The York Theatre

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For almost four decades, The York Theatre Company’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both new and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim, multiple awards, and recognition from artists and audiences alike. York is the only theatre in the city— and one of few in the world—committed to developing and producing new musical theatre works and rediscovering musical gems from the past. York’s 2008-09 mainstage shows, Enter Laughing, The Musical and My Vaudeville Man!, recently received 13 nominations from the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards.

In 2006, a special Drama Desk Award was presented to the company for its “vital contributions to theater by developing and producing new musicals.” In one recent season, York saw three productions move to commercial productions: The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) had a 500-performance run Off-Broadway at New World Stages; Souvenir moved to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Judy Kaye; and Stephen Schwartz’s Captain Louie transferred to The Little Shubert. Other York productions which have moved to extended runs on Broadway and Off include Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures and Jolson & Company.

Founded by the late Janet Hayes Walker in 1969, York has presented over 60 full-scale musical productions, including such classics as The Golden Apple, The Grass Harp, On the 20th Century, A Doll’s Life, Lost in the Stars, Carnival and Merrily We Roll Along. Under the guidance of Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively on musical theatre: new musicals in its Mainstage Series—most of them world, American or New York premieres by some of the field’s most esteemed creators, and talented emerging writers as well—and revivals in the Mufti Series. Recent mainstage productions include Enter Laughing, The Musical ; My Vaudeville Man!; Blind Lemon Blues; Asylum; Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story; Souvenir . . . ; A Fine and Private Place;Â LingoLand; The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!); The IT Girl; Suburb; Taking a Chance on Love; Jolson & Company; No Way to Treat a Lady; The Show Goes On; Porterphiles and Red Hot Mama. Many of these have recorded cast albums, making a total of 30 York recordings to date.

In addition, York has presented over 70 staged concert revivals of musical theatre gems from the past in its acclaimed Musicals in Mufti Series. Notable shows include: Enter Laughing, Zorba, Bajour, The Baker’s Wife, Carmelina, Celebration, Plain and Fancy, The Grass Harp, Fanny, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Wish You Were Here, Lucky Stiff, Darling of the Day, Mata Hari, Johnny Johnson, The Girl Who Came To Supper, Carmen Jones, Billion Dollar Baby and 70, Girls, 70.

The company annually presents some 40 readings of new musicals in its Developmental Reading Series, which has been the incubator for such shows as Avenue Q, Summer of ‘42, Harold and Maude, Bush Is Bad, Souvenir and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!). York also regularly hosts workshops of new musicals, a number of which have been recipients of the prestigious Richard Rodgers Development Award, administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

York also produces the annual NEO Concert recognizing New/Emerging/Outstanding musical theatre writers; special one-night only concerts; and a number of educational programs in partnership with various colleges and universities. The company is also the proud administrator of the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.

Since 1993, The York Theatre Company has been located on the lower level of Saint Peter's Church, Citigroup Center, in Manhattan's Midtown East neighborhood. The theatre space is configured as a traditional proscenium stage, approximately 35 feet square. The tiered auditorium is handicapped-accessible and holds 178 patrons. There is one center and two side aisles. There are tech booths at the back of the house for sound, lighting, projection, and other equipment and crew. The theatre also has three production offices, one rehearsal room, and four dressing rooms.

Programs available from this theatre:

  • Merrily We Roll Along (1994)
  • The Jello Is Always Red (1998)
  • Busker Alley (2006)
  • A Fine & Private Place (2006)
  • That Time Of the Year (2006)
  • Enter Laughing (2008)
  • Blind Lemon Blues (2009)
  • Falling For Eve_2010 (2010)
  • "Blind Lemon Blues"

    -standing in front of a poster of Blind Lemon Jefferson,
    (l-r) Robert Goldberg (York Board of Directors), Molly Grose (Board Secretary) and Jim Morgan (Artistic Director)

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