A Brief History

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble was founded in 2004 by five long-time collaborators – Craig Smith,  Elise Stone,  Michael Surabian, Angela Madden, and Rachel Crowl. Joined by Amy Wagner in 2006, and by Joe Menino, Kathy Menino, Brian Costello, and Kelli Holsopple in 2009, the Co-Artistic Directors share a combined experience of 100+ years, onstage and backstage, presenting new and classic works in the tradition of repertory ensemble. The artists of the Phoenix are dedicated to promoting an ensemble-driven theatre where actors, directors, playwrights, and designers are all equal collaborators in the creative process. As an artist-directed company, the Phoenix places its decision-making power in the hands of the artists.

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is a NY Innovative Theatre Award-winning not-for-profit 501©3 organization whose mission is to celebrate the art of storytelling and inspire the love of language through groundbreaking presentations of new and classic works performed by a repertory company of artists, and through theatre-in-education programs for youth. We provide an incubator for a professional ensemble of actors, directors, playwrights, teaching artists, and designers to work as a powerful collective of storytellers  that use theatre to explore the human condition, advance social justice, and transform the collective vision of the New York City and greater audiences we serve. With our unique outreach and educational programming, we hope that Phoenix can provide new opportunities for our whole community to soar.