Magic Neighbors Theater for Kids and Other Theater Companies Across the Boroughs

Pied Piper Children's Theatre
Pied Piper Children’s Theatre is a beloved staple of the Inwood Washington Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan.Theater in Unexpected Places

We got a great response from the post we did last time, so we’re going to do something similar. The former blog entry here at the Magic Neighbors Theater Company for kids, was a look at theater companies – both for grownups and kids – that are in our neighborhood which is Inwood Manhattan. These companies, like ours, would often be performing their work in environments that are usually not associated with theater. For example most of our shows have been in various branches of the New York Public Library. This same idea can be found in another Inwood Manhattan kids theater company. And this company’s unusual place to perform is in Inwood’s Holy Trinity Church. Here’s an excerpt from our coverage from last time as seen on their FaceBook page:

“The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre 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.”

New York City Children’s Theater

Stepping outside of our neighborhood in Inwood Manhattan there are many other theater companies for kids. One of these is New York City Children’s Theater:

“New York Children’s Theater is a nonprofit organization (formerly Making Books Sing) that creates original, entertaining and enriching theater for young audiences and adults to enjoy together. We believe a city as culturally rich as New York needs a children’s theater that produces high-quality original productions and develops robust arts-in-education programs, serving children in all communities across the five boroughs.”

Brooklyn Children’s Theatre

Stepping further out from our Northern Manhattan location and going clear to the other side, and even to a different borough, we find ourselves at Brooklyn Children’s Theater. They are very mission driven as can be seen here:

“We especially seek the participation of students who have a gift to give the art of theatre who would not otherwise have theater or performance opportunities, due to economic or cultural barriers or lack of resources in their schools and communities. BCT fulfills an underfunded need in which all students are welcome, regardless of their economic situation. No child has ever been refused for an inability to pay.”

Why Kids Theater?

Great character building and literacy skills come from kids performing theater. It can be quite an adventure for a child to grapple with all the phases that a production requires. And it’s an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Inwood Manhattan Based Theater Companies

Moose Hall Theatre Company
From the Moose Hall Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, left to right: Zack Gafin (Page), J.B. Alexander (Bardolph), Kathryn Fray (Hostess Quickly), Richard Henry Scofield (Falstaff).

Magic Neighbors Theater for Kids

In addition to the Magic Neighbors Theater for Kids (established 2009), Inwood Manhattan based theater companies include Moose Hall Theatre Company, Pied Piper Children’s Theater and Up Theater Company. Of these companies, Magic Neighbors is the only one that exclusively performs at New York Public Libraries all around the city and boroughs in branches that include Inwood, Morrisania, Grand Central and Columbus. In fact, because M.N.’s headquarters is located in Inwood, whenever they go on a performing arts library tour they always make certain to launch it at the Inwood Manhattan Library Branch. Magic Neighbors is run by a dad, a mom and their young daughter.

Moose Hall Theatre Company

Moose Hall Theatre Company is headed by Ted Minos and is known for providing performance opportunities since the year 2000 for professional performing artists of various cultures and origins, particularly for those who would not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in contemporary or classical productions. The Inwood Shakespeare Festival (ISF) was conceived and developed by Ted Minos as a way to bring theatre to the greater Inwood community.

The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre

The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre is described as the community theater ministry of Holy Trinity Church Inwood. The program is offered to children and adolescents ages 5 to 18, regardless of race, color, religious belief, or gender. The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre 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.

Up Theater Company

UP Theater Company offers fully produced professional theater to its community in Northern Manhattan, and develops new plays – employing many theater artists who live in Inwood. Despite their parochial concerns, UP is no “community theater.” They eschew crowd-pleasing chestnuts in favor of daring new work that challenges its audience’s preconceived notions about what they think they think.

Manhattan Magician Joins the Society of American Magicians

Manhattan Magician Joins the Society of American Magicians
Manhattan Magician Joins the Society of American Magicians

Magic Neighbors was founded in 2009 by Lights Camera Read. And from the very beginning, the theater projects Magic Neighbors took on had to do with, what else, magic. So in keeping with the tradition of celebrating magic, Magic Neighbors’ founder, who is known by his stage name Manhattan Magician, recently joined the Society of American Magicians. Manhattan Magician was a professional conjurer in his early years which ultimately lead to him becoming a web designer, digital marketer and blogger. He was deeply impacted by Harry Houdini who he not only considers to be the greatest prestidigitator who ever lived, but also a brilliant marketer. The evidence of Houdini’s ability to promote himself can be found by the fact that we are still talking about him today even though he has been dead since Halloween, 1926. One of the reasons that Manhattan Magician joined S.A.M. is because after the summer break is over he will be auditioning to become a member of the New York City chapter that was once presided over by Houdini himself. This NYC based enclave is known as being Parent Assembly 001, the first of many all across the world.