The White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) and the Westchester Sandbox Theatre have announced a partnership that will enhance the educational programming capabilities of two successful organizations.
This growth adds additional Young People’s Theatre productions to the WPPAC’s current schedule of critically acclaimed professional mainstage productions, presented concerts, comedy and special theatrical events.
Tt also joins two Westchester based theatrical organizations who strive to fulfill a shared mission of bringing the best live entertainment offerings and superior-level theatrical education to the White Plains and Mamaroneck communities and all of Westchester County.
“The WPPAC Conservatory Theatre is both educational and artistic, valuing ensemble and teamwork over star players and holding students to high standards while teaching them with the skills necessary to reach those standards. We are excited to partner with the Westchester Sandbox Theatre, whose educational mission and goals so closely mirror our own,” says Ariana Moses, WPPAC’s Director of Education.
The Westchester Sandbox Theatre, based in Mamaroneck, has been producing quality youth theatre for the past nine years. Late in 2016, they began exploring options for expansion, feeling they had outgrown their intimate 100-seat theatre. While the Sandbox will still call Mamaroneck home, moving into a new facility in July that holds additional studios, space and parking, they looked to the White Plains Performing Arts Center for a performance space. In April, both companies began to talk about ways in which they could complement each other and a new, multi-faceted partnership was born.
Starting in the fall, the Sandbox Theatre will produce its numerous Young People’s Theatre productions at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, adding to WPPAC’s current season line-up. For the Sandbox, this facility is an upgrade in every way. “We are incredibly proud of what we have built, both our company and our mighty little theatre space. But this is definitely the logical next step. We’ve grown tremendously and now this venue reflects the size and quality of our work with young people” says Sandbox owner and Executive Director Daniel Ferrante.
Both parties are incredibly excited about the long term possibilities. “Theatre is by its very nature collaborative; so having the chance to work with such a vibrant, exciting theatrical partner is really a dream come true,” says Sandbox Artistic Director Jason Summers. WPPAC Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Quinn agrees with Summers’ and Ferrante’s sentiment. “For the White Plains Performing Arts Center, this is also a very logical next step in the development of our Education Department and family entertainment series. Our youth theatre program has had a long-standing reputation for high standards and superior-level training of young performers. With the addition of the Westchester Sandbox Theatre both theaters can expand, bringing theatrical education to a greater number of students and increasing the amount of family programming for our loyal audiences.”
The burgeoning partnership will go beyond simply presenting youth theatre together. The companies will also be joining forces on other educational opportunities including after-school programs, in-school residencies, touring shows, and in-house family programming. Continues Quinn, “Given our proximity to NYC and Broadway, young performers in this area are hungry for proper, technique-based training that helps pave the way for a career in the arts and parents are always looking for great family entertainment at an affordable price. This is a very exciting opportunity.”