The Theater activities at Saint Malachy's were instituted by Artistic Director/Resident Playwright Jo Ann Tedesco in 2011 and they are produced by Mario Macaluso and John Roney. The purpose of the organizations was to create a permanent theatrical presence at Saint Malachy's continuing the tradition of the original theatrical endeavors at the world famous Actors Chapel. No longer having a once viable basement theater, the three groups now use either the cleared main altar and church proper, the partitioned off West Chapel or the small choir loft on the second floor. The space is determined by the project. Already attracting such recognizable names as Olympia Dukakis, Louis Zorich, Joyce Van Patten, Gary Swanson and David Margulies we will soon present Lou Diamond Phillips, Renee Taylor and Joseph Bolognia among others TBA.
The Saint Genesius Society, named after the patron saint of playwrights and actors, is a gymnasium for actors, directors and writers lead by seasoned professionals. It affords the opportunity to try out new materials, hone acting techniques and even try out audition pieces or work on roles they've been cast in. A wonderful place for those new to the professions to be initiated and meet those more immersed in "the business." This is virtually the only place in the city where such opportunities are offered to the theatrical community gratis. We've already seen newcomers graduate to their first professional jobs.
Actors Chapel Presents... Since it's inception, two or three readings a month (second, fourth and fifth Wednesdays) of original plays have been presented by professional actors and directors. Plays are read at various stages of development from simple table readings up to actual staged readings depending on the rehearsal time decided by individual directors. Each reading is followed by an often spirited Q & A with the playwrights and directors. Since its inception the series has attracted a very literary and theatrically savvy following so these discussions are often as entertaining and enlightening as the plays themselves. So far three premiered plays have gone on to full productions and two are waiting in the wings.
Broadway After Hours is a less regular presentation of readings, musicals and fully produced one-man/woman shows. It takes place at Midnight Saturday nights after the eleven o'clock Mass and therefore is available to Broadway cast members. The venue has been used a number of times to enthusiastic reactions.