The Project Mourns Ed Vassallo

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 7:56 pm

February 26, 2014 — The 52nd Street Project mourns the loss of Ed Vassallo, a Project Pal if ever there was one. He was first a friend, a great friend, beloved, wonderful company, a man with a delightful gift for friendship. And he was as fine a volunteer as we have ever known, always ready, tireless even, refreshing to everyone around him. He did everything a theater artist does: write, sing, dance, act, direct, dramaturge, mentor, you name it; and he did all of it well and with flair, and then he’d go and play catch or checkers with a kid or two (often the kids with the roughest edges and the biggest challenges, who were drawn to him because Ed was cool and sweet-natured and he saw what was best in you).

He did load-ins too, back when we had load-ins, and for three years in a row he hosted the Playback Weekend up at Franklin Stage in the Catskills, courtesy of his friends Gene, Carol and Carmela Marner. He did everything, not just the fun stuff where everybody tells you that you were great when it’s all over. And no matter what, everything he did with us was shot through with what the Project is all about: pleasure, common endeavor, and the full expression of each kid’s promise and potential.

We will always remember him with abiding love and with deep gratitude for how much he blessed the Project and all of us who call it a place to belong.


Stay up to date with Project Update #69

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 3:34 pm

You can jump right on the latest news from The 52nd Street Project right now, on line (and in full color). Or if you prefer, you can wait until the new newsletter has been shipped to your home. Either way, it’s here, and you can see photos of all the productions and fun things that have been going on the past few months and get information about what’s coming up.

Check it out here!

Then click “Download this Issue.”

On that page, you’ll also see all the other back issues here to, if you want to dig into some Project history …

Two-on-Two Time

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 8:34 pm

Hey there, if you’re trying to figure out what the big event of this week is … um, it’s the Super Bowl, where have you been living?

But, if you want to know what the OTHER big event of the week is, it’s the Project’s 2014 production of BY DEGREES, Six Plays of Separation, this Friday, Saturday, and (yes, Superbowl) Sunday.

We went on our rehearsal trip two weeks ago, and now it’s production week. Check out our FB photo album and click Get Ticket under Productions and Events above to make your reservation. Hope we’ll see you there!

Facebook Gallery for BY DEGREES

The Project Mourns Carlos Dume

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 6:21 pm

The 52nd Street Project mourns the loss of Project Member Carlos Dume. He joined us in 2004, at the age of 10, with the production of his play “The Miracle of Music,” and went on to act and sing, to write and recite poetry, and to make the most of all the opportunities that he was given. He subsequently attended the University of Michigan as a recipient of the Henry and Gloria Jacobs Scholarship, offered every two years to a Project teen. His death has shocked and saddened all of us, all the more for the great promise his young life held. We grieve not only for the end of that glorious possibility, but for what he gave to us through his prodigious artistry, his constant integrity, his tenacity and fierce appetite, and the sweetness and beauty of his spirit.


All of this found its fullest expression for us in his participation in the Project’s Teen Ensemble, a two year acting program, which culminated in 2011 with the production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” which played Off-Broadway at our home theater, and then spent a week on the road, with stops at the University of Calgary and The Banff Centre. On the last night of the tour, the Ensemble gathered to celebrate their time together and all that they had accomplished. Carlos recited for them the following poem, an exquisite depiction not only of the challenges and triumphs and joys that came from the work of the group, but also of the greatness that radiated out of him. That radiance will be missed.


The Final Chapter

By Carlos Dume (2011)

On top floating it’s incredible
Who would have thought the day would come
That together we touch the clouds
Above the world soaring through its air
Progressing all the way to a place above
Where in few accepted the challenge
And fewer overcame it.
No day could have predicted this one
A family has developed,
With imperfections of course
But with more power and genuine care
To create beauty than take it away.
Oh and there have been those days,
With loss after loss
Miscalculation after miscalculation
Greatness never ceases to stop radiating out of us.
That’s one way to describe us,
Attention-deficit, we’ve all had our moments,
But geniuses
No doubt that’s what it comes down to. 
For we began with the path they set forth
And when we separate onto the many forks that lie ahead of the path
They keep the family going
Keep it going in the things they do
But they’re not the only ones, we can too
By always remembering our moments together
Old and new.
Carlos the Playwright, age 10

Carlos the Playwright, age 10

On the way to Block Island 2009

On the way to Block Island 2009

Carol & BI kids 2009

Carol & BI kids 2009


Carlos reads poetry 3

Carlos reads his poetry

Carlos reads his poetry

Carlos in the Mask Unit Presentation of the Teen Ensemble

Carlos in the Mask Unit Presentation of the Teen Ensemble

Carlos in THE NEXT LEVEL, Teen One-Act Festival

Carlos in THE NEXT LEVEL, Teen One-Act Festival


AJ, Hera & Carlos in THE NEXT LEVEL, Teen One-Act Festival 2010

AJ, Hera & Carlos in THE NEXT LEVEL, Teen One-Act Festival 2010

IMG_1824 DSC_0372 DSC_0391 DSC_0448 DSC_0521 IMG_1511 IMAG0007

Carlos in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Carlos in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Teen Ensemble at Lake Louise IMG_1538 IMG_1907 Teens in Canada AJ & Carlos on Ferris Wheel in Canada IMG_1867


Carlos in Canada on tour with The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Carlos at George's Desk

Carlos at George’s Desk


These 2-on-2’s Bring It All Together

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 4:47 pm

Reservations are available NOW for the newest Project production (free as always)!

BY DEGREES, Six Plays of Separation

2014 Two-on-Twos

This is the production where the kids are the performers in short musicals written by one adult and directed by another. BY DEGREES will feature the talents of:

The Kids:
Carlos Breton, Nathaniel Butler, Melody Cruz, Venecia Escamilla, Tatiana Goode, Kamil Kuzminski, Leah Macuilt, Samantha Paduani, Asia Rosado, Rene Paul Santiago, Derek Tineo, & Miguelangel Vezquez.

The Directors:
Eliza Baldi, Matthew Jellison, January Lavoy, Tim J. Lord, Natalie Martin, & Yusef Miller.

The Writers:
Rachel Bonds, Craig Cox, Chisa Hutchison, Jiehae Park, Max Posner & Sung Rno.

The Composer:
Robert Cowie.

The Performances:

Friday, January 31 @ 7:30

Saturday, February 1 @ 7:30

Sunday, February 2 @ 3:00

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