Halloween Fundraisers: Don a Costume for a Cause

Local Parents Band Together to Protest New Dog Park Site

Main Street Block Party a Fall Hit

Octagon Field Renamed McManus, Tensions Remain

Islanders Enjoy Fall for the Arts Festival

RIOC and RIRA Meet on Back to Back Evenings Last Week

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October 19, 2019

Halloween is a great time for fun... and fundraising.  Next weekend beloved island institutions Island Kids and Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MSTDA) are offering up an extra special night of spooky mischief to raise support for vital programming that benefits Island youth and adults alike.

Nikki Giovanni and Kristi Towey, Executive Directors of Island Kids and Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance (MSTDA), wish their events weren’t conf...

Fade is what they refuse to do.  Disappearing into the background is not going to happen.  Fighting to ensure their fate does not befall the youth of future generations is what they are doing with all their might. And they are healing through the redemptive power of words. 

FADE is a new play by Coler Hospital-based non-profit Open Doors opening this weekend at Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance's Howe Theatre. Joel Francois and the...

This weekend 48 Roosevelt Island kids in three different casts will take the stage in the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MST&DA) children’s musical theater production of Beauty & the Beast Jr.   

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Beauty & the Beast Jr.  tells the story of an arrogant prince cursed to live as a terrifying beast until he finds his true love. Belle, the quirky, dre...

May 31, 2019

Many Islanders and Island organizations heeded the call from Figment NYC, the two-day free participatory arts event being held here this weekend, to submit their art for consideration and will be among the 90 installations lining the Island's west promenade.

Figment celebrates creativity, and appreciates art that encourages participants to play, dance, sing, create, engage, experiment, and explore their environment, perfect for our multi-talented commu...

In 1982, a small group of Islanders got together to form a board of directors for what later became Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance. Their first productions were held in the Goldwater Hospital auditorium.

Since then, thanks to a key phone call Diana Brill made to old friends, Nancy and Worth Howe, MST&DA has been able to run a children’s theatre, add a dance component, collaborate with many other Island organizations, and have taught and provided...

February 4, 2019

If the sold-out shows at this past weekend’s teen theatre performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream send one message regarding community, then RIOC’s recent press release further diminishing the amount of time we have access to our own fields stands in stark contrast.

In what other place do the local residents have to beg for field time like we do here? Where else are you forced to spectate from your windows overlooking those fields while non-resid...

January 29, 2019

This weekend, Islanders will be treated to Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, acted by the local teens in Main Street Theater and Dance Alliance’s (MST&DA) Teen Theater class. Directed by Island resident Joan Marie, with music by Jon Cook, scene design by the Roosevelt Island Visual Artist's Association's Dan Nistor, and Graphic Design by Ana McCasland, the cast is comprised of 15 actors whose ages range from the eighth grade to seniors in...

January 28, 2019

Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance's (MST&DA) Director of Teen Theatre, actor/director Joan Marie Cusick, who goes by stage name Joan Marie, not only grew up on Roosevelt Island; her family moved here when she was in preschool, but she has been doing theatre almost as long, thanks to MST&DA where she first studied. Marie is directing the upcoming teen performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play she once starred in, as lead, He...

January 14, 2019

Three casts comprising a total of 49 children from Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MSTDA) Musical Theater Class will produce the iconic Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast Jr., later this year. If you hear children out and about humming and singing lines from songs like Human Again and Be Our Guest, you’ll know why!

 Kristi Towey (center) is the executive director at MSTDA

But that’s not all to look forward to from longtime Island stalwart MSTDA....

August 16, 2018

Irina Hage of Irina Island Images, photographer of many iconic Island events in recent years, including Roosevelt Island Day, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery Gala, and many Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance performances is offering a headshot special with half of the proceeds going to the Main Street WIRE

The special will run for three days, this upcoming Friday, August 18, Saturday, August 19 and next Saturday A...

July 28, 2018

Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner of Common Man Musicals (CMM) are bringing a grown-up version of their new production, The Monkey King, back to Roosevelt Island’s Howe Theatre next weekend, August 3-5. The four-performance run will be the show’s last stop before making an appearance at Queens Theater August 12.

There was a buzz going around the community when The Monkey King premiered in May. The talented wife and husband duo developed their original scr...

May 1, 2018

Over the last 37 years, the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) has offered acting, dance, and music classes to hundreds of kids on Roosevelt Island. For many, this community theater has served as the glue that bonded Islanders together – children as well as adults – even as friends attended different schools, competed in different sports, and practiced different faiths. For some, like actress Valentina Guerra (née Lugo), the MST&DA experien...

May 1, 2018

Island audiences will soon be the first to watch a brand-new musical, The Monkey King, premiering at the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) May 11-14. 

Written by husband and wife team Jonathan and Kimbirdlee Fadner, and supported by an initial commission from MST&DA Executive Director Kristi Towey, The Monkey King will be staged by the company’s Children’s Theatre.  

Actors in the Children’s Theatre production of Monkey King.

In this mode...

February 7, 2018

The Monkey King is coming to Roosevelt Island’s Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance this spring – but it won’t be stopping there. 

The musical, The Monkey King: A Kungfusical, is a new work from MST&DA’s new assistant executive director, Kimbirdlee Fadner, and her husband, composer Jonathan Fadner. It will be performed for the first time by the MST&DA children’s theater in May. 

Last month, the pair was awarded a New Works grant by the Queens Counc...

February 7, 2018

The Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance begins its 2018 production season February 9 with a staging of She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition, performed by the teen theater and directed by Island native Joan Marie Cusick.  The play, written by Qui Nguyen, offers a nostalgic romp through 1990s pop culture while also examining the still-too-relevant issues of bullying, outsider culture, and intolerance.  “It’s a comedy with a serious message,” s...

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