May 10, 2021   by Gaven Trinidad - Community Engagement Associate

Since early 2019, New York Theatre Workshop has had the privilege to cultivate a deep relationship with Poetic Theater Productions. Together we’ve developed our community Open Mic Nights at our home on Fourth Street as well as in the virtual space during the ongoing pandemic. Our Open Mic Nights invite artists at all levels of their careers and from all over the world to share their work in community. Our joint community programs are just starting to grow with a new free playwriting program for veterans and their families! Let’s learn more about our amazing community partner.

A Poetic Theatre Productions performance at Judson Memorial Church in January 2020.

Poetic Theater Productions was founded in the East Village in 2010. The company seeks to define the modern genre of “poetic theater” by connecting and fostering a community of artists from all mediums who are passionately creating relevant and accessible work and reinvigorating a conscious theater of language. Since its inception, the company has produced 12 festivals, 20 featured world or New York premieres, five award winning productions, and 210 showcases, presentations of works in development, readings, and special community focused events. At the heart of their art making is social justice and ant-racist work, ensuring safe and brave spaces for the 1,150 artists that they’ve collaborated with, which includes 450 poet/playwrights.

Some of their annual highlights include works by queer artists and activists in the Breaking Our Silence Showcase; collaborative works by musical theatre artists in the Poetic Lyricism and Feeling Good developmental labs and showcases, collaborations with Musical Theatre Factory; works by their youth artists in Generation Now!; and works by emerging poets in the Love Redefined showcase, an annual celebration of radical love of self and others through performance.

Poetic Theater Productions was able to live-stream their annual festival this past April from Gowanus, Brooklyn.


Within the past decade, Poetic has created robust free programming for veterans and their families through their Veteran Voices program. They have closely worked with more than 80 veterans so far, many who identify as women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA. This year, New York Theatre Workshop and Poetic Theater Productions and its veterans have come together to create the first Veteran Voices Playwriting Seminar. NYTW Teaching Artist Dylan Guerra provides guidance to twelve veterans, who at the end of the program will hopefully have drafts of new plays! NYTW and PTP will produce a showcase highlighting these playwrights’ works-in-progress.

Poetic’s Artistic Director Jeremy Karafin shares, “When NYTW reached out to us in connection to the launch of their Open Mic program, we were inspired by the opportunity to officially collaborate with this legendary East Village based institution that believes in and embraces the transformative power of theater. Presenting both the open mic program and this new Veteran Voices playwriting workshop series in collaboration with NYTW has been a wonderful way to expand opportunities to the artists in our communities and to celebrate voices that need to be heard.”

We look forward to collaborating with Poetic Theater Productions in the coming years! To learn more about Poetic Theater Productions, please visit

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Categories: Community Spotlight. Tags: Poetic Theater.