Mission

MISSION

Through plays and workshops, Voice Theatre brings people together to experience the full diversity of being human. We transform lives by creating theatre and giving workshops. We are a regional theatre in Woodstock, NY and also produce in New York City, while providing educational programming both upstate and downstate. 

Voice Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are fully tax-deductible to the full extent of the law

WHAT WE DO

One of only two Equity theatres in Ulster County, Voice Theatre typically produces two or more full-scale main stage productions each season. We also produced one play a year in New York City with free, coordinated, in-school workshops for our educational partners in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Our ensemble of actors and designers come from New York City and Upstate. Every production receives a five-week rehearsal period, far longer than the norm. 

We perform for those who cannot afford to come to the theater and for those who can. Our audiences range from first-time to seasoned theater goers. We are committed to building a vibrant and diverse young audience and offer $20 tickets to full-time students and audience members aged 25 or younger.  

Our Spring Reading Series attracts playwrights from all over the country. Focused on developing new plays for our main stage, our productions of BIRDS ON A WIRE and END DAYS were developed through this program. The series includes a vital community feedback component as well. 

Our in-school educational outreach programs focus on anti-bullying, anti-racism, anti-Semitism, developing empathy, and climate change, using theatre, presentation, communication skills, and creative writing. We offer these workshops, as well as student matinees and post-performance discussion free of charge. Most of our students represent under-served communities in both New York City and Upstate. Many students have never seen live theatre before. Starting in 2017, we have been working with undocumented, unaccompanied, teen refugees in a locked facility in Kingston, NY. The program brings refugees to Upstate and downstate high schools to participate in workshops alongside American students. Through sharing values, ideas, histories, fears and dreams, these workshops provide a dynamic space for exchange, compassion and empathy. We also hold workshops leading to performances for youth who have been found guilty of crimes and are now registered with The Restorative Justice Program in Kingston, NY in lieu of sentences. These focus on issues of bullying and racism.

Voice Theatre offers summer youth workshops in movement for actors, voice for the speaker and singer, improvisation and acting techniques for ages 9-18 in our theatre. Each summer concludes with a free presentation for family and friends to celebrate all that they have learned. We offer weekend youth acting classes, as well as evening acting classes for adults, throughout the year. 

During the COVID 19 pandemic we have presented classes and workshops online, and Zoom productions of classics, modern American plays, and original works. Each of these performances have included fund drives for local organizations including Family of Woodstock homeless shelter, New Horizons Refugee Program Children’s Home of Kingston, New York Coalition for the Homeless, Woodstock Food Pantry, and for Voice Theatre.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

  • We believe in the value of nurturing a group of artists dedicated to creating and working in live theatre.
  • We believe in cutting through barriers of ethnicity, language and nationality, bringing together diverse peoples seeking mutual respect because of their shared experiences of humanity.                                              
  • We believe that laughter is a powerful tool that brings people together.                                                                                                                  
  • We believe that live theatre creates a visceral imprint on our being.                                                                                                          
  • We believe in exploring all that is human to create a better community of understanding, acceptance and inclusion.

Voice Theatre has no restrictions on whom we work with and is dedicated to working and employing people of all races, ages, sexual orientations, national heritages, disabilities and nationalities. We have in place and adhere to a no-tolerance bullying, racial and sexual harassment policy.

BRIEF HISTORY

Established in 1988 and funded by the French Government, Voice Theatre started in Paris and continued in New York City in 1989. Since then we have produced more than 50 full-scale productions, from original plays such as Birds on a Wire (four stars Edinburgh Festival), Legacy and Pushing Through, to American classics, Off-Broadway shows, numerous Spring Reading Series, 10-Minute Play Festivals, and many more activities in the United States, Germany, France, Britain and the Middle East. In addition, we have led free, educational in-school workshops in New York City and Upstate, NY, and presented adult classes and summer youth workshops in our theatre. 

In 2014 Voice Theatre renovated the historic Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY, which served as our company summer home until 2019. Featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, the Washington Post and Cune Press, Voice Theatre continues to pioneer theatre techniques intersecting voice with text to tell the human story. 

Voice Theatre’s first production in Paris was Family Cycles, a theatre piece for 30 actors. That same year, at La MAMA in New York City, Voice Theatre produced Pushing Through, a music theatre piece developed and performed by Palestinian and Israeli women. In this groundbreaking production, Palestinian and Israeli actors, for the first time, shared the same stage. Written and directed by Shauna Kanter, Pushing Through (University of Nebraska Press) was a groundbreaking quest for dialogue in the Middle East. We toured the production from 1988 through 1993 in the US and in the UK.

Voice Theatre has partnered with various organizations abroad in producing much of its work, in places including Germany, France, and Scotland. For example, we partnered with the Peres Centre for Peace, Tel Aviv, Israel and the Palestinian Regional Authority, Palestine to produce Warriors of Fate with actors from Palestine and Israel, with performances taking place in Palestine and Israel. 

Off-Broadway productions have included Retzach at 59E59 Theatres, Our Country’s Good at the CSV Cultural Center, and The Laramie Project at the Barrow Group Theater. 

PRODUCTIONS, READING SERIES, 10 MINUTE PLAY FESTIVALS

2020 COVID-19

Our Town — presented live through Zoom

An Enemy of the People — presented live through Zoom

Fuddy Meers — presented live through Zoom

I Hate Hamlet — presented live through Zoom

Covid Pages — presented live through Zoom

2019

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

Blithe Spirit — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

2018

Legacy  — Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

All My Sons — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

2017

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

The Skin of Our Teeth — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

2016

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

End Days — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY 

Ten Minute Play Festival — Fall and Winter, Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

2015

Our Country’s Good  — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

Ten Minute Play Festival — Fall and Winter, Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

2014

Birds on a Wire

  — Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

  — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, New York City

Ten Minute Play Festival — Fall and Winter, Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

Spring Reading Series — Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

2013

Master Class — Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, Phoenicia, NY & Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC

2012

Season’s Greetings — Creekside Grill Theatre, Woodstock, NY 

Lovers: Winners  — Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, Phoenicia, NY &

Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY

2011

Gaza Monologues  — United Nations & LA MAMA, NYC

Legacy  — Berman Center for the Arts, West Bloomfield, Detroit, MI

Hay Fever — Sight Specific Production, Woodstock, NY

2010

Birds on a Wire — Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Off-Broadway, NYC

2006

Retzach  — 59E59 Theaters, Off-Broadway, NYC

Our Country’s Good — La Tea Theatre, CSV Cultural Center, NYC

2004

Mamet Miller Dreaming — The Loft Theater, The Barrow Group, NYC

2003

The Laramie Project  — The Barrow Group, NYC

Legacy (The Gift)  — T. Schreiber Studio, NYC

1999

Warriors of Fate — Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah, Palestine & Ilana Goor Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel

1998

Legacy — Cockpit Theatre, London, UK

1997

Legacy — Klecks Theater, Hannover, Germany and in France at; Musee de Resistance, Bordeaux, Olympia Theatre, Bordeaux, France Salle des Fete, Libourn

1996

Loveplay — Shepard Festival, Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK

1995

Legacy — Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, UK

1993

Pushing Through — Carver Center for the Arts, San Antonio, TX

The Homecoming Project  — Columbia Festival of the Arts, Columbia, MD

1992

The Homecoming Project — Circum Arts, NYC

1991

Pushing Through — Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh, Scotland, Aberdeen Alternative Festival, Aberdeen, Scotland, Cumbernauld Theatre, Cumbernauld, Scotland, Columbia Festival of the Arts, Columbia, MD, HOME (presently Here), NYC, Wesleyan University, Middletown, NY, Advancement for Judaism, NYC, Arab American Cultural Foundation, Washington, DC, Unitarian Society, NY, Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY

1990

Pushing Through — Unison Arts Center, New Paltz, NY, The Glasgow 1990 Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, The Village Gate, NYC

1989

Pushing Through  — LaMama, NYC

The Achievement   — Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales

1988

Family Cycles  — L’ Espace de la Grace, Paris, France

Pushing Through  — L’ Espace de la Grace, Paris, France

Our Country's Good summer 2015, Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY.
Our Country’s Good, 2015, Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock, NY.

Jessica Crandall in Birds on a Wire
Jessica Crandall in Birds on a Wire, written and directed by Shauna Kanter, at the Sanctuary Arts Initiative, NYC.