Photo by Eric Halliwell
Since 2018, Queens Theatre’s Department of Community Engagement (led by Dominic Antonio D’Andrea) has been an active and robust initiative serving our local Queens community members through intimate programming, partnership, public dialogue, skill building, cultural exchange, and community action; and, aims engage with the local, national, and international field of theatre.
Queens is home to one of the most diverse and global populations on earth. According to the recent 2019 Queens State of The Borough report, there are now officially over 205 regularly spoken language in Queens for the first time. Queens Theatre is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is a cultural and geographic hub, located at the center of a 3-mile radius from most all of these diverse and global communities.
During the time of COVID #QTCommunity programming rapidly switched to a digital format. Since mid-March 2020 #QTCommunity has produced over 60 unique events across 7 unique ongoing weekly programs, and other special events under the QueensTheatreAtHome banner. Digital highlights include:
- Digital Story Circle (April/May 2020, June 2020)
- A weekly moderated discussion space where community members can hear a story, share a story, and share resources, moderated by Dominic D'Andrea and David Lawson
- Recharging our Joy: An Affinity Space For Black Women, Trans, & Non-Binary Folx (June 4-July 1, 2020)
- Led by Ann James (Intimacy Directors of Color)
- Queens Community Writers’ Group (June 2020)
- Franky Gonzalez leads this weekly meeting where Queens-based writers can share up to 10 pages of new writing of any genre and have it read and receive feedback from the community
- Queens Storytellers Online (May 2020, second cycle in early fall 2020)
- Hosted by David Lawson, a digital version of our popular in-house storytelling show with 50 individual guest storytellers, 10 shows
- Queens Comedy Hour Online (June 2020)
- Host Megan Sass's digital comedy show with some of the funniest Queens-based and national comedians performing 10-minute sets
- #QTMakes (April-May 2020)
- A weekly interactive cooking show designed for community members who are sheltering in place to gain new baking and cooking knowledge from members of the theatre community, including Broadway director Oliver Butler, QT Director of Education Richard Hinojosa, and The Great American Baking Show finalist and arts educator, Marissa Troeschel
- Al Son De Las Fronteras (May 16, 2020)
- An international Spanish-language concert featuring four female singer-songwriters: Carolina La O, Andrea Tierra, La Toquilla, and Cecilia Zabala. Co-produced with QT’s Willy Mosquera.
- AAPI Healing Circle An Affinity Space For the AAPI community (April 13 - May 4, 2021)
- Facilitated by Christine Toy Johnson (DEI Committee Chair, Dramatists Guild of America)
Programming Highlights include: The Stonewall 50 Plays: 50 One-Minute Plays written and performed by a cohort of over 100 LGBTQIA+ artists to honor 50 years of Stonewall, in partnership with The One-Minute Play Festival & Queens Museum; an annual Lunar New Year celebration in partnership with multiple local Chinese cultural orgs and senior centers; Queens Storytellers led by David Lawson, professional storytellers sharing stories for/by/about Queens; Jody Christopherson’s Necessary Exposure: an interactive photo exhibit of Women+ identified playwrights and their thoughts and ideas; Shakespeare Obstacle Course: a site-specific immersive Shakespeare experience for youth in partnership with The New York Shakespeare Exchange; the Annual Queens Children’s Book Fair in partnership with local Queens authors; an ongoing lecture series about the World’s Fair with historians, scholars, artists, and documentarians; art instillations in partnership with Long Island City Artists (LICA); and on and off-site community dialogues and story circles with Queens community members, particularity with the Latinx community in Queens.
QT also produced 2 national convenings: The National Disability in Theatre Convening (attended by 200+ international artists, theatre companies, members of the disability community, activists, funders, artistic leaders, elected officials, scholars, and educators), and The National Community Engagement Convening (attended by 50+ national Community Engagement Professionals from across the cultural sector.)