Coming Up: Developing Artists Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival

by Tom Coppola

What if we told you that there is an organization in NYC that not only gives less privileged young performers training in the arts, but also provides the tools to express what is important to them, empowers them to reach their full potential, AND helps guide their personal journeys through their art? Well, listen up! Developing Artists has been doing that since 1999--and then some.

Photos: Divyne Harris &  Bobby Rodriguez

The “and then some” includes the annual Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival which invites some of the best youth performing arts companies from as far away as Pennsylvania to participate in this two-week festival. By day, the students develop their artistic skills in workshops led by working artists. By night, they perform their own original works, culminating in one collaborative piece involving all of the troupes.

This year brings 2 extra levels of awesome for D.A.’s event: They are producing it in conjunction with a new partnership with the Vineyard Theatre. The Vineyard has been a developmental home to Tony and Pulitzer award winning plays and musicals (Indecent, Avenue Q, How I Learned to Drive), so they know a thing or two about shepherding new work. Aaaand this year’s festival spokesperson is Daphne Rubin Vega (yeah you know her—the original Mimi from RENT). Kewl!

What better way to support emerging artists than to go see these Tony-winners-in-training?

Runs July 27 to August 5. Tickets are $20-25!