Spotlight On: Rising Sun Performance Company 

By Christopher Borg 

Venerable Off-Off-Broadway company Rising Sun Performance Company (RSP) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary!

On Wednesday, June 22nd, RSP will mark the occasion with a fundraiser and a retrospective anthology and reunion show highlighting productions from their past 10 years featuring scenes from audience favorites, returning artists, music, dancing and “celebratory toasts.” We at the IT Awards salute our friends at Rising Sun – and we are always up for celebratory toasts!

Following that, opening on July 7th and running through the 23rd, will be Cravings, RSP's fifth annual one-act play series.  The series presents original works that "explore human desire and its consequences.” Sounds juicy.

“It’s unbelievable to think that my baby, my little tiny company that was just a seed of an idea is celebrating such a big milestone" says founder Akia. "I’m so proud of the work our company has done and I’m excited to look back on our 10 years!"

Founded in September of 2001, and a six-year veteran resident at Horse TRADE Theatre Group on East 4th, RSP is a company run by an eclectic company of theatre artists committed to ensemble performance through collaboration. Their mission is to “advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships, and contributing new works and revitalized pre-existing work to the national canon.” They emphasize risk-taking, thinking outside the box and active participation in the Off-Off-Broadway community.

They have presented over 38 productions and events and have debuted twelve original works including Good Enough, Without, Music to Travel By, Southern Werewolf, as well as numerous one-act plays, musical cabarets,  series, free outdoor performances, and children's theatre events. In addition are the company’s trademark revivals, including the acclaimed production of Hellcab, An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, the recent The Last Supper and the IT Award-nominated production of Neil Labute's The Shape of Things.

On top of their permanent ensemble of actors, writers, directors, designers and dancers, they include a rotating roster of local, national and international guest artists, including performers, designers, playwrights, musicians, directors and technicians who work with the company on a show-to-show basis.

One of the hallmarks of this ensemble is their commitment to giving equal value to each member of the artistic team, from the board operators to the leading actors to the playwrights, designers and directors, they encourage a sense of artistic ownership from all involved on every level of production.

Members of the Ensemble are given a minimum of two roles a year, have access to free and low cost workshops/training, creative work and writing sessions, lab sessions, theatre outings, forums, website profile, networking and inclusion in a supportive community of peers. All are required to work technical positions throughout the season in addition to performing and are available for some of their several other programs: in the “Blank Check Program,” one artist is selected each year to direct, write or adapt any theatrical piece of their choosing and RSP provides the budget, venue, production, cast, technical, and administrative support. There is also the "Aspire to Inspire" nights, in which RSP selects promising new scripts, directors, and performers and provides them with the tools, resources and production support for a NYC performance; the final result can end up as a full-length production, showcase, staged reading, or workshop. Usually the participants are making their NYC debut or are testing their skills in a new genre.

Rising Sun has been proudly affiliated and created strong working relationships with The Actors Studio Drama School, Dance Theatre Workshop, The New School for Drama, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, The Theatre Development Fund’s Costume Collection & Play by Play Program, Audience Extras, Theatremania Gold Club and Material for The Arts. Rising Sun is a member of ART-NY, League of Independent Theatres, The Community Dish, The Field & Fractured Atlas  

Check out details and purchase tickets for the 10th anniversary MASH UP!


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