Since the festival’s inception, Rebel Verses has provided youth companies with the opportunity to collaborate and network with their peers and prominent artists, encouraging the development of new works in theater through this two-week event. Stage and screen star Daphne Rubin-Vega will serve as spokesperson for the festival.
Born out of a need in New York City for new voices in theater, Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival is a two-week festival that brings together student ensembles from all five boroughs of New York City and Pennsylvania. Students develop their artistic skills in workshops led by working artists by day, and perform their own original works by night. Each evening culminates in a collaborative piece devised by all ensembles involved, intended to represent the group and their experience within Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival.
The 2017 incarnation of the festival sees a shift from its usual springtime slot to an extended summer experience, which subsequently provides more youth companies from outside of the New York City area the opportunity to participate. Joining Developing Artists are the Vineyard Theatre Student Ensemble, MCC Youth Company, PRY SAFE Theater Group, The Door, and Alumni Theatre Company of Pittsburgh. Additional participants will be announced soon.
"Growing up in the New York public school system, I wished for an artistic outlet that would give voice to my culture and experience," says spokesperson Daphne Rubin-Vega, who also serves on Developing Artists' advisory board. "The positive impact Developing Artists has on both the performing arts community and our city as a whole is immeasurable."