Second Stage Theatre
The theatre's mission is to give new life to contemporary American plays and to produce the world premiers of new plays by both established and emerging playwrights. A fundamental part of its purpose is theatre education, which is accomplished through special performances for New York City school children, subscriber discussions with theatre artists, and an internship program.
Second Stage Theatre was founded in 1979 by Carole Rothman and Robyn Goodman with the purpose of giving new life to existing plays. The company utilized multiple venues throughout New York City until 1984 when they finally found a permanent home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, an intimate 108 seat theatre at Broadway and 76th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Although the original idea of Second Stage was to give "second stagings" to plays that originally failed to find audiences, Rothman and Goodman soon began producing new works as well.
In 1999, Second Stage moved into a new home on the corner of West 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue. Previously a bank, the 1929 structure was redesigned for the stage by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The McGinn/Cazale Theatre is now home to 2ST's "Uptown Series", a two-show summer series dedicated to nurturing young playwrights often receiving their first professional production in New York City.
Helen Hayes Theatre
Second Stage holds the rights to purchase the Helen Hayes Theatre, a 597-seat Broadway house located at 240 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan. Since the theatre is currently occupied by the musical Rock of Ages, no firm date is set for when the company will take over the space.
When programming begins in the Helen Hayes Theatre, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions. Second Stage will also become one of only four non-profit theatre companies that own and operate theatres on Broadway. The company will continue to lease and operate its original theatres on the Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.
"2ST Uptown" was created in 2002 as a program to help develop and provide a voice for a new generation of theatre artists. It has helped launch and advance the careers of several up-and-coming playwrights, including Lesyle Headland, Michael Mitnick, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Adam Bock, Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, and Dan O'Brien.
The series seeks to develop the skills of emerging playwrights by providing them with the support of a major artistic institution. Many of the playwrights involved are making their New York City debuts. Because of this, Second Stage serves as a gateway for many young American theatre artists to step onto the New York scene.
All plays are presented at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, on Broadway and 76th Street on the Upper West Side. The Series is curated by Second Stage's Associate Artistic Director, Christopher Burney.
Awards and honors
The company's more than 125 citations include three 2009 Tony Awards for Next to Normal including Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley), Best Original Score Written for the Theatre (Tom Kitt (musician) and Brian Yorkey), and Best Orchestrations (Tom Kitt (musician) and Michael Starobin), the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White) for The Little Dog Laughed, 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 25 Obie Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, six Theatre World Awards, 13 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 15 AUDELCO Awards. In 2010 Next to Normal received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Plays and playwrights
Over the years, many notable actors have brought their talent to Second Stage. For some, it was a launching pad to a successful career on stage and screen. For others it has served as an inviting place to return to the stage after years away. Among the many actors who have been through the doors include: