress presentations and full productions, and to promote the understanding and appreciation of live theatre and its process by the general public.”
The company may have had its roots in New York City and Asbury Park, New Jersey, but, eventually, it had its eyes on Westchester County. Thomas Morrissey, artistic director/director, began to canvas the area for a suitable venue close to New York to allow for actors, singers, dancers and tech crews to easily travel back and forth for rehearsal and performance dates. He found it in Irvington, at the Town Hall Theatre. In addition to its easy accessibility to NYC, it is well situated within an area of knowledgeable, show-savvy theatre-goers, plus it has a vast pool of local talent, making it ideal for developing new works. And, the 400-seat theatre provided an intimate venue that made it well-suited to the small company.
Morrissey and The Town Hall Theatre negotiated an arrangement where Theatre NOW, as its new arts partner, would be able to use the Town Hall Theatre stage for its productions during periods of two consecutive weekends throughout the theatre season. That was important to Morrissey because of his past experience. The first weekend would be used to introduce the new material and word-of-mouth would, hopefully, fill the house during the second weekend – rare opportunities to catch this Stephen King-based musical.
As its first full-scale production, Theatre NOW selected CARRIE, the Musical because of its audience familiarity and to take advantage of the Halloween weekend and the excitement generated by the many scheduled events being held during that time. According to the casting synopsis: “The story centers on Carrie White, a misfit. At school, she’s an outcast who’s bullied by the ‘popular’ crowd, but virtually invisible to everyone else. At home, she’s at the mercy of her loving, but cruelly over-protective mother. But Carrie’s just discovered she’s got a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it.”
Ideal for Halloween and perfect for an October 30th opening. In fact, the company suggests that the audience come in costume for opening night, although that’s optional.
The Genesius Theatre Guild was founded by Morrissey, and continued for 12 years in New York primarily for early and mid-stage development. However, full stage productions in the city for a small company, except for very small venues, is prohibitively expensive. In addition, a small theatre usually brings out a trade or industry audience, so it is not a true representation of a typical theatre-going audience. Eventually a move to New Jersey seemed the practical thing to do. And so they did- to Asbury Park, – as the ReVision Theatre and stayed for four years. They became known for producing new and established plays and musicals, but with a new and fresh approach.
However, the company missed the ability to develop the early and mid-stage projects that they had in New York. So back to New York and the birth of Theatre NOW New York, the new and current non-profit professional theatre company performing main-stage productions in Irvington.
If You Go:
Irvington Town Hall Theatre
85 Main Street Fridays/Saturdays: Oct. 31,31 and Nov. 6,7 at 8 p.m.
Tickets available online at: TNNY.org (not through the ITHT box of