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BWW Interview: Meet the Founder of Bloomingdale Theatre Company, Connor Chase Stewart

Next up at Bloomingdale Theatre Company is PUSHED - An Evening of Scenes on April 10th at 7pm EST.

BWW Interview: Meet the Founder of Bloomingdale Theatre Company, Connor Chase Stewart Bloomingdale Theater Company was founded out of a desire to reestablish human connection during a time when we are more isolated and disconnected from each other than ever. Connor Chase Stewart founded the company with a goal is to spread love and healing through storytelling with artists who are passionate, committed and seek to make changes in the world.

Next up is PUSHED - An Evening of Scenes on April 10th at 7pm EST.Come watch these dedicated, heart centered, hard working and passionate actors do what they do best! They will be performing scenes from A RAISIN IN THE SUN, OLEANNA, LOBBY HERO, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and THE ODD COUPLE. Click HERE for more information!

In the meantime, catch up with BTC founder Connor Chase Stewart as he catches us up on what's up next!

What inspired you to create Bloomingdale Theatre Company?

What inspired me to create BTC was an intense desire to create a platform where myself and others could show up unapologetically and authentically as ourselves. I had been fortunate enough to have been working throughout the pandemic, however I felt as though I was just kind of coasting along with other people's projects as opposed to truly taking action to make my own vision come to life.

Can you touch on BTC's mission and more specifically, what sets it apart from other NYC theatres?

BTC's mission in a nutshell is to connect the hearts of the masses and support the evolution of the human species by encouraging self-love and sharing our authentic voices. I think there are a lot of people both in NYC theater and out, who have great intentions as to wanting to make the world a better place. However unintentionally they are adding to the divide and therefore adding to the problem. If you "cancel" or "cut off" others because they have differing opinions than you, that is adding to the problem. Our evolution is not something that only those of us on one side or the other can trigger alone. It's going to take all seven billion of us to heal the suffering that has plagued our species for eons. At BTC we know that you can't "cancel" darkness you can't "cut it off" rather you shine a light on it and transmogrify garbage into gold.

BWW Interview: Meet the Founder of Bloomingdale Theatre Company, Connor Chase Stewart

In 2019 you starred in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway one man show, A White Man's Guide to Rikers Island. How did that experience affect you as an actor and as a person? How has it impacted your vision for BTC?

Oh wow that was the experience of a lifetime! First off, I had no idea that I could take on a challenge like that and actually have it succeed so beautifully, so it's really given me confidence as an actor to know that I'm capable of anything. As a person it really opened up my eyes to a lot of injustice that I have been shielded from my whole life. It made me recognize my own privilege and aim to stand up for equality like I had never really done before. It's impacted my vision for BTC in that I want BTC to be a platform for all voices. I want people from all backgrounds to come share themselves through BTC. Not that I wouldn't have wanted that before, but had I not done White Man's Guide, I can't honestly say I would have thought about it too much one way or another.

The past year has been a challenging one for theatres everywhere. What challenges has BTC faced and how have they influenced the direction of the company?

Oh man where do I start. Well let me just say this, acting as the director, producer, web designer and actor all at the same time has not been easy. First and foremost I'm an actor, I had no experience doing any of these other things. I've had people drop out, dates change, getting sick and not knowing if I was even going to have a show. However I am of the belief that the greatest leaders surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are. Which is what I've done with this amazing cast. Whenever I don't know what I'm doing (which I often don't) I always can rely on the support of my cast and family who have helped shape this company in ways I couldn't have even imagined. This company was originally intended to be modeled after theater companies I've worked with in the past where there's sort of a hierarchy, there's leaders and followers. But thanks to my team, we don't do that here. It's completely a collaborative effort.

BWW Interview: Meet the Founder of Bloomingdale Theatre Company, Connor Chase Stewart

BWW Interview: Meet the Founder of Bloomingdale Theatre Company, Connor Chase Stewart

Can you tell us more about what's coming up next, events-wise?

Sure! Well coming up on April 10th is our 2nd Zoom production which I am very, very excited about! I'm pretty sure I can speak for all performers when I say I can't wait to get back to acting face to face. However these are the times we live in right now and we have to accommodate. After this production I am planning one more Zoom performance on a date that is TBD. However this summer I am planning on doing a full length production of True West in Central Park. Fingers crossed things have gone at least a little bit back to "normal" by this time.

What's next? What are your goals (big and small) for BTC for the near and distant future, and your personal goals for continuing in your mission?

My short term goals for BTC is that we continue to gain exposure and grow as a platform for myself and my fellow actors to showcase our talent and potentially "get noticed". In addition I hope these Zoom shows we are currently doing can serve as an adequate substitute for all the deprived theater goers, and hopefully make at least one person's day a little brighter by watching us perform. In the long run I want BTC to be a unifying force in this world. I want to bring top notch acting training to those who otherwise may not have been able to afford it. I want BTC to almost be like a church. A church where individuals from every possible background can come together and unite through their common core. I think that acting is for everyone and I want BTC to stand for that. As BTC grows I want to create a branch of the company that is a film production studio. As for my personal goals? Well ever since I was a little boy I always knew that I was going to do something really big, either that or nothing at all haha. So I want to be the voice of the broken, the voice of those who have lost hope, who never quite fit in, who even maybe think it would be better if they weren't here anymore. I want to carry the message of self-love and forgiveness throughout the world. This is not something that only a few of us can do. It's going to take seven billion hearts to shine inside and out to create the world we have dreamed of so long.

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