Pushcart Players


Suite A
261 Bloomfield Ave
Verona, NJ 07044
County: Essex


Ms. Ruth Fost

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support to bring musical theatre productions and experiential arts education programming to students in schools and theatres throughout New Jersey.

Organization Background

The mission of Pushcart Players is to provide an introduction to the arts through professional (Actors' Equity Association) theatre, workshops and residencies for K - 12 students that foster in-depth understanding, discovery, participation and life long love of the arts.

Pushcart Players was founded in 1974 as a professional ensemble of artists and educators (teachers, writers, musicians, actors, designers and directors) whose primary goal was to increase the aesthetic world of children by introducing and involving them in Theatre and Arts programming that contribute to further development of core curriculum content discovery in and about the arts in their schools. Traveling to schools throughout NJ was and continues to be a high priority so that all children in a given community have the advantage of arts programming prepared, conducted and presented by outstanding professionals in the field. Because theatre is a synthesis of all the arts and provides an excellent vehicle for the introduction of music, dance, poetry, prose and other artistic expression, it is the centerpiece of many innovative residencies and workshops offered in Pushcart's Theatre Arts programming.

Pushcart Players has been a pioneer in the development of Theatre Arts programming in NJ over the past 41 years, providing strong leadership in creating the concept and language that drives literacy in the arts as well as arts across the curriculum. Pushcart has been a role model for artistic excellence and educational soundness in all materials and programs prepared for students and teachers, and has mentored and nurtured many of the fine NJ companies (i.e. George Street Touring Company, NJ Shakespeare Theatre's "Shakespeare LIVE," ArtsPower, Arts Horizons) that currently serve young audiences with Theatre programs. Pushcart has also been a role model in advocacy for the arts and arts education in NJ through active participation and leadership in the NewJersey Theatre Alliance(NJTA). Pushcart has helped shape this outstanding organization from its early beginnings, having joined in a leadership role in 1980.

Rooted in the belief that the arts are an inseparable part of the human journey and an essential component of the educational process, Pushcart Players continues to develop new material and remains on the cutting edge of intriguing, enriching and enlightening young audiences with meaningful theatre arts experiences. Over the years, Pushcart has created 30 wildly, wonderful original musical plays and myriad classes and theatre projects for students. The original plays crafted and presented by professionals in the field, tailored workshops presented by seasoned teaching artists and student productions (Kids Do Broadway) introduce the joy and magic of the live theatre experience while underscoring many rich curriculum connections such as history, diversity, human values, responsible behavior and other value clarification issues.

Pushcart Players is driven by the philosophy so well articulated by Randy Cohen, Ethics Writer for the New York Times: "The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They enoble and inspire us, fostering creativity, goodness and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion or age."

Key personnel includes:

Executive Director - Oversees all operations, sets artistic standards, grant writing, advocacy, and best practices and strategies for sustainability;

Artistic Director - Maintains artistic standards and artistic decisions, casting, directing of 5 productions each year; Oversees some marketing and media strategies.

Office / Media Manager - Implements all programming/scheduling, marketing, communications and media sites;

Executive Producer - Oversees and implements technical aspects of all productions;

Education Director -- Oversees / implements arts education workshops, residencies, student productions;

Core company of 22 AEA actors and teaching artists. - Rehearse, travel and perform approx. 150 shows, 6 "Kids Do Broadway" productions and multiple classes/workshops per season.

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