Black Lives Matter

posted on Jun 10 2020

by Matt Dorter, Executive Director

mainstages stands in solidarity with the Black community.

Right now, people across the country are protesting not only police violence against Black people, but also the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its inception.

As an educational theater company, we have a responsibility to address head-on the relevant topics that kids are confronting today and help them process uncomfortable emotions in a way that provides a safe context for expression.

Here are some of the actions that we are holding ourselves accountable for moving forward:

  • Participants from pre-k through high school in our 12 virtual afterschool programs and 3 weekly fun-inar sessions, will participate in programming addressing racism.
  • We will be diligent in making sure our programs and performances provide a secure, safe space for all of our students, especially those students who are a part of marginalized communities.
  • We’ve aimed to create a network of staff that reflect the diversity of the New York theater community as to how it relates to gender, race and identity. We can and should do better. We will continue to hire, engage and promote Black Teaching Artists to create coalitions that oppose anti-Blackness and pursue racial equity for Black Americans.
  • We will work to ensure that the members of our community, from our directors to our teaching artists and performers, continue to educate ourselves on ways we can combat implicit bias in the spaces we work in.
  • We will make clear our expectations in placing camp staff with the intention of representing marginalized communities, particularly members of the Black community.

In a pre-coronavirus world, we would currently be hiring 40+ seasonal employees for the summer, many of whom are placed at summer camps across the country. As the world has shifted and our business has pivoted to stay relevant, we have decided to introduce new values to the mainstages mission: improvisation, connection, character, and imagination. They will not only guide our decisions on how we run our new virtual programming, but how we address social issues. We have incorporated the above actions and thoughts into our new mission statement.

Read our NEW Mission Statement

Click Here

Matt Dorter

posted on Jun 10 2020

by Matt Dorter

Matt is a seasoned camp and theater professional with over 20 years staff experience at both day and resident camps. Matt graduated New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Theater and Applied Education and served as Company Manager of the New Acting Company in New York City.

Matt has toured with the National Theater for Children and has written, directed, and produced over 150 shows for children. Matt is a consultant on theatrical services for summer camps and is a presenter for the American Camp Association on theatrical best practices.

Matt is proud to be a founding member of the mainstages team and is passionate about the goal of using creativity to inspire social action and strengthen theatrical arts in the youth movement.