The Show Goes On: Amas Musical Theatre Moves to Greenwich Village

News   The Show Goes On: Amas Musical Theatre Moves to Greenwich Village Amas Musical Theatre, the Off-Broadway producing organization committed to training kids in theatre arts and developing new multicultural musicals, is moving its operation to Greenwich Village's Players Theatre.

The wrecking ball is coming to the company's 11-year home in the John Houseman Theatre Center on West 42nd Street. The move to administrative offices and rehearsal space above the Players Theatre at 115 Macdougal Street will be complete by June 1, producing artistic director Donna Trinkoff told Playbill.com.

Amas' new space above the Players is freshly renovated, and the 250-seat theatre below will be used occasionally for Amas projects. A six-week youth theatre training initiative will happen there this summer.

Amas' Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy Musical Theatre Training Program operates at Town Hall in midtown on weekends.

Amas (the name is Latin for "you love") was founded by pioneering actress and humanitarian Rosetta LeNoire (1911-2001) almost 40 years ago. The peripatetic company started in 1968 in LeNoire's basement in the Bronx, then moved to a church on West 86th Street, then to its long-time home in a city-owned building on East 104th St., then to its residency at The John Houseman Theatre Center (under the patronage of producer Eric Krebs, Amas chairman since 1993).

Trinkoff said the Lab Series of developmental readings of new musicals "and possibly some workshops" will be seen at the Players. Full productions or co-productions will be booked at appropriate spaces, she said. As a producer, Amas doesn't announce a season but stages full productions when they are ready to be seen — sometimes after staging developmental readings.

The company is one of the rare producing organizations that has an open submission policy for scripts, as long as they are multi-ethnic in theme and lend themselves to multi-ethnic casting.

"You never know where the diamond in the rough might come from," Trinkoff said of the open submisssions, acknowledging that "a lot of scripts come through our contacts — people who know our work."

The troupe's recent developmental or full productions have included SHOUT!, From My Hometown, Latin Heat, Four Guys Named Jose and the Broadway-aimed Lone Star Love, Zanna, Don't! and Stormy Weather, the Story of Lena Horne.

(Its presentation of SHOUT!, focusing on the songs of white-girl '60s singers Petula Clark, Lulu and Dusty Springfield, was performed by a multi-ethnic rainbow cast, lending a universal quality to the material. The show is expected to have a commercial Off-Broadway run in the coming year.)

The Amas Youth Academy's current production of Footloose, meanwhile, continues at Off-Broadway's Lion Theatre to May 22.

For more information about Amas Musical Theatre, visit www.amasmusical.org

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