New Acting Company Turns 10 – and Stays Forever Young with Production of Peter Pan
“I’m flying!” From audience member to veteran actor, most would agree that these words from Peter Pan sum up the wonder of the theater experience.
This spring marks The Children’s Aid Society’s New Acting Company’s 10th anniversary of staging high quality family theater and providing a creative outlet for children and adults. In celebration, the Company, based at The Children’s Aid Society Philip Coltoff Center in Greenwich Village, is mounting a non-traditional, reinvented version of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
The New Acting Company’s Peter Pan is played by an actual 12 year-old boy – Zach Zamsky, in his first Children’s Aid Society Professional Production (and fourth Children’s Aid production overall). A multimedia adventure replaces the traditional pulley system of “flying,” allowing the audience to share the sensation. And in this reimagining, Captain Hook is played by a woman – National Theater Institute-trained Synge Maher.
Each of The New Acting Company’s productions over the past 10 years – from Wild Thing to The Jungle Book to Alice in Wonderland – have been creative, unique theater experiences. Artistic Director Stephen Michael Rondel explains, “Ten years ago I was hired by The Children’s Aid Society to create a ‘new’ theater program. I began to restructure and design our progressive theatrical curriculum based on building the audiences of tomorrow by enriching the children of today. The New Acting Company is proud to be a fun, safe and creative place for students of all ages to explore the world of acting.”
Over the past 10 years, the Company has grown from 50 to 220 students. The mission – to use the energy of live performance (both onstage and in class) to allow students to face the issues of responsibility, commitment, trust, friendship, teamwork, reading comprehension, self-esteem, risk and success – remains steadfastly the same.