Why we do what we do

This crisis has thrown all of us for a loop – and that’s if you’re lucky. Still, The New Group finds that we can’t suppress our habit of looking things square in the face. The theater community, like New York City in general, has been hit hard: so many have lost work, plans and lives thrown into disarray. Crisis does make us ask why we do what we do, and in our case, what theater offers to its community.

In better times, we meet in the theater to grapple collectively with challenging moments in our communal lives; to see what’s really happening under the surface, or equally important, relocate the humor and perspective that allow us to go on. We are keenly missing this kind of hopefulness and clarity right now and imagine that you might be too. Like many, we are staying connected with students and collaborators by moving our many classes and creative conversations online, and offering each other what hope – and even fun – that we can muster. But let’s be honest: cyber-meetings are better than nothing, but it’s not the same!

We do theater – and love theater – to be around people, and to work toward a common goal. Every season The New Group employs hundreds of people, and involves thousands more, and couldn’t function without any of them. We rely on each other so much. We rely on you. Moreover, the work we do is in conversation with the dozens of other theater companies that together create such a huge force of cultural life in the city, and honestly make it what it is.

For many of us, perhaps including you, this is why we live here. And we desperately need this community to continue to thrive. Maybe the inherent precariousness of theater, even in good times, reminds us to not let setbacks stop us. And of course we will not just adapt but respond to the current challenges – personally and artistically. We may be feeling low now, but we’re already reaching for our bootstraps – and for the stories that sustain us in hard times. We will continue to stay in touch and look forward to sharing stories and conversations from The New Group’s community of artists soon. Stay tuned!


If you are able, please consider making a donation to The New Group. Your generosity is so welcome at this time. Thank you.