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"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

Immigration: Beyond Small Talk

Katya Stanislavskaya, composer and lyricist of new musical Resident Alien, writes about the impetus behind the show and the timely issues it portrays.   Read More

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A Message from APAC’s Artistic Director, Dev Bondarin

As we near the year’s end, APAC Artistic Director Dev Bondarin reflects on the past year’s successes, and explains how you (yes, you!) can help us continue our mission to bringing great theatre to the Astoria community and beyond.  Read More

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Taking Shelter

For the final week of Evensong‘s run, our set design team (Christopher and Justin Swader) gives us a peek at their process and explain how APAC’s own performance space lent itself perfectly to Christina Quintana’s play.  Read More

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Postcards, designing, rehearsals, oh my!

What does it take to get a show up and running?  This week, APAC Artistic Director Dev Bondarin lets us in on the myriad ways #TeamAPAC/#TeamEvensong is prepping for the show.  Read More

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Meet the APAC Marketing Team!

Introducing Kimberly Wilson Marshall, Christopher Stansfield, and Jessica Taghap — APAC’s new marketing team!  Read along as they introduce themselves and talk a bit about what they do.  Read More

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On Evensong, by Christina Quintana

Evensong scribe Christina Quintana recounts how her own experiences volunteering at a NYC shelter helped inspire her to write the play featured in APAC’s Mainstage season.  Read More

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I’ve Never Been in a Church-nasium Before

Reflections by Artistic Director Dev Bondarin on how she came to Spelling Bee and producing a show which is set in a gymnatorium while in a actual Church gymnasium. Read More

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Carefully Designing a Set

Set and Props Designers Christopher and Justin Swader speak about designing the set for Carefully Taught and their work as a design duo. Read More

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Writing a World Premiere

Playwright Cheryl L. Davis reflects on writing our world premiere play Carefully Taught Read More

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The Magic of Theatre: Reflections from a Summer Stars Alum-Turned-Apprentice

Stephanie Garace was part of Summer Stars from 2004 to 2007. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this past May and will be working as a corps member with City Year New York for the 2015-2016 school year. Eventually, she hopes teach full-time. Read More

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A Creatively Fulfilling Season

Artistic Director Dev Bondarin looks back on her first full season at APAC.  Read More

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Senior Stars 2015

Senior Stars Director, Katharine Pettit, reflects on this year’s program.  Read More

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It Started Out With a Director’s Chair: Reflections on Merrily

In her blog post, Artistic Director Dev Bondarin reflects on time spent with MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, from her time with the show in college to APAC’s current production.  Read More

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It All Started with a Pin….

In her blog post, Merrily‘s costume designer, Jennifer Jacob, conveys her excitement for dressing a show that spans twenty years of fashion and explains some of the more serendipitous moments of being a costume designer. Read More

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That’s How We Roll

In this week’s blog post, actor Matt Welsh gives some insight into the preparation of an actor for a show such as Merrily We Roll Along, the forces at play in some of his choices, and the hilarious and touching influences on his life as an artist.  Read More

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Playmaking 2015 – Round Two

In this week’s blog post, Playmaking teacher Susan Willerman explains her process with the students, and makes us all wish we were still in middle school.  Read More

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Greetings from Heather Shields, APAC’s Interim Executive Director

In this week’s blog, Heather Shields, APAC’s new Interim Executive Director shares her history with and excitement about working with APAC. Welcome Heather! Read More

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Writers’ Reflections on the Midwinter Reading Series

In February, APAC hosted our Midwinter Reading Series at the Queens Council on the Arts. It featured a play, Carefully Taught, by Cheryl L. Davis and a musical, Love, Always, by Bill Connington and Michael Cooper. We asked the writers of these pieces to share their experiences for the APAC Blog. Read More

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Reflections on Playmaking Round One

Our 10th Anniversary of Playmaking is underway and once again students from Horace Greeley Intermediate School (IS 10) are taking part in an afterschool program where they learn to write their own plays from Playmaking instructor Susan Willerman.  Playwriting Assistant, Gina Femia reports on how the first round of this year’s Playmaking program went! Read More.

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A Great 2014 @ APAC – Thanks to YOU!

As 2014 draws to a close and the winter holidays approach, we find ourselves thinking of the things we all love about this time of year: the warmth of family and friends, generosity of spirit, festive surprises, and the promise of an exciting new year to come. Read More.

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APAC Is Thankful for YOU

After having an incredible two months rehearsing and performing In The Bones, we’d all just like to let you know how thankful we are to have such a wonderful APAC family of artists, audiences, and supporters. Read More

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Cast Reflections on In The Bones

We asked the actors in In The Bones to share responses to the following questions about their experiences with the play:

What has been a meaningful part of your journey with this play / your character? Read More

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Dev Bondarin (director of In The Bones) is named Artistic Director

Please join us in welcoming the In The Bones director, Dev Bondarin, as the new Artistic Director of APAC!

I am excited and proud to join Astoria Performing Arts Center as Artistic Director and to begin my tenure with this fall’s production of Cody Daigle’s In The Bones. Cody and I are longtime collaborators, and I am grateful for the chance to share his work and this powerful story with you. Read More

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Three Weeks Down 5/2/2014 by Erin Moore

Erin Moore, APAC’s New Executive Director started her position at APAC just over three weeks ago. She began it during one of the busiest times of our season and had to hit the ground running. She wanted to share some of her perspective from the first three weeks on the job. Read More

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Journey To Allegro 4/21/2014 by Mark Falconer

Tomorrow night actor’s take the stage under lights for the first time, in what we refer to as Tech, all the pieces of Allegro will start to come together. As we enter this last week before audiences will start seeing our work, we wanted to share another behind the scenes perspective. Mark Falconer first came to APAC during The Human Comedy and since then has brought his talent and knowledge to every APAC musical as an assistant director.  Today he shares his long history with Allegro. Read More

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Dancing ‘Til Your Feet Hurt 4/14/2014 by Christine O’Grady

With Allegro in full swing, we wanted to share some more perspectives from our creative team. From the first meeting, it was clear with this show that dance would play an important role in this production. With this large dance show, it seems most appropriate to spend time hearing from Choreographer, Christine O’Grady. Read More

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Playmaking Round Two 4/7/2014 by Susan Willerman

On Thursday, a second group of Middle Schoolers from IS-10 will see the plays they created through Astoria Playmaking come to life onstage with the help of some professional actors and directors.  Susan Willerman, who is the force behind this great program, wanted to share some of her perspectives on this session of Astoria Playmaking. Read More

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Creating a Set  3/24/2014 by Stephen Dobay

When the pre-production process begins on a show, one of the first things that needs to be hashed out is the set design, it can set the location, create a color palette for the other designs, dictate what movement is possible, and tell a story on it’s own.  As we start rehearsals this week and start really diving into this show, we asked Stephen Dobay, set designer, to share his take on this piece and design in general. Read More
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The Dramaturg’s Point of View 3/17/2014 by Ben Coleman

Ben Coleman signed on as our Dramaturg on Allegro early in the process. We asked him to talk about the show and why he was so excited to be a part of it. The final result was a post full of the historical significance of this elusive show. Read More

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Tom’s Perspective on Allegro 3/10/2014 by Tom Wojtunik

After our successful fall run of The Cottage, APAC is now looking ahead to our Spring Mainstage, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro.  As a musical which hasn’t had a full production in New York City since it’s Broadway run in 1947, it might not be the most well known musical, definitely not the best known of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s. Tom wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to a little of its history and explain how he fell in love with it.  Read More

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Recommended Restaurant: Sweet Afton by Jenny Lando

As we come into the first days of Spring and the Spring Mainstage, Allegro, is right around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to tell you about one of the favorites on the Recommended Restaurant List. Jenny Lando took a moment to let us know about Sweet Afton. Read More

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Playmaking Students Chat About Their Brand New Plays 2/10/2014 by Playmaking Students

The public performance for our first round of Playmaking is right around the corner.  Teaching Artists Susan and Crystal aren’t the only ones getting excited about the upcoming Playmaking performance on February Feb. 13th at I.S. 10 in Queens! Today, Crystal got to talk to the students about their brand new plays!  Read More

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An Insiders Peek at Playmaking  2/3/2014 by Crystal Skillman

Each year students from Horace Greeley Intermediate School (IS 10) participate in an after school program where they learn to write their own plays from Playmaking instructor Susan Willerman. These young playwrights then see their original works brought to life by professional actors and directors in a evening of staged readings. Each young playwright sees their work performed for the very first time while sitting in a big “Writer’s Chair” onstage. It’s great fun and inspiring to see these kids find a new way to express themselves creatively. Playwriting Assistant to Susan, Crystal Skillman shares with us a little bit of what’s been going on in the room!  Read More

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RECOMMENDED RESTAURANT : BUTCHER BAR 1/14 by Jenny Lando

As winter rolls on, we hit a quiet time at APAC. Although we’re still working away at the office and we’ve even started preparing for our next mainstage – Allegro, the pace has slowed a little. We thought we would use this down time to let you know about one of the new restaurants on our Recommended Restaurant List, The Butcher Bar. Jenny Lando wrote about some of her favorites there. Read more

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LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD 12/30 by Tom Wojtunik

As we wrap things up at APAC for 2013, and start looking forward to next year, we thought it was a great time to share a long-overdue project that we finally finished!

If you take a look at our Past Seasons page on our website, you will see that we now have a show page for every production in APAC’s history, including cast and crew names, links to press and production photos!

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The Usher, The Victorian Window and The Universe 11/19 by Grace Pettijohn

It is often said the final piece of the puzzle in any live performance is the audience. Each new audience brings its own personality, it’s own energy. Before the last bows on The Cottage we wanted to give a voice to our audiences. We asked Grace Pettijohn, a long time supporter of APAC who volunteered to usher this past Saturday, to tell us about her experience this past Saturday.  Read More

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Opening Night at Sac’s Place 11/13 by Tom Wojtunik

This past Saturday night, APAC celebrated the opening of our fall mainstage The Cottage. After a long two weeks of tech, dress rehearsals and previews, we finally reached one of the most fun parts of working in theatre…the opening night party!  read more

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Bring Your Sweet Tooth to the Show 11/4 by Tom Wojtunik

Over the past few weeks we have given you different views of the new play The Cottage which will have its first public performance this Thursday. We hope after seeing so many different perspectives of the show in the last few weeks you are as excited about seeing the show as we are about showing it to you. But if you need one more reason to come out to The Cottage, Tom wanted to share about a new partnership which will bring a sweet new treat to our concessions. Read More

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A Day in the Life of Amy Rutberg 10/28 by Amy Rutberg

We are gearing up for our first performance of The Cottage on November 7th. The show is coming together in an amazing way, in no small part due to our talented ensemble of actors. One of them is Amy Rutberg, a New York actress playing the part of Sylvia Van-Kipness. She wanted to share with you a day in her life. If you want to find out more about Amy visit her website – www.amyrutberg.com.  Read More

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Set Build – A Week in Pictures 10/14 by Annie Jacobs

The Cottage is moving forward, including the set being built. Last week, our staff and a few volunteers gathered to get a jump on building the set. We wanted to share some of what we’ve been up to and they say a picture is worth a thousand words.  See More

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Costumes for The Cottage 10/7 by Ryan Moller

Some actors say that the moment they first put on their costumes is when they can fully realize their characters, it adds a piece of the puzzle as to who the characters are.  Ryan Moller, costume designer from APAC’s The Secret Garden, is joining us again on The Cottage.  He is taking this opportunity to share with us a little about how he sees the characters in The Cottage and give us a sneak peek at what we can expect to see hit the stage on November 7th. Read More

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What Adam Learned on his Summer Vacation 9/30 by Adam Dannheisser

The entire production staff of The Cottage is anticipating this Thursday – First Rehearsal. This day the actors will join us to have a first read-thru  and with that take the first steps bringing this play from the page to the stage.  After last week’s post in which Sandy Rustin told us why The Cottage was written, this week we wanted director Adam Dannheisser, the man at the helm of this project, to tell us what influenced him most in thinking about the play; it turns out the biggest influencer was his summer vacation. Read More
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Dominating Ladies in a Male Dominant Genre 9/23 by Sandy Rustin

Tickets are being sold, postcards are being printed, actors are being cast, and a set is being budgeted. In many ways, we are already in full swing  for The Cottage – our first mainstage show, and we’re excited to see what the hard work of the next 5 weeks will bring to this devilishly funny script.  While we work hard behind the scenes, we’re also looking forward to bringing you some sneak peeks at what we’re up to. This week the uber- playwright, Sandy Rustin, shares with us where her inspiration for writing The Cottage came from.  Read More

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Looking Back and Moving Forward 9/16 by Annie Jacobs

Since Taryn left at the beginning of August, the most common question about APAC I’ve been asked is “how is it going without Taryn?” The answer is complex, of course there is a huge impact to the company when 1/3rd of its senior staff leaves, and this is a major transition time for all of us, but in the challenges it is so apparent that APAC isn’t the sum of its staff, it’s so much more. Read More

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Casting By the Numbers 9/9 by Scott Wojcik

Tomorrow we get under way with casting for our first mainstage of the year – The Cottage.  Casting is the first time a director will see these actors bring the script to life – these same actors will embody characters in front of an audience in just under two months.  Leading up this endeavor is Wojcik Seay casting.  Casting Director, Scott Wojcik took a moment to share with us his perspective of the next couple weeks. Read More

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Tom’s Take on Season 13 9/3 by Tom Wojtunik

Programming a season, especially one with only two mainstage shows in it, is a challenging activity.  A well-programmed season should contain balance – shows that complement and contrast each other, that both speak to and challenge our current audience, as well as bring in new audiences.  It also has to be a very timely choice, a show which may be right one year may not be right the next because of what is happening in the world or in our neighborhood.  Each year Tom Wojtunik programs the two mainstages and the additional new works series for APAC, and although when the season was announced a couple weeks ago you learned what we are doing this season, Tom takes this opportunity to explain a little about why he made the choices he did.  Read More

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Summer Stars – A Volunteer’s Perspective 8/26 by Drayton Hiers

On Saturday we wrapped up this year’s Summer Stars with APAC’s first performance of the season.  The 31 kids (all 8 to 13  years old) who participated this year did us proud, performing in an entertaining show that left our audiences abuzz.  We wanted to give you a behind the scene perspective on what the day holds, so we asked a newbie to Summer Stars and one of our volunteers for the day, Drayton Hiers, to tell us how he thought the day went. Read More

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Behind the Scenes of Summer Stars – Kids Edition 8/23 by Ella Shea, Nicole Wengert and Olga Horbal

It’s hard to believe but today is the last day of rehearsal for Summer Stars.  Before the two public performances tomorrow, we wanted to hear from the kids about some of their experiences these last two weeks. Three of our Summer Stars – Nicole Wengert, Olga Horbal, and Ella Shea gave you a sneak peek of what you might see tomorrow. Read More

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Behind the Scenes of Summer Stars 8/16 by Olivia O’Brien and Paul Martinez

APAC’s 13th season has officially kicked off!

Monday morning 31 kids age 8-13 took over the Good Shepherd Church and started rehearsals for Summer Stars: Project Fame.  In it’s 11th season, Summer Stars is our favorite way to start the season –  bringing musical theater to the kids of Queens.  

We asked two of the adults in charge – our Program Coordinator, Olivia O’Brien and our Musical Director, Paul Martinez – to give you the inside scoop of what’s been happening this week.    Read More

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Digging Through History 8/9 by Annie Jacobs

As Taryn prepared to leave APAC these last few weeks one of her tasks was to get any files out of storage and bring them to the APAC office.  As the boxes started coming in, there has been a lot of time spent (and a lot more to spend) combing through boxes – some containing paperwork, others containing pictures and video tapes, but all containing the history of APAC. Read More

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A Beginning and An Ending   8/2 by Taryn Sacramone

It’s the start of a new season at APAC. Tomorrow we will have the first official date in the APAC calendar – auditions for Summer Starsin the coming weeks we’ll announce the programming for the year, and today we are launching this – the APAC blog – which will give you all a weekly behind the scenes take on our community.

But the beginning of this season carries with it one very significant ending – Taryn Sacramone, our Executive Director for the past 8 seasons, is leaving APAC to take the position of Managing Director at Queen’s Theatre.  Today is her last day with us. As the leader of our community for 8 years, Taryn was instrumental in creating a home for our allies, artists and audiences alike. When we first talked about doing a blog the idea was to have another way to hear the stories of those in our community, so we thought it fitting that our first post would be Taryn sharing some stories and saying her goodbyes to all of you. Read More

 

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