The Lyric Stage Company of Boston and City Stage Co. have announced a new collaboration, along with their plan to merge this season. This union will bring together two companies with decades of experience in theatre and theatre-based education. Working together, more youth and families in the City of Boston will have access to their programs.
Both founded in 1974, the two companies serve nearly 100,000 people each year through theatrical performances and educational programming. By partnering, the Lyric Stage will broaden its reach by working with one of Boston’s most well-respected theatre-education companies, and City Stage will be able to deepen its educational programming through its connection to Boston’s oldest resident theatre company.
“This collaboration andLyric Stage Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos
eventualmerger is a natural outgrowth of our ongoing strategic planning. By working with City Stage, we are able to serve more residents of Boston and provide more opportunities for residents of the city to participate in theatre at all ages.”
City Stage Audiences & Performers
“I have known the leadership of Lyric Stage for decades and believe that it’s an organization that will not only honor the way that City Stage treats its young audience members and students withCity Stage Interim Artistic Director and co-founder Susan Gassett
respect,but also provide growth so that City Stage can work in even more Boston public schools.”
Formerly housed at the Boston Center for the Arts, City Stage has moved its operations to the Lyric Stage’s headquarters at 140 Clarendon Street, where the two companies will share administrative resources. The Lyric Stage recently appointed Courtney O’Connor as its new Associate Artistic Director and, following her start at the Lyric Stage on July 9, the two companies have begun to strategize more ways in which the relationship between the two companies can enhance and deepen services for the City of Boston. Prior to his passing earlier this year, City Stage Artistic Director Larry Coen had been deeply connected with the Lyric Stage, which produced his play Epic Proportions, and where he directed several productions including Chinglish. As an actor, Larry appeared in many Lyric Stage shows, including Dirty Blonde and The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby, where he was directed by Veloudos and O’Connor.
City Stage productions take two forms: original, participatory plays that reach family audiences in the neighborhoods where they live, and KidStage, short participatory plays for young children and their families performed at Boston Children’s Museum – free with Museum admission.
“Boston Children’s Museum has partnered with City Stage since the 1980s, introducing hundreds of thousands of children and families to the performing arts in our KidStage theater. I am thrilled to work with my longstanding friends and distinguished colleagues Spiro Veloudos, Susan Gassett, and their team to continue providing rich experiences in theatre, for children and families for generations to come.”Carole Charnow, President & CEO, Boston Children’s Museum
Among the benefits of the merger:
- More schools will be served by City Stage’s SpotLit program, and existing school partners will benefit from more teaching artists in the classroom, and more opportunities to see professional live theatre with their families outside the classroom
- Visitors to Boston Children’s Museum who see City Stage performances at KidStage will have more opportunities to see professional live theatre, particularly those who enter through the Commonwealth’s Card to Culture program. Both the Lyric Stage and the Museum participate in this effort to provide more cultural opportunities for low-income residents of the City of Boston
- More families will be able to participate in live theatre at the Lyric Stage’s home on Clarendon Street in Copley Square. On certain weekends, parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to enjoy a play with adult themes in the Lyric Stage’s 240-seat theatre, while their children will take part in theatre-based education and performances across the lobby. Families can share their different experiences while enjoying dinner together in the Back Bay or South End.
- Touring shows can expand to more schools and libraries, with more children in the City of Boston enjoying their first exposure to live theatre. And there will be more opportunities to attend an affordable performance at the Lyric Stage, either through the Card to Culture Program, or through the Lyric Stage’s existing participation in the Huntington Theatre’s Community Membership Initiative.
- The Lyric Stage’s participation in the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays will be able to expand from 240 audience members served to over 1,000 in one day
“EdVestors applauds the effort to preserve and build on the strengths and missions of two organizations, Lyric Stage and City Stage, by their joining forces. As the lead partner in Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion, we see this combined enterprise as being in a strong position to impact Boston Public Schools students through in-school theatre education and through opportunities to experience live theatre.”Marinell Rousmaniere, Acting President & CEO of EdVestors