REBEL VERSES Returns to Vineyard with the Talents of Alex Newell, Tina Fabrique, and More

By: Jul. 22, 2019

REBEL VERSES Returns to Vineyard with the Talents of Alex Newell, Tina Fabrique, and More

Vineyard Theatre and Developing Artists will partner again to present Developing Artists' Rebel Verses, a two-week festival of performances by some of the best youth companies in New York City and beyond. Performances are August 8-17 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street).

With a mission to nurture the unapologetic, unrestrained creativity of the next generation, Rebel Verses provides an opportunity for young artists ages 13-19 to perform their own original work and to collaborate and network with their peers and prominent guest artists. Founded 16 years ago by Developing Artists, and co-produced by Vineyard Theatre, Rebel Verses celebrates the work these young artists create in an environment that champions the legitimacy of all stories and backgrounds.

Each night will include a prominent Guest Artist joining the festival for a special performance.

  • Spoken word artist Vanessa Hidary (aka "The Hebrew Mamita") will perform Thursday, August 8.
  • Recording artist and actor Alex Newell ("Glee," Once on This Island) will perform Friday, August 9.
  • Recording artist and actor Tina Fabrique (Ragtime) will perform Thursday, August 15.
  • "Scandal" star, Emmy Award-winner, and Vineyard Board member,Joe Morton will perform Saturday, August 17.
  • Sean Carvajal (King Lear, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train) will emcee performances August 15-17.
  • Analisa Velez (Tell Hector I Miss Him) will emcee performances August 8-10.

Additional artists will be announced in coming weeks.

Week One will feature performances by young-artist companies The Door(New York City), Epic NEXT (New York City), Poetesses (Jersey City, NJ),Pry Safe (Brooklyn, NY), and Urban Word (New York City).

Week Two will feature G!rl Be Heard (New York City), Loco-Motion Dance Theatre (New York City), and MCC Youth Company (New York City). Developing Artists, Vineyard Theatre Student Ensemble, and Alumni Theater Company (Pittsburgh) will perform on all nights of the Festival.

"Rebel Verses is an opportunity, offered by the Vineyard Theatre and Developing Artists, for young poets, rappers, spoken word artists, and more, to respond, reflect, and reveal their perspective of the world around them," says Joe Morton, a previous participating guest artist.

Developing Artists, launched in 1999, is led by Artistic Director Jill DeArmonand Executive Director Jinn S. Kim. For the last four seasons DeArmon and Kim facilitated The Vineyard's education programs. Now run by David Andrew Laws, The Vineyard's education program is in its 21st year serving local public high school students and teachers. Education programming at Vineyard Theatre is designed to address students' needs and empower underrepresented voices as artists and audiences. The Vineyard's programs focus on developing students' honest and unique voices and creative writing skills, and provide performance opportunities. Rebel Verses is the culmination of new works developed in collaboration by members of the Vineyard Theatre Student Ensemble in partnership with Developing Artists.

"Rebel Verses is truly unique, giving passionate young artists the chance to express themselves bravely, and audiences the chance to hear directly from the hearts and minds of the next generation," says Sarah Stern, Artistic Director of Vineyard Theatre. "We are proud to partner with our friends at Developing Artists and look forward immensely to being inspired by the energy, honesty and creativity of the young artists in this year's festival; The Vineyard is electric when they are on stage!"

As a home for young artists and an incubator for new voices in theatre, both Developing Artists and Rebel Verses boast a roster of alumni who are now working professionals in the performing arts. Among these artists are Raul Castillo ("Looking"), Sean Carvajal (Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train), Alex Flores (The Maze Runner), Lexi Lawson (Hamilton), Dominique Morisseau (Tony Award-nominee for Best Book of a Musical for Ain't Too Proud, author of The Detroit Projects trilogy). In 2007, The Vineyard producedHistory of the Word by Developing Artists alumnus Ben Snyder, in collaboration with students at Washington Irving High School and director and Vineyard board member Joe Morton.

Performances of Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival take place at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th St.) beginning at 7:00 PM each night: Thursday, August 8; Friday, August 9; and Saturday, August 10; Thursday, August 15; Friday, August 16; and Saturday, August 17.

Tickets from $5-$20. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit or call the box office at 212-353-0303.

Developing Artists provides opportunities for underserved teens to reach their full potential through practical application of the performing arts. We help diverse students to proclaim themselves as ARTivists who relentlessly fight for positive social change. Developing Artists' signature innovation is the creation of Rebel Verses that unites an underserved segment of the theater community; one that celebrates the voices of young artists by inviting the best youth performing arts companies around to participate in an annual two-week festival. Developing Artists' Board of Directors includes David Zayas (Fox: "Gotham," Showtime: "Dexter"), Ana Ortiz (ABC: "Ugly Betty," Lifetime: "Devious Maids") and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside & Crazy, Co-Creator & Executive Producer of "The Get Down"), who all believe passionately in the organization's mission.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos


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