Queens Theatre began as the Theaterama, one of three structures designed by renowned modernist architect Phillip Johnson to comprise the New York State Pavillion at the 1964 World's Fair. Its neighbors were the triple Astro-View towers, with its 226 and 181-foot high observations decks and 85-foot high restaurant and lounge, and the Tent of Tomorrow, a massive open-air pavillion with a multi-colored fiberglass roof and large-scale map of New York State on its terrazzo floor.
While the Theaterama showed a 360-degree panoramic film on the State of New York inside, its exterior was an equally impressive sight: its façade was adorned with large-scale original artwork by some of the most famous pop artists of the day, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly.
When the fair closed in 1965, the pavilion was one of the few structures spared demolition.
In 1972, Theaterama was converted from a movie theatre to a live entertainment venue. After being managed by a number of organizations, Queens Theatre was officially established in 1989 and, after a $4 million renovation, Queens Theatre officially opened on October 16, 1993 with a gala performance hosted by Kitty Carlisle Hart that honored Queens Borough President Claire Schulman.
Today, Queens Theatre is a vibrant performing arts center with three performance spaces: its 472-seat mainstage theatre, 99-seat studio theatre and its intimate cabaret & cocktail bar. The theatre is committed to presenting world-class theatre, music and dance as well as programming that reflects the diversity of the community that supports it.
Queens Theatre is also one of the only performing arts center in the borough that actively develops new works through two New Play Development programs, including Inmigrant Voices Project, a program that develops work that represent the rich cultural diversity of New York City. More than 75 new plays have received staged readings and productions at Queens Theatre, most notably Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph, which premiered on Broadway in 2011 in a production that starred Robin Williams and directed by Moises Kaufman.
Four versatile spaces that together can accommodate virtually any private event, including corporate meetings and business conferences,weddings, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, receptions, concerts, workshops and more.
Easily accessible by all major highways that traverse Queens as well as the MTA #7 Flushing Line and various bus routes. Centrally located between LaGuardia and JFK Airports. ADA compliant. Ample convenient, and free parking. Comfortably heated and air conditioned.
Queens Theatre’s skilled technicians and courteous staff will work with you to make your event successful and one you will not forget.
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New Play Development
New American Voices (NAV), (formerly The Immigrant Voices Project), Queens Theatre's renowned new play development program, presents works by writers who represent the rich cultural diversity of the evolving populations of the borough of Queens, New York City and the United States. Since its inception in 2002, approximately one hundred new works have received Play Readings, Showcases and Full Productions on Queens Theatre's three stages. Audiences have the unique opportunity to participate directly in the development process in post-show discussions with the playwrights, directors and actors. Many writers whose early drafts or premiere productions of their work were presented through NAV have gone on to prominent careers in theatre, including Kristoffer Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2010, Heather Raffo, the Lucille Lortel Award-winning Iraqi American playwright and actress, and Rajiv Joseph, whose play, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo which premiered at Queens Theatre in 2007, opened on Broadway in 2011.
This fall, Queens Theatre will be partnering with Theatre 167, Ma-Yi Theater Company, and Mission to dit(Mars), a Queens-based Theatre Arts Collective to present readings of three distinct new plays by women writers. All readings are free of charge, but reservations are encouraged.
Unlike many New York City play development programs, which present Play Readings and Showcases to industry professionals, New American Voices’ audiences are a diverse and dedicated group of theatergoers who cross racial, ethnic, economic, and generational lines. Playwrights receive honest feedback from these passionate “non-professionals” during post-show talkbacks, which provide Queens Theatre audiences with an opportunity to participate directly in the process of play development.
New American Voices Submission Policies
A year-round initiative, NAV has an open submission policy. We accepts submissions of new plays by all writers, with any cast size, giving preference to work by emerging minority writers and “underrepresented” voices. We are particularly interested in original, provocative plays which respond to contemporary issues from various cultural perspectives.
Depending on the developmental needs of the script, each selected NAV play receives either a Reading, a Showcase Production, or a Full Production. NAV’s artistic leadership works with each playwright to nurture these plays through the development process.
Queens Theatre is committed to providing opportunities for all writers, regardless of age, ethnicity, or experience. We do not require that a writer has representation, or that scripts are submitted through an agent. However, we only accept submission of plays which fit squarely.
Director of New Play Development
Please do not send unsolicited scripts.
Email a letter of inquiry, synopsis, cast breakdown, resume and production history to Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development at: email@example.com
No children's shows or one acts, please.
Response to inquiry email
Response to requested scripts