This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Rebel Verses (photo by Bobby Rodriguez)

Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival pairs young artists with award-winning performers (photo by Bobby Rodriguez)

Vineyard Theatre
Gertrude and Irving Dimson Theatre
108 East 15th St. between Union Square East & Irving Pl.
August 9-11, 16-18, $15-$25, 7:00

For nearly twenty years, Developing Artists has helped nurture young actors, providing them with the freedom necessary to share their diverse voices. In 2001, the organization founded Rebel Verses, in which company members stage original works. This year’s Youth Arts Festival takes place August 9-11 and 16-18 at the Vineyard Theatre, with an all-star lineup of special guests working with the young troupe, which consists of thirteen-to-nineteen-year-olds from all five boroughs of New York City and elsewhere. The first week will feature presentations by the Door, the Alumni Theatre Company, and the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, with two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Anna in the Tropics) on August 9, poet, singer, and actor Flaco Navaja (East WillyB) on August 10, and Kevin Mambo (Ruined, Fela!) on August 11. The second week includes the MCC Youth Company, Epic Next, 6th Borough Slam, and Girl Be Heard, with Laura Gómez (Orange Is the New Black, The House of the Spirits) on August 16, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton, The Scottsboro Boys) on August 17, and Emmy winner Joe Morton (Scandal, The Brother from Another Planet) on August 18.

“There is a void in our community that Developing Artists fills by establishing a creative home for young people and instilling in them a sense of confidence and freedom of expression. Growing up in the New York public school system, I wished for an artistic outlet that would give voice to my culture and experience,” Developing Artists Advisory Board member Rubin-Vega said in a statement. “The positive impact Developing Artists has on both the performing arts community and our city as a whole is immeasurable. Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival is a hotbed of new forms of learning through the arts, empowering young people to become successful artists and allowing them to recognize that their stories are a part of the fabric of this world.” Tickets ranging from five to twenty-five dollars are going fast to see this important collaborative program that is an important part of the next generation of theater.

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