STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Spotlight Theatre Company, known for its exceptional Staten Island children’s theater productions, has raised the curtain on a new division aimed at adult audiences.
The official launch of the Spotlight Repertory Theatre was recently celebrated by its founders, friends and patrons of the arts during a “Cocktails & Conversation” party at the entertainment company’s new West Brighton headquarters. Like its children-centric sibling, the newly formed Staten Island-based outfit is a professional Actors’ Equity Association theater company offering first-rate stage productions featuring a blend of seasoned professionals and top local performers.
Included among the guests were Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke; Lillian L. Lagazzo, former executive assistant to past Borough President James P. Molinaro; State Assemblyman Matthew Titone; Broadway veterans Diane DiCroce, Robert Fowler and Ron Trenouth, and dozens of additional performers and supporters of live theater.
“Our hearts and roots are in small, professional, live theatre,” said professional actor, director and teacher Mary Lee Marson Aloia, a co-founder of parent company Spotlight Productions. “Our latest expansion allows us to better serve Staten Island’s community of theatergoers by enhancing our capabilities of providing a year-round repertory of musicals and plays that inspire, challenge, surprise, and excite audiences of all ages.”
The latest addition to the Spotlight Productions family will join in the company’s established practice of supporting Staten Island schools, charities and community programs, such as Curtis and Wagner high schools; Morris Intermediate School (I.S. 61); A Very Special Place; On Your Mark; Project Hospitality, and El Centro del Inmigrante, to name just a few.
Spotlight Repertory Theatre will feature a variety of performing arts showcases beginning in the summer and unveil its first major project in November with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The play, an adaption of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, will be presented in the historic Music Hall on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Livingston.
Since the children’s theater company’s premiere production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” in 2015 at the College of Staten Island’s Williamson Theatre, Willowbrook, it has experienced growing success with an impressive portfolio of musicals, such as its most recent sold-out presentation of “Beauty and the Beast” at Snug Harbor.
Directing the young performers is a team of professionals, including theatrical experts such as scenic designer and Spotlight Productions co-founder Vicky Fiorentino; tech director Peter Donchik; the production team of Kathleen Ryan, John Cooke, Tom McGinley and Jodee Lord, and musical director Tina Kenny Jones.
“With the wonderful success of our multiple programs and productions, we were able to open Spotlight Studios – our new storefront and rehearsal studios in West Brighton,” said professional actor, director and choreographer John (Jacque) Stewart, a co-founder of Spotlight Productions. “With a home and financial base, our mission of creating professional theater for the family audience has been further advanced. By using our network of professional performers and artists – and combining with a pool of great local talent – we are looking forward to having Spotlight Repertory Theatre become a magnificent addition to Staten Island’s cultural scene.”
Spotlight Studios is located at 358 Forest Ave., Staten Island, NY 10301.
For additional information, email SpotlightTheatreSI@gmail.com, or call 718-207-1128.