New City Players began as a branch of the City Arts Initiative, a cultural renewal project spearheaded by CityChurch South Florida.
The early stages of the company consisted of several members of the CityChurch and South Florida community (led by director, Jim Smith) banding together to put on our inaugural show, Godspell. In April 2014 we performed at C&I Studios for two sold out performances and were met with much enthusiasm from our audiences. Following Godspell we began a period of determining what our next production would be and started asking the essential question: Who are we as a company?
Founding member, Tim Davis, submitted a proposal to direct the Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire to the City Arts Initiative and the next phase of our adventure began. In November 2014 we performed Rabbit Hole five times at Muse Center for the Arts. Rabbit Hole proved to be a critical production for our company in that it introduced founding members Johnny Contini, Andrew Davis, and Krystal Valdes to the company and marked a clear thematic shift in the type of work we chose to do. Rabbit Hole was met with positive reviews from our audiences and was a powerful bonding experience for the cast and production staff. It also set us on a trajectory of staging works that address reality head on and create space for transformative experiences. It was here that we began to envision a theatre company in Fort Lauderdale that explored the human condition with honesty and vigor by staging classic and contemporary theatre.
Nine months later in August 2015 we mounted our third production with the support of the City Arts Initiative, the Tony Award winning play Red by John Logan. Running for eight shows at Andrews Living Arts Studio, Red received praise from audiences and critics alike. Red both solidified our company's artistic ethos and the founders.
This was the launching pad for what is now an award-winning not-for-profit theatre company in its third season.
This we know: we will continue to grow. We will continue to excel. We will continue to stage theatre that is theatrically excellent, emotionally engaging, thematically challenging, and ultimately, transformative.
Deep practice is slow, demanding and uncomfortable. To practice deeply is to live deliberately in a space that is uncomfortable but with the encouraging sense that progress can happen.