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

Wish your pals (and followers) the best, while helping out the Proj

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 5:47 pm

Here’s a super cool and fun thing. You get to personalize a Happy Holiday video card, which is fun, and then when you share it on FB or Twitter, the company will donate money to the Project (and a couple other charities). One of our wonderful Board Members, Noël Mihalow, who is now General Manager Content for Raison D’Être by Click 3X, set this up for us, and we’re awfully glad.

Happy 2014 Video Card — Make One Now

All the best in the new year to everyone!

We’re Grateful for Thankful Teens

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 8:33 pm

‘I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.’

(“Twelfth Night,” Act 3, Scene 3)

The teens and their contributions to the pot luck.

The teens and their contributions to the pot luck.

Back in July, our 2011-2013 “Twelfth Night” Teen Ensemble decided that they wanted to organize a Thanksgiving reunion so that recent graduates could return and so that the whole cast could come back together again for fun and fellowship. So Doris Alcantara and Armando Cosme took the lead and messaged, texted, chatted, and called everyone to organize the event, and announced that it would be a Pot Luck (with teenagers!) and each teen would bring a dish to share. In true luck-of-the-pot form, we feasted on a delicious array of pork, rice & beans, macaroni salad, sweet potatoes and many desserts. And we toasted to our friendships with sparkling apple cider.

Loading up on bounty

Loading up on bounty


Throughout the dinner, these “experienced” Shakespearean actors all tried to see if they still remembered their lines… but it seemed they all could remember only ONE of their own lines… “If music be the food of love, play on!” “And thus, the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em!”

Corn bread, rice and beans, pernil, and thanks.

Corn bread, rice and beans, pernil, and thanks.

We then took a moment for each person to write down a simple expression of thanks. Below are all of the teens’ statements of gratitude, along with the food they brought to share at our communal table.


We hope to make this an annual event!


I’m thankful for everyone in the ensemble, better yet my ensemble “family!”

(Ashley Smith, freshman @ SUNY Buffalo. brownies and sparkling apple cider.)


Late nights at Calgary is what I’m thankful for. Be good, and I hope you have the best forever more.

(Alvin Garcia, senior @ Manhattan Village Academy. Entemman’s chocolate fudge cake.)


I felt lost and hopeless when I was gone. But now that I’m reunited with all of you I finally feel complete. Thank you for giving me the best moments of my life.

(Tino Paduani, freshman @ BMCC. soda.)


I’m thankful for being able to share old memories and making new ones.

(Doris Alcantara, senior @ Frank McCourt. Pernil–shredded pork)


I’m thankful for the constant bond, even after the Teen Ensemble was “over” we still managed to keep in contact so it’s not really “over.”

(Melissa Rebolledo, senior @ Talent Unlimited. loaf of French Bread)


–Bacon           –Bacon           –Bacon

(Jason Gil, freshman @ SUNY Albany. Brought HIMSELF!! (we didn’t think he’d be able to make it, but he did!)


I’m thankful for Gus’ laugh and us!

(Armando Cosme, freshman @ Pace University. macaroni salad)


I’m thankful that even through the “whirligig of time” we still love each other.

(Lily Capstick, senior @ Beacon. cornbread muffins)

A new Project holiday tradition may have been established

A new Project holiday tradition may have been established

A look back at GET BACK

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 11:52 pm

Here are some photos, by the wonderful Stephanie Berger, of our smash hit benefit last night, GET BACK, a concert with Jonathan Groff. It was an amazing experience and we’re tremendously grateful to all who participated.


GET OUT! Look who’s joining GET BACK …

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 10:30 pm

The Project’s first ever benefit concert GET BACK, with Jonathan Groff this coming Sunday, November 24 @ 7 pm has gained some serious talent in the last couple of days.

Not only do we have Jonathan Groff and Mary-Mitchell Campbell, but joining in will be Broadway’s Cinderella Laura Osnes, and the whole gang from [title of show] Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Jeff Bowen — who are going to be sharing a small piece of their brand new show (in progress) NOW. HERE. THIS.

GET BACK, a benefit concert with Jonathan Groff

Mary-Mitchell Campbell & Jonathan Groff

Laura Osnes

Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell, & Susan Blackwell

Groff’s Mug in MUG for the Project

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 10:48 pm

The Project got a LOVELY shout-out in the Manhattan User’s Guide (MUG) a week-daily email newsletter about what’s going on around town. If you don’t subscribe to MUG, you should check it out … and NOT just for the nice things they say about the Project. Check it out:

GetBackMUGWanna come? Click GET TICKETS under Productions & Events above.

The End of a Block Island Era

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 9:42 pm

Dear Project Pals,


Well, it is the end of an era at The 52nd Street Project.  After 27 years, the beloved Biaggi house (also known as the Sea Change) on Block Island has been sold. For more years than I have been at the Project (which is A LOT!), this glorious house has hosted 270 kids and 270 adult partners (and hundreds of other adult volunteers!) and enabled and inspired them to create beautiful, hilarious and wondrous musical plays which were then performed back in New York.


We LOVE Block Island. So consider this an all points bulletin.  We need to find a new main house if we are to go back there in 2014.  It doesn’t need a lot of bedrooms, though we could use them.  But it does need a good working kitchen and space indoors and out to rehearse plays.  It shouldn’t be too fancy and obviously the owners would have to be comfortable with us having 25 or so people in the house everyday for a week.  (Though we do make accommodations for the plumbing so the use is kept to what the house can accommodate.)


Please spread the word.  We need to reach out far and wide and we are willing to pay for it, if need be.  We are excellent guests as our countless hosts in the North East can tell you!


Let us know if you have any ideas or know someone who might know of the Project’s next Biaggi House for the next 27 years! Please forward, share etc.


And finally, to Christina Biaggi and her family we say a huge thank you for being so generous for so long.  There will always be a place in our heart for your lovely home.





Get Groff

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 3:02 pm

GET BACK! a benefit concert with Jonathan Groff

Project Pal Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, Hair, Glee) is teaming up with the incredibly talented music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Big Fish, The Addams Family, Company) for a ONE NIGHT ONLY concert event, Sunday, November 24th, at the Five Angels Theatre. Revisit that time of wild imagination, dress-up, sibling rivalry and humiliating home videos – you know, childhood… It’s an evening of songs and reminiscences about the Broadway/TV/film star’s “let’s put on a show in the barn” past, and will also feature an appearance by a Project youngster (and possibly some exciting guest friends — so stay tuned!) It will be a night to remember, and you won’t want to miss out. Tickets start at $100. Get ‘em here or by calling Alyssa Anderson at 212.333.5252 x14.

GET BACK, a benefit concert with Jonathan Groff

Supporting the Project at a Young Age

Filed under: Blogs,News Flash — @ 3:38 pm
Fallon selling her bracelets on Fire Island

Fallon and her little sister posing at the bracelet wagon on Fire Island, summer 2013

Our Board Member Noël Mihalow’s daughter Fallon asked for permission first. The family was vacationing on Fire Island when Fallon asked if it would be all right if she sold her friendship bracelets in order to raise money for The 52nd Street Project. We were overwhelmed with gratitude when we received her gift, along with a couple of pictures and the signs that she made to promote this endeavor. We share those pictures here with you.


The note Fallon sent and the signs she used to support the Project.


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