NYCHA offers performing arts workshops and productions to residents at our Community and Senior Centers throughout the five boroughs. Small workshops in dance, music, theater and video production are taught by professional instructors on a weekly basis. Field trips to concerts, dance recitals and the theater expose the participants to a variety of cultural experiences. Performances for special events, such as Black History Month, Women's History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month take place at the centers throughout the year. Annual citywide events -- such as the Senior Festival, a Teen Musical Theater Production, borough-wide Talent Show and the Festival of the Arts -- showcase the accomplishments of the youth, teen, and senior performing artists. See below for a description of our ongoing Performing Arts programs. For more information and to sign up for workshops contact our Community Coordinators at (212) 306-3511. Senior Festival Teen Musical Theater Program Annual Holiday Show Talent Search Competition/Talent ShowNEW
Senior Festival For nearly 30 years the Senior Festival has brought together NYCHA seniors to display their talents in music, dance and drama at a professional venue. More than 50 performers from all boroughs entertain an audience of 1,000 in an original musical theater production under the direction of NYCHA’s Performing Arts Unit. Auditions are held across the city, and then the show is created with seniors who assist with writing, costumes and other aspects of the show. Past events have dealt with topics ranging from AIDS awareness, grand parenting, and senior romance. For more information, please contact 212-306-3306.
Teen Musical Theater Program Each year, an original musical theater production is developed and performed by NYCHA teens under the guidance of NYCHA’s Performing Arts Unit. Approximately 75 teen actors, singers, dancers and rappers audition for the show, from which 40-50 are cast in lead and supporting roles. Others assist with set design, script writing and stage management. Participants shape the material, lyrics, and musical score to reflect their own experiences using improvisation and theater games. In 2004, the first NYCHA teen musical production, "Hip Hop Story," based on the classic "West Side Story," was presented at the Fashion Institute of Technology to an enthusiastic audience of 800 people.
Annual Holiday Show Every December, youth, teen, and senior performers present holiday themed music, dance numbers and theatrical productions. Past shows have included an African percussion version of "Little Drummer Boy" and the "Jingle Bell Blues" holiday skit. Performers from the Youth Choir, Senior Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and the teen and senior theater productions have delighted large audiences at the Haft Auditorium at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Schomburg Center’s Langston Hughes Theater.
Talent Search Competition/Talent Show For the past 44 years, NYCHA's Talent Shows have been delighting audiences and launching the careers of up-and-coming performers who reside in public housing. Auditions of over one hundred performers are held in each borough. Twenty five to 30 acts are selected to compete in the final show which is held in the spring. During the demanding rehearsal schedule participants are given instruction in voice, stage presence choreography and dramatic delivery.