Founded in 1965, Roundabout Theatre Company has grown from a small 150-seat theatre in a converted supermarket basement to become the nation’s most influential not-for-profit theatre company, as well as one of New York City’s leading cultural institutions. With five stages on and off Broadway, Roundabout now reaches over 700,000 theatergoers, students, educators and artists across the country and around the world every year.
In 1991, Roundabout became the second not-for-profit theatre to produce on Broadway. Subsequently, Roundabout expanded its mission to producing a classic musical from the American repetoire each year. She Loves Me was Roundabout’s first Broadway musical in 1993. Since then, Roundabout has staged the renowned musical productions of Cabaret, 1776, Nine, Assassins, The Pajama Game, Sunday in the Park with George and Anything Goes.
Roundabout has always been a leading producer of classic work, reviving plays and musicals that are often neglected by commerical producers. As our mission evolved, however, we focused our responsibilities to become a leader in producing the work of living playwrights and developing the classics of tomorrow. As a result, the New Play Initiative was created in 1995.
Over the years, Roundabout has been recognized with 29 Tonys, 41 Drama Desks, 50 Outer Critics Circle, 9 Obie and 5 Olivier Awards, and has attracted such well-known actors as Kelli O'Hara, Stockard Channing, Jim Dale, Alan Cumming, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer, Jason Robards and Nathan Lane, and directors the likes of Scott Ellis, Doug Hughes, Joe Mantello and Kathleen Marshall.
Our innovative Theatre Plus program, designed to improve the theatergoing experience with special subscriber packages - such as the Early Curtain series—was also launched in 1991, and would later be adopted by arts organizations around the country and internationally. Roundabout has attracted one of the largest subscription audiences in the nation, growing from 400 subscribers in our earliest years to over 30,000 today.
In place since 1980 and restructured in 1996, Education at Roundabout has established groundbreaking programs, including long-term, multiple classroom partnerships with tri-state area public schools. With encouragement from the NYC Department of Education, we developed two new high schools - Bronx Theatre High School and the Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre - using theatre across the curriculum.
In 2007, Roundabout also became one of only a handful of theatre companies to establish an institutional archive, preserving our role in the American theatre tradition and making it accessible to the public.
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