Epic Theatre Ensemble is an artist-led company that creates theatrical events to inspire vital dialogue about social, ethical, and political issues. Founded in 2001 in the wake of 9/11, Epic builds thoughtful citizenship by producing socially-minded plays and connecting these plays to our partner public high schools through in-depth classroom and after-school artist residencies. Central to our mission are artists of extraordinary quality working simultaneously on our professional stages and in our schools. Off-Broadway, we’ve commissioned, developed, and presented 37 new plays, including internationally-known works (Nilaja Sun’s No Child…, Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End), producing these plays beside classics and New York City premieres like Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play.
Epic has reached over 130,000 audiences, with 25,000 students and 10,000 adult 1st-time theatergoers, and has won multiple OBIEs, Drama Desks, and Lucille Lortels. Educationally, these same artists run in-depth programs with some of the most under-resourced schools in New York City, in whole-school partnerships where we reach every student every year (over 1,500/year) through compulsory, curricular-integrated residencies in English & History classes that build self-expression, foster professional relationships, and enhance college readiness. Our nationally recognized after-school Shakespeare Remix program empowers 150 self-selected students each year, as they write their own adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays and perform them in professional productions at Off-Broadway venues; Shakespeare Remix won the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the White House.