5 Bustling Performing Arts Organizations in New York

Not everyone can afford to see the shows on Broadway, and not every theatrical work is meant for a big-dollar production. These organizations work to bring live performance, whether it's classic works or daring new original pieces, to people throughout the city and inspire the youth of New York to take part in the rewarding enterprise of the performing arts. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 New York Institutions Dedicated to the Performing Arts

Organization Purpose
Theatre for a New Audience Modern classical theater that has produced Shakespeare alongside major classic and contemporary works for four decades
Creative Arts Team Works throughout the five boroughs to provide one-of-a-kind interactive learning experiences in areas such as Shakespeare, children's theater, and professional development workshops using the power of drama to enhance education
STREB Extreme Action Company Performs the work of daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb, with high-flying shows, team synergy workshops, & classes for kids and adults that combine dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt work
Park Avenue Armory Supports original works in the visual and performing arts that require non-traditional spaces for their full realization
Waterwell Stages plays and funds films dealing with pressing social, economic, and political questions of our time, and offers in-school stage training to more than 200 NYC public school students

"Winter's Tale" Director Arin Arbus at Theater for a New Audience

Arts Education in America

Elizabeth Streb's Visionary Work

Facts about Live Theater in the U.S.

In Depth

Visual and performance art can be a wide range of fantastical, boundary-pushing experiences that stir human emotion. New York City is lucky to have many organizations that showcase larger than life exhibitions, daring feats of physical stunts, and moving stories that challenge social and political views. And they all inspire the next generation of designers and performers. In no particular order, here are five groups transforming art and drama in NYC.

At #1 on our list, Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn houses Theatre for a New Audience, which has produced performances since 1979, including Shakespeare, classic works, and distinguished contemporary plays. The company built P.S.C. in 2013 and is a centerpiece of the borough's cultural district. The 299-seat main stage combines an Elizabethan courtyard with modern technology. The area is entirely flexible: the platform and seating can be arranged in a wide variety of configurations to serve the artistic vision of every production.

P.S.C. is the first auditorium in New York designed and built expressly for classic drama since the 1960s. In addition to its season of shows, it offers lectures, workshops, and activities for families. When not in use by the company, the facility is available for rental, bringing much-needed performing and rehearsal space to the community. If you would like to support this organization, you may do so by donating or attending their annual fundraising gala.

P.S.C. is the first auditorium in New York designed and built expressly for classic drama since the 1960s.

And at #2 on our list, The Creative Arts Team at The City University of New York uses the power of drama to inspire youth to learn more. CAT has worked in nearly 1,000 classrooms and communities in the five boroughs of NYC. The critical components of acting: character, collaboration, story, and the dynamic relationship between performer and audience, form the basis of the organization's unique approach. Its professional actor-teachers combine these elements to create one-of-a-kind interactive learning experiences for young people and adults.

The group offers programs like early learning, literacy through drama, Shakespeare, children's theater, corporate training, and more. CAT also provides professional development opportunities for educators and other youth workers. These robust, practical workshops are enjoyable, hands-on, and tailored to address pertinent topics. The teachings have a documented positive impact on several essential life skills: reading and writing, critical thinking, and social-emotional competency. You can be a part of the organization's work by donating online.

At #3 on our list, Brooklyn-based Streb supports and performs the work of daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Built around the principle of extreme action, the group engages diverse audiences via a mixture of slam dancing, human flight, and wild action sport. The company, Streb Extreme Action, performs its thrilling acts in venues all over the world. A state of the art facility known as SLAM accommodates the school, 150-seat performance space, rehearsal facilities, trapeze rig, and administrative offices.

The company, Streb Extreme Action, performs its thrilling acts in venues all over the world.

The organization offers classes for adults and youth. PopAction was created for adult dance students and professionals who desire new skills by overcoming unique physical challenges. Kid Action, based on the adult methodology, has levels for a variety of ages that intertwine athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. Streb also has programs that include a trapeze academy, mentoring programs, and community workshops. If you wish to assist in their mission, please consider helping financially.

Coming in at #4 on our list, Park Avenue Armory supports original works in the visual and performing arts, that need non-traditional spaces for their full realization. Part American palace, part industrial shed, the building's size enables creators to imagine, students to experience, and audiences to consume epic and adventurous presentations that cannot be mounted elsewhere in New York City. Since 2007, the facility has hosted leading artists and directors who provided extraordinary experiences in a range of mediums.

The Armory's Arts Education initiative offers activities, at no cost, to under-served public school students in NYC. This includes Production-based Programming, in which students visit and participate in interactive workshops to reflect on what they experience. It also offers Youth Corps, where learners are immersed in the creative process through paid, project-oriented internships. To get involved, become a member to enjoy insider access and support the organization.

This includes Production-based Programming, in which students visit and participate in interactive workshops to reflect on what they experience.

At #5 on our list, Waterwell is a civic-minded theater company that hopes to inspire audiences and students to change their lives, and the world in which they live. Founded in 2002, it creates contemporary exhibitions that grapple with pressing social, economic, and political questions of our time. The theater group performs several times a year around New York City, in shows that touch on such topics as civil rights, immigration, and conflict. It also has a film division that operates as an art-house studio, developing and producing a wide variety of original content for cinema, television, and the web.

The drama program, in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School, delivers top-quality, in-school stage training to more than 200 NYC public school students. Learners have a full academic course load while devoting several hours a day to acting, devising, movement, and speech classes. And the summer theater lab, in partnership with Manhattan Youth in Tribeca, offers young people the opportunity to engage in a four-week musical production intensive. You can give a gift on the website to invest in the next generation of artists and professionals through Waterwell.