Writer’s Group: Creating Theater for Young People
March 2, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us for a writer’s group all about creating theater and live content for young people. This month’s speaker is Renata Townsend of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company. This discussion will involve a presentation and possibly an activity on your feet!
About Our Host
Renata Townsend is a theater maker and content creator for young people. She has performed and taught with The New Victory Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Park Avenue Armory, CENTERSTAGE, Co/LAB, Opening Act and Circle in the Square Theatre School. She works with the World Science Festival on finding ways to engage families while they are waiting in lines and writes Teacher Resource Guides for Broadway shows. She is the Head of Enrichment for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and serves on the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. Renata is a 2019/20 New Victory Theater Labworks Artist in Residence and is currently working on an original show that will push into early-childhood classrooms. She holds a BFA in Acting from UMBC and a Master’s Degree in Applied Theater from City University of New York, SPS.
Based in New York City, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company creates bold, original productions for young people and their families. Rooted firmly in the belief that kids deserve theater that ignites their imaginations and makes them think about the world in a new way, the company creates work that is multidisciplinary, and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, dance, animation and video projection. Hailed by The New York Times for “blur[ring] the boundaries between the imagined and the real.”
Trusty Sidekick often creates performances in unconventional spaces, experimenting with how audiences interact with live performance. Since its founding in 2011, Trusty Sidekick has devised and produced 17 original works, including two works specifically created for children on the autism spectrum and their families. TSTC has also developed work in partnership with some of the most exciting theater venues in NYC and beyond, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Classic Stage Company, Park Avenue Armory, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theater, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Trusty Sidekick creates immersive experiences that encourage kids and adults to imagine and play together, redefining the theatrical experience for a new generation.
Spencer Lott is a puppeteer, designer and director based in Brooklyn. His puppetry credits include A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (starring Tom Hanks), Sesame Street, The Relationtrip (Hulu) and Melvin the Birder (Amazon Prime). Recently, he’s designed puppets for projects with Nickelodeon and LaGuardia Performing Arts High School. In addition to being the Associate Artistic Director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Spencer Lott is the recipient of four Jim Henson Foundation grants for his original puppet productions. He is a resident artist at HERE Arts developing a biographical puppetry work with visual artist Maiko Kikuchi. He has been a Works in Progress Artist at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, and a Guest Artist for Theater Development Fund’s Stage Door program. He’s performed at the Center for Puppetry Arts, St. Anns Warehouse (Toy Theater Festival), LaMama, The New Ohio, Classic Stage Company, Dixon Place, and the Connelly Theater. He is a member of the teaching artist ensemble at BAM and the New Victory Theater.