Before Sex and the City, before The Family Stone, before even Once Upon a Mattress and Annie, Sarah Jessica Parker got her start at the age of 12 appearing in Manhattan Theatre Club's 1977 Charles Strouse revue By Strouse. The two-time Drama Desk nominee was a standby for fellow child performer Kim Fedena.
Parker, just one of many artists that MTC has helped support and develop, talks about the experience in an exclusive clip from the upcoming All Arts documentary exploring the history and legacy of the New York theatrical institution. Watch above.
All Arts Docs: Manhattan Theatre Club, a Home for Artists is set to debut Tuesday, November 21, at 9 PM EST on the free All Arts app and website, as well as on the All Arts TV channel in the New York metro area. The public release follows a preview screening at MTC's November 13 gala.
The hour-long documentary follow's MTC's 50-year history under Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and recently retired Executive Producer Barry Grove. The 2022-23 season marked Meadow's 50th Anniversary as Artistic Director, and in summer 2023, Chris Jennings became MTC's Executive Director.
"We are delighted to shine a light on the impact of Manhattan Theatre Club, an artistic force that has nurtured and elevated generations of talent,” says All Arts Artistic Director James King in a statement.
“Through their stewardship of Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove have left an indelible mark on the theatrical landscape for decades to come,” adds All Arts Executive Producer Joe Harrell. “Their story champions the vital role of nonprofit theatres in allowing artists to take risks, explore innovative ideas, and challenge conventions.”
The film features archival production footage and photos, as well as exclusive interviews with stars—including David Auburn, Christine Baranski, André De Shields, Laura Linney, John Patrick Shanley, and Sam Waterston—who were able to hone their craft at MTC.
MTC named Meadow artistic leader in 1972, and added Grove as managing director in 1975. The company would then evolve from a small Off-Off-Broadway theatre into the multi-venue production and education nonprofit it is today. The new documentary explores this journey, as well as the challenges that face the entire theatre industry, and how MTC has endured.