The York Theatre
For over four decades, The York Theatre Company’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both new and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim, multiple awards and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Over the past two seasons, York productions and artists have been nominated for a combined 31 Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, AUDELCO and Callaway Awards (and its productions of Yank ! A WWII Love Story and Enter Laughing, The Musical have both been announced for Broadway).
York is the only theatre in the city—and one of few in the world—committed to developing and producing new musical theatre works and rediscovering musical gems from the past. Founded by the late Janet Hayes Walker in 1969, York has presented over 60 full-scale musical productions, including such classics as The Golden Apple, The Grass Harp, On the 20th Century, A Doll’s Life, Lost in the Stars, Carnival! and Merrily We Roll Along.
Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively on musical theatre: new musicals in its Mainstage Series—most of them world, American or New York premieres by some of the field’s most esteemed creators, and talented emerging writers as well—and revivals in the Mufti Series. In 2006, a special Drama Desk Award was presented to the company for its “vital contributions to theatre by developing and producing new musicals.” In one recent season, York saw three of its musicals move to commercial productions: The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!); Souvenir; and Stephen Schwartz’s Captain Louie. Other York productions which have moved to extended runs on Broadway and Off include Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures and Jolson & Company.
Recent Mainstage productions include The Road to Qatar!; Falling for Eve; Yank!; Blind Lemon Blues; Enter Laughing, The Musical; My Vaudeville Man!; Asylum; Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story; Souvenir; A Fine and Private Place; LingoLand; The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!); The IT Girl; Suburb; Taking a Chance on Love; Roadside, Jolson & Company; No Way to Treat a Lady; The Show Goes On; Porterphiles and Red Hot Mama. Many of these have recorded cast albums, making a total of some 35 York recordings to date.
In addition, York has presented 79 staged concert revivals of musical theatre gems from the past in its acclaimed Musicals in Mufti Series. Notable shows include: I Love My Wife; Coco; The Body Beautiful; Knickerbocker Holiday; High Spirits; The Grand Tour; Enter Laughing; Zorba; Bajour; The Baker’s Wife; Carmelina; Celebration; Plain and Fancy; The Grass Harp; Fanny; God Bless You; Mr. Rosewater; Wish You Were Here; Lucky Stiff; Darling of the Day; Mata Hari; Johnny Johnson; The Girl Who Came To Supper; Carmen Jones; Billion Dollar Baby and 70, Girls, 70.
The company annually presents some 30 readings of new musicals in its Developmental Reading Series, which has been the incubator for such shows as Avenue Q, Summer of ‘42, Harold and Maude, Bush Is Bad, Souvenir and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!). York regularly hosts workshops of new musicals, a number of which have been recipients of the prestigious Richard Rodgers Development Award, administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. York also produces the annual NEO Concert recognizing New/Emerging/Outstanding musical theatre writers; special one-night only concerts, and a number of educational programs in partnership with various colleges and universities. The company is also the proud administrator of the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.