Tag Archives: Secret Theatre

LIC’s Secret Theatre to stay open after surpassing fundraising goal


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

The show will go on at one Long Island City theatre thanks to a successful online fundraising campaign.

Last month Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., started an Indiegogo campaign looking to raise enough money to help keep the doors of the theatre open.

The fundraising site came after Mazda said the theatre had to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012 after the Department of Buildings (DOB) found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date.

The goal of the Indiegogo campaign, which ends Sept. 4 at 11:59 p.m., was set at $10,000, and as of Thursday afternoon $10,860 had been raised.

“I feel really good about it,” Mazda said about seeing the overwhelming amount of support. “Coming out and saying we’re in trouble was not easy. I feel very luck that so many people did rush to help.”

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, produced in-house shows and co-produced productions.

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said the funds will go toward renovations such as putting a restroom inside the Little Theatre, which had to be moved to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building after violations were found by the DOB.

He also hopes to turn the theatre into a nonprofit organization.

Mazda said he plans to start the Queens Theatre Fund, a small organization which brings together the Queens theatre community to create funding for “exceptional and emergency circumstances,” such as the one in which the Secret Theatre found itself.

“I tried to be very transparent and sincere and a lot of people have said to me that what I was saying to them hit home. They understood from the way that I communicated the message,” Mazda said about the overall fundraising experience. “I think they realized the Secret Theatre is a resource for the community.”

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LIC’s Secret Theatre turns to fundraising campaign to survive


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

One Long Island City theatre is looking to raise enough money to help keep its doors open.

Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., has started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign after having to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012.

The difficulties came after the Department of Buildings found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date, which meant that Mazda had to pay DOB fines, hire architects to get correct permits in place and also move the site’s Little Theatre to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building.

“We were under the threat of closing one space and just having the big theatre, or closing both spaces and literally calling it a day,” Mazda said. “No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t dig our way out just from our normal thin profit margin.”

Mazda continued to explain that the Secret Theatre breaks even with the money coming in from ticket sales, but to pay for the “unexpected costs” they now had to turn to the community to help cover some debts and also continue offering programs to the community.

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, and produced in-house and co-produced productions.

“I am comfortable that we will raise a good amount of money,” Mazda said. “I am very moved by the support we are receiving so far and I look forward to being able to thank more people.”

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said he hopes to bring change to the Secret Theatre and turn it into a nonprofit organization.

The Indiegogo campaign has a goal of $10,000 and will run until Sept. 4.

“At this point in time I don’t think we will close. We are still in trouble, but the reaction from people has been incredible,” Mazda said.

For more information visit secrettheatre.com. To donate to the Secret Theatre’s fundraising campaign, click here.

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with rain showers, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 63. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 mph shifting to the WNW in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60%. Thursday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 41F. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Romeo and Juliet

The Poetics Theatre Collective presents a unique staging of Shakespeare’s timeless love story Romeo and Juliet in an intimate setting at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City from Thursday, November 7 - Saturday, November 16. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD commissioner appointment in limbo after Bill de Blasio elected

The clock is ticking for the newly elected mayor to name a police commissioner — the first changing of the guard at the NYPD in 12 years. Read more: New York Daily News

Twitter sets IPO of $26 per share

Twitter late Wednesday set a price of $26 for its initial public offering of stock, which means the company’s shares can begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Ray Kelly in the running for JPMorgan job

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, unwanted by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, is in the running for a top security job at JPMorgan Chase, sources at the financial giant told The Post. Read more: New York Post

David Dinkins released from hospital

Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins has been released from the hospital after treatment for pneumonia. Read more: AP

Blockbuster Video to shut down remaining U.S. stores

Not so many years ago, a Blockbuster video store could be found in virtually every neighborhood in the city. Read more: CBS New York/AP

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 64. Breezy. Winds from the NE at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Overcast in the evening, then mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 55. Winds from the NE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Arms and the Man

One of George Bernard Shaw’s most beloved plays, Arms and the Man is a hilarious satire about the ironies of war and fallacies of romantic idealism. Performances will be at Long Island City’s Secret Theatre through October 13. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Norman Rockwell painting stolen in Maspeth

Police are asking for help finding a stolen Norman Rockwell painting. Read more: The Queens Courier

Undercover cop and civilian in motorcycle assault case arrested

An undercover NYPD officer and another civilian biker involved in the motorcycle assault case have been arrested. Read more: ABC New York

Scarsdale “Pot Mom” pleads guilty to running multimillion-dollar marijuana farm

A Westchester County mother of three pleaded guilty to running a multimillion-dollar marijuana-growing operating in a Queens warehouse. Read more: NBC New York

Documents: No weapon, motive found in car of Conn. woman in Capitol Hill chase

Police found no weapon or apparent evidence of motive while searching the car of a Stamford, Conn., woman who was fatally shot by police after trying to ram her vehicle through a White House barrier, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Poll: GOP gets the blame in shutdown

Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown as public esteem sinks for all players in the impasse, President Barack Obama among them, according to a new poll. It’s a struggle with no heroes. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 79. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the SSE in the afternoon. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 68. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NW after midnight.

EVENT OF THE DAY: “After Eternity” in the unFringed Festival at the Secret Theatre

After winning Best Play in the Venus Theatre Festival, “After Eternity” will be produced as part of the Secret Theatre’s unFringed Festival. Performances are Friday, August 16 at 9 p.m.; Saturday, August 17 at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, August 18t at 3:00 p.m; Wednesday, August 21 at 8:00 p.m; and Friday, August 23 at 9:00 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens judge sues city for cop ‘chop’ 

A Queens Supreme Court justice who claims a cop “karate chopped” him in the neck without provocation has filed a $300,000 lawsuit against the city, the NYPD and the Queens district attorney’s office, alleging a coverup. Read more: New York Daily News

NYC Democratic mayoral race shuffles again as de Blasio, Quinn battle for lead: NBC 4 NY poll

The topsy-turvy race for New York’s Democratic mayoral nomination has shifted again, with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surging to a statistical tie with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former comptroller Bill Thompson in striking distance, a new poll shows. Read more: NBC New York

Man, 48, who stole trains, buses since age 15, catches break while in court for swiping Queens Trailways bus

An obsessed transit buff — who took a subway train for a joyride when he was 15 and stayed on the same criminal track for three decades — caught a break in court Thursday. Read more: New York Daily News

NYC bus drivers plead for protection from assaults

Fare increases. Route cuts. General frustration over life. In New York City, there is no shortage of reasons why bus drivers are targeted for assault — an average of 88 attacks every year in the nation’s largest bus system. Read more: NBC New York

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year: report

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since 2008, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 81. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 63. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  In Scena!

It’s the year of Italian culture in the U.S., and Mare Nostrum Elements joins forces with In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY to present three one-act plays by renowned author Mario Fratti. At the Secret Theatre in Long Island City, June 19-23. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City releases updated hurricane evacuation zones 

The city has released an updated hurricane evacuation zone map that replaces Zones A, B and C with zones numbered one to six. Read more: The Queens Courier

Worker rescued from trench collapse in Kew Gardens

The FDNY rescued a construction worker in Kew Gardens Tuesday after he became trapped in a collapsed trench. Read more: The Queens Courier

Parents attempt to block new school from opening in Campus Magnet in Cambria Heights

Southeast Queens parents are attempting to block a plan to put a new school in a crowded Cambria Heights campus. Read more: New York Daily News

Civil rights groups sue NYPD over Muslim spying

The New York Police Department’s widespread spying programs directed at Muslims have undermined free worship by innocent people and should be declared unconstitutional, religious leaders and civil rights advocates said Tuesday after the filing of a federal lawsuit. Read more: CBS New York/AP

18 mayors: Limit use of food stamps to buy soda

The mayors of Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are joining New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in reviving a push against letting food stamps be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks. Read more: NBC New York

NSA director says plot against Wall Street foiled

The U.S. foiled a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange because of the sweeping surveillance programs at the heart of a debate over national security and personal privacy, officials said Tuesday at a rare open hearing on intelligence led by lawmakers sympathetic to the spying. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 91. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: GLANK

Audiences of all ages have the unique opportunity to hear and perform on unique, one­-of­-a­-kind instruments in Paul Rudolph’s percussion ensemble, GLANK. Suit-up in lab coats, blend in with the performers and have a blast at this interactive, multi­media music performance at the Secret Theater from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police looking for suspect in fatal Queens bus shooting of teen

Police are looking for a man wanted for the murder of a 14-year-old girl who has shot in the head aboard a Queens bus. Read more: The Queens Courier

New York City’s Arvind Mahankali wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

After years of heartbreakingly close calls, Arvind Mahankali conquered his nemesis, German, to become the champion speller in the English language. Read more: AP

Person of interest in Bloomberg, Obama ricin letters

A person of interest is being questioned in connection with the ricin laced letters that were sent to Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama. Read more: ABC New York

NYC’s new 911 system crashes twice in 2 Days: police commissioner

The city’s revamped 911 computer system crashed twice in its first two days of operation, suddenly shutting down hundreds of screens and forcing phone operators to scribble emergencies on slips of paper to be run to dispatchers, officials said. Read more: NBC New York

DA: Queens woman scammed immigrant out of $6K

A Queens woman scammed a vulnerable immigrant out of $6,000 — and there may be more victims, authorities said Thursday. Read more: New York Daily News 

American woman facing drug charge released in Mexico

An Arizona woman facing drug smuggling charges in Mexico was freed late Thursday night, after court officials reviewed her case. Read more: AP

Stars shine at Queens World Film Festival


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

The stars came out for the Queens World Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image. 

Opening night was held on Tuesday, March 5 and featured films from the borough and as far away as Belgium, Italy, Spain and Australia.

Organizers Katha and Don Cato welcomed the large audience of film lovers and encouraged the filmmakers present to continue making films.

“We have a lot to talk about or even argue about,” said Katha. “You must continue to tell your stories, it’s what binds us together!”

Before any of the films made its debut, the festival honored Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer as the 2013 Spirit of Queens Community honoree for his dedication to the community and the arts.

“If you do not believe culture and the arts sustain communities, you have to witness festivals like this,” said Van Bramer. “You don’t have to go to Manhattan to see world-class films.”

Although Academy Award nominated actress Karen Black could not be in attendance, she was also featured as a Spirit of Queens honoree and accepted her recognition through a pre-recorded video.

Saturday night, March 9, the awards presentation was held at Renaissance Event Hall. Among the winners was “Planet Utero” by Elmhurst’s Faiyaz Jafri, for Best Animation. William Cusick was another local filmmaker who took home an award for Founder’s Choice for his film “Welcome to Nowhere (Bullet Hole Road).” The Audience Award winner was “Mikeyboy,” which is set in Queens, by director Christopher Berkenkamp.

The festival came to an end Sunday, March 10 with encore screenings at the Secret Theatre of all the winning films.

Adrian Manzano from Jackson Heights debuted his feature “BQE” at the film festival.

The festival honored Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer as the 2013 Spirit of Queens Community Honoree for his dedication to the community.

 

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Queens events for Labor Day Weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Queens

Friday, August 31

7 p.m. – 10 p.m., Take in the 1965 classic, “Doctor Zhivago,” at the Museum of the Moving Image. Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, this tale of a love triangle set against the Bolshevik Revolution is an astonishing feat, as emotionally involving as it is visually spectacular. Highlights include Freddie Young’s Oscar-winning cinematography and Maurice Jarre’s iconic score.

7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Get on your dancing shoes for a night of music and dancing under the stars with the Friends of Queensbridge Park Committee.

8 p.m., Head to the Secret Theatre for a series of one-act plays featuring actors, playwrights and directors banding together and competing to win cash prizes in an epic theatrical showdown.

Saturday, September 1

11:00 a.m., Trained Rangers at Fort Totten Park will give free archery lessons, demonstrating the safe and proper way to draw a bow and shoot an arrow. Families and children ages 8 years and older are welcome to participate.

11 a.m. – noon, Children can learn to cook with free classes from Allergic to Salad for ages 2 to 12 at Socrates Sculpture Park.

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Come to the Back to School Festival at St. Albans Park and end the summer with an afternoon of crafts, games, inflatables, music and more.

Sunday, September 2

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., This is the last day for the Sunday Children’s Activity Table at the Queens Botanical Garden where they can make special crafts.

Monday, September 3

Noon – 6 p.m., Enjoy a plethora of booths selling food and goodies at the 30th Avenue Astoria Festival.

6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Enjoy live music, DJs, performances, guest bartenders and chefs at the Rockaway concessions.

Around NYC

Friday, August 31 to Sunday, September 2

This weekend see Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Junior at the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale, Long Island. Show times are 11 a.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, September 1

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Bring your children to storytelling hour at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park.

Sunday, September 2

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats with New York City Audubon guides. Learn how to spot and identify birds in their natural habitat on a tour through the North Woods. Ages 5 and up.

2 p.m. – 10 p.m., Head to a free Tiki Disco, held in the backyard of Bushwick pizza palace Roberta’s.

Monday, September 3

Celebrate West Indian–American Day at the mammoth parade, the high point of a 5-day Caribbean Carnival Festival that today is the largest outdoor summer event in North America.

See Governors Island on two wheels, with Bike and Roll’s free program.

You can also take the kids on one of these many day trips in and around Queens this Labor Day weekend. 

Queens weekend events


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Saturday, July 28

Noon – 2 p.m.34th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow: New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow will feature three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions to which the public is invited. Over 40 Indian nations are represented at this spectacular event held in the apple orchard on the farm grounds. A large selection of quality Native American art, crafts, jewelry and foods are available.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Vertigo at the Museum of the Moving Image: Considered by many cinephiles the greatest of all films, Hitchcock’s peerless psychological thriller follows a San Francisco private detective who comes out of retirement to trail an old schoolmate’s beautiful wife, who appears to be haunted by a figure from her ancestral past.

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s classic, “The Comedy of Errors” on the bathhouse plaza at Jacob Riis Park.

8 p.m. – 10 p.m., The Wild Party at Secret Theatre: Secret Theatre Musicals is pleased to announce their production of Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY. With a book, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, John and Jen, The Addam’s Family), this exciting production is directed by Taryn Turney and will play a 3-week limited engagement.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Bucket of Junk at NY Hall of Science: Design and build anything your imagination can think of by combining interesting objects you’ll find in our Bucket of Junk. Free with NYSCI admission.

Sunday, July 29

11 a.m.World’s Fair Marina, located at Pier 1 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, invites you to master your fishing skills while connecting with nature. Experienced rangers teach the ecology of the waterways as well as the principles of fishing. This event is free.

Noon – 2 p.m.Rockaway Beach Sandcastle Contest: Build sandcastles at this 17th annual contest with Urban Park Ranger activities and prizes for several age categories. Bring buckets and tools. No experience necessary.

1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sung in French Haitian Creole to a background of African Rhythms, “Compa Music” is undeniably infectious, high energy and fun to dance to at Flushing Town Hall. Dousing FTH with the flavor of this rich and varied music is The Agoci Band led by Rolhans Innocent. The Agoci Band is a group of Haitian musicians that combine fresh Hip-Hop, Roots, and Calypso flavors.

4 p.m. – 7 p.m., SummerStage Kids Queens Family Day: An exciting event to inspire and engage children of all ages and their families, featuring Randolph Matthews, LuckyBob and Little Club Heads. Families will also have the opportunity to participate in face painting, craft workshops, free sports lessons including golf workshops, and a fun and exciting hip-hop dance class!

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of “Hamlet” on the stage at O’Donohue Park.