Rain Pryor Named New Associate Artistic Director of Cultural Diversity Projects at New Theater at 45th St.

Amanda Sayles, Producing Artistic Director of The New Theater at 45th Street, announced today that actress & director Rain Pryor will join the theatre as the Associate Artistic Director of Cultural Diversity Projects. Pryor was previously the Artistic Director of the Strand Theater in Baltimore, MD.

At The New Theater at 45th Street, Pryor's role as Associate Artistic Director of Cultural Diversity Projects will be to cultivate & implement an environment that supports playwrights, actors, technicians, directors & producers of all races, ethnicities & genders. Included is a reading series that will strengthen the artistic integrity of the theatre & create diversity in all types of work, as well as non-traditional casting opportunities, be it based on gender, race or age. The goal is to challenge societal norms & to use casting to promote forward-thinking in all avenues.

The New Theater at 45th Street strives to be a cornerstone of NYC Theatre & with diversity at its core, hopes to create new forms of art in all of their projects. Supporting the mission of The New Theater at 45th Street, they want to create art that is respected by the theatre community & the dynamic neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen.

In the words of Rain Pryor, "I'm excited to be joining the team at The New Theatre at 45th Street. I have spent the last year & a half watching & learning from this young progressive group of theatre owners/producers & creative & I couldn't find a more open-minded diverse group of men & women who sincerely want to create great work Off-Broadway. I am honored that they have asked me to be part of their team."

Amanda SayleS added, "I couldn't be more thrilled to have Rain Pryor joining the creative team at The New Theater. Rain was here when this all started & she has been an emotional, creative & professional force for me throughout this whole process. Without Rain, none of this would have been possible, so it only seems right for her to be here. Her expertise & experience are unparalleled. I have already learned so much from her & I am excited for what is to come. Art is about diversity & truth & Rain embodies those characteristics & so much more. Her being here is a dream come true & the theater will be better for it."

Rain Pryor is an acclaimed director, actor, stand-up comedian, educator, speaker & mother. As Artistic Director of the Strand Theater in Baltimore, MD, Pryor put the theatre on the DC/Baltimore map, leaving the Strand with a surplus that hadn't been seen in its five years. She stepped down to start her non-profit Baltimore TheatreWorks, which provides performance opportunities & builds a theatre arts culture for grades 6-12 in Baltimore City. Pryor is a headlining stand-up in her own right & was chosen by the Baltimore Sun as one of 3 area comics to watch. She is also been featured regularly in Baltimore with Mickey Cucchiella, with whom she is currently developing several projects. Pryor made her television debut in 1989, as a series regular, T.J., on the hit ABC series "Head of the Class," a character adopted from Pryor's own monologues at the request of ABC producers during her second audition. She starred for several years opposite Sherilyn Fenn & Lynn Redgrave, as Jackie, the lipstick lesbian drug addict on the Showtime series "Rude Awakening" & has additionally guest-starred on network on series such as "The Division" & "Chicago Hope." She appeared numerous times on Johnny Carson & Jay Leno, as well as on "The Late Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" & with Tavis Smiley. Rain's stage credits include the title role in the UK tour of The Billie Holiday Story & the title role of Ella Fitzgerald in the UK premiere of Ella, Meet Marilyn, teamed up with award-winning UK soap actress, Sally Lyndsay. She's performed in the Los Angeles production of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, with Nora Dunn of "Saturday Night Live" &Charlene Tilton; Cookin' With Gas with the Groundlings improvisation troupe; The Exonerated with Aidan Quinn & The Who's Tommy at the La Jolla Playhouse.

THE NEW THEATER at 45th STREET is a dynamic composition of New York City performance artists who desire quality production at sensible value for everyone. Located in midtown Manhattan's theatre district, The New Theater commits itself to pursuing diverse performances that enhance the human experience through the lens of the Modern Stage, for both adults & children alike. A blossoming cornerstone for neighborhood theatre, The New Theater at 45th Street is a showcase for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers, thoroughly committed to providing a vibrant arts community both behind & beyond their stage doors.

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