What We Do

Illuminating our world through theatre

We are a community of artists and audience members who believe in the transformative power of theatre. For 40 years, New York Theatre Workshop has cultivated a space where our common humanity is affirmed—where audiences are both challenged and delighted by the daring vision of our artists.

Together, we seek to understand what it means to be alive today; we are committed to exploring new ideas, seeing new perspectives, and hearing new voices.

We believe theatre can deepen empathy and spark wonder. It can help us better understand our world—and that’s exactly what we strive to do, through innovative productions, a dynamic workshop system, and empowering community engagement programs.

Artist-driven, artist-focused

Our visionary artists are free to explore boldly; to create fiercely; to plumb the depths and push the boundaries of what theatre can be and what it can do.

We support them with residencies, fellowships and workshops to provide the encouragement and resources they need to make work that is unique and unforgettable. We think of the rehearsal space as a laboratory, and are dedicated to giving theatre-makers everything they need to experiment.

At NYTW, we believe the Artist has something unique to offer—a perspective as valuable as the Scientist, the Philosopher, and the Theologian. We believe that the communion between artists and audiences—what happens when powerful ideas bring people into the same room for a shared, live experience—develops empathy and deepens understanding. That’s why we do everything in our power to support it, whether that means pushing our space to its very limits, taking a chance on fresh, new perspectives that urgently need to be heard, or exposing our audiences to ideas that take them outside of their comfort zones.

A history of innovation

We’ve been making bold theatre for the last 40 years. It all started in 1979, when NYTW Founding Trustee Stephen Graham decided to create a company driven not by commercial interests, but by artists. His vision has guided us ever since.

We’re proud to be a home base for many of the most significant theatre-makers of our time—everyone from Caryl Churchill and Ayad Akhtar to Sam Gold, Rachel Chavkin, Ivo van Hove, and so many others. NYTW productions have won virtually every major theatre accolade, including the Pulitzer Prize and 25 Tony Awards. These honors affirm the idea undergirding everything we do: trust the artist.

We believe that making great theatre means giving artists the liberty to follow their vision—no matter how outrageous, unexpected, or surprising it may be.