Grace church theatre

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Not only was this production well-received, but it was also recognized as a unique opportunity for Grace to open its doors to the community, providing an easy invitation to church.  2000 brought two new dimensions to the theatre experiment—a musical and a famous story—in Wonderful Life.  Once again, the show was a hit, and dozens of people were introduced to Grace for the very first time.  Over the past decade Grace has continued to bring powerful and poignant stories to life on stage through short dramas in weekend services for all ages and annual full-length productions including The Sound of Music (2001, 2011), You Can’t Take It with You (2003), An American Christmas (2004), You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (2005), Blue Like Jazz (2005, 2006), The Christmas Album (2006), It’s Christmas, It’s Snowing, and . . .  We’re Stuck! (2007), Our Town (2008), Little Women (2008), Miracle on 34th Street (2009), Godspell (2011), Herding Cats (2013), To Kill a Mockingbird (2013), Les Miserables (2015), and The Crucible (2015).  Grace’s two most recent shows Beauty and the Beast (2016)and Father of the Bride (2017) played to an audience of over 10,000.  With this rich history of using theatre to introduce people to great stories and to the Author of all great stories, we are excited to bring to stage this fall Mary Poppins, a beautiful tale of restoration and compassion.


Redefining Theatre: We Wear the Mask

“What makes something theatre?” That is the very question Ms. Washburn considered when she began writing this year’s play. Is it the lights, the actors, the music, or the performance? But the truth is that the definition of theatre is constantly changing, a reality Ms. Washburn has had to face this year more than ever.

After months of hard work and preparation, The Grace Theatre Company brought “We Wear the Mask” to the Grace community through Zoom. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person plays could not take place this year, so Mrs. Washburn and the cast of the show had to re-envision how to present the play virtually to the Grace community. Despite the challenge, the Company’s Zoom performance of We Wear the Mask was nothing short of spectacular.

We Wear the Mask, written by Mrs. Washburn, was composed of five short plays: “Camp Longview,” “Baby Reborn,” “Runneth Over,” “Paint’N Sip,” and “The Red Sweatshirt.” Mrs. Washburn found inspiration in Maya Angelou’s poem “The Mask.” “I wanted to explore the way in which masks, physical and metaphorical, can help us survive dangerous situations and how taking off the symbolic mask requires trust and a whole lot of love,” she said.

Mrs. Washburn has been involved in theatre since she was in third grade. “From the first play that I [performed in] that year (The Trial of Hansel and Gretel), I have never stopped. I was hooked,” she recalled. One of the things that drew Mrs. Washburn to theatre was the ability to step into a character’s skin and, as Mrs. Washburn puts it, “embody things that I was once too timid to be in real life.”

While Mrs. Washburn loved acting, she always knew that she was capable of more in the theatre realm. In fifth grade, she wrote a sequel to The Trial of Hansel and Gretel and has been writing ever since. She has spent the past few years focusing mainly on playwriting.

Over this past summer, Mrs. Washburn took part in a virtual playwriting retreat where she was inspired to write We Wear the Mask. Since she knew that in-person plays could not take place, she wanted to take the framework of a video call and use that to write about different relationships and circumstances. While the play was designed to be performed over Zoom, there is no doubt that Zoom rehearsals are not ideal.

James Prud’homme ‘21 stated that “The pandemic certainly impacted our rehearsal and performing processes. A typical rehearsal is full of hard work, but also replete with humor and connection, which was challenging at first.” However, the Grace Theatre Company’s dedication to each other, to the school, and to theatre proved to be strong enough to overcome all the obstacles they faced. “In times of crisis, we must seek and find connection wherever we can, no matter the impediment,” Prud’homme said. 

Although it is easy to dwell on the challenges of performing during COVID, the Company chose to view these challenges as an opportunity to explore a new type of theatre — one that makes use of technology.

In order to extend the world of the play beyond the performances, Daryl Embry, the tech director at Grace, suggested that the Company send out emails to immerse those who bought tickets into the lives of the characters. The emails that the audience sent provided a window into two project partners organizing a Zoom call, three long-separated camp friends organizing a time to reconnect, and a daughter writing a letter to her mom who struggles to adjust to the distance between them.

Mrs. Washburn stated that “We have entered a phase when even emails can be a part of a theatrical experience. It was a cool experiment… tech is such a central part of the performing arts right now.” This was the first time the Company implemented interactive emails into their performance, but hopefully, it won’t be the last as the emails allowed audience members to connect with the characters even before seeing the play. At the end of the day, the Company proved that, despite unprecedented obstacles and setbacks, they can always put on an excellent show.

The bond that the Company has formed over the years is what holds themtogether. Frankie Rogerson ‘22 said that “In theater, especially in high school, there’s this hunger to be taken seriously. If acting and performing is something that you’re really passionate about, all you want is to be given the chance to do it well. And I think what the GTC —  and Mrs. Washburn, in particular —  do so brilliantly is ensure that there is never a time when you’re not being taken seriously for the work you’re putting into a show. That feeling of company and family is so apparent at every moment, and that is so validating. Everyone is welcome, and everyone has a place.” 

We Wear the Mask showed the Grace community what can happen when you have passion, drive, and a strong community to fall back on in difficult times. 

Tags: Featured, Grace, Grace church, Grace Church School, Grace Theater Company, Theatre, We Wear The Mask

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Grace Arts 

 Local  Community Theater, Neighborhood Drama Club, Live Jazz It's true: the whole is greater than the parts...each part is vital!

Great theater at way, way off-Broadway prices! 

D. K.

We love our after school group time with a waiting spot for parents.

Broadway Class participant

Here's an original composition by Bill Gati ("Building blocks") to lift your day.. Thanks to Bill for sharing it! 
JAZZ Vespers @ Grace - has become a community draw since we began an experiment in this kind of communal connection in '18.

We're grateful for neighborhood musicians coordinated by Bill Gati, who lend their skills on a quarterly basis. Contact Billwith your interest to play.

The Broadway Class 

We love hosting neighbors for creative arts learning and fun with youth and children. 

The Broadway Class
  • Musical Theater classes - children/youth (age grouping)

  • Improv Troupe for youth age 10+

  • weekly afternoon sessions (in 13 week segments)

  • end of session: seasonal reviews (fall/winter and winter/spring)

  • reasonable cost - great outcomes! 

contact [email protected] for details

click here to read the leaders' story

                     Parkside Players Community Theater
backed by Grace Church

 into our 4th decade

open auditions

award winning productions

                                     musicals, comedies, mysteries, farces, classics - we do them all!

ask us about Ray Romano (yup - on our stage! ...early days)

all ages welcome

We look forward to being on stage in person when circumstances allow it - but not before! We're envisioning how to be with you virtually! 

Check back for live(stream) theater possibilities [auditions & productions] 

 We want you - our cast, crew and audience - to remain healthy. 

All life is a play.  Some of it takes place on our stage. 

  • Why not audition? 

  • Help with scenery? 

  • Run the box office/concessions?

We're always looking for talent, even as we appreciate the 'players' already involved. Email us:

Come -see a show!  Reservations:      718.353.7388

[at right] "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"  - December 2018  

scenes [L-R below] "25APC Spelling Bee"/2018; "Boeing Boeing"/2018; "Spider's Web"/2017

The Purpose of The Parkside Players is and has always been...

... to offer high quality and enriching theatre to our entire Community. It is precisely because of this commitment to bringing the joy of theatre - an essentially collaborative artform - to our community that we must condemn racist actions and inequality, both within the theatre and without. Reflecting on current protests precipitated chiefly by the violent and racially motivated killings of George Floyd, Breeona Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery we feel it is important to state that Black Lives Matter.

As a Company, we have reached out, and continue to do so, within our community to find actionable ideas to further our commitment to a just and equitable theatre experience for all our members and guests. This is an open and ongoing conversation between the Board and our membership, and we welcome input.

We are committed to but not limited to:

-Diverse casting regardless of race, gender identity, or physical disability, except in productions such as 'Once on This Island' where roles require adherence to accurate racial portrayals.

-Seeking out plays written by people of color, and other underrepresented groups.

-Reaching out to a broader community of actors via Backstage and Playbill posting of casting notices to ensure better representation.

-Being conscious that not all roles are created equal, and aiming to steer away from roles that reinforce outdated stereotypes. We regret past show choices that did not take this into account.

-Parkside apologizes to members of our community and those outside it that may have been unintentionally hurt by our past ignorance.

These points are based only on initial discussions within our community, and we stress that we are committed to ongoing discussion to ensure our deeds match our words. We understand that there is work we can do to help address issues of inequality in both our local and greater communities, and that theatre is an ideal way to help move towards an equitable future for both our members and audience.

Parkside is grateful to its entire community and membership. We cannot wait to see, to act, and be with you all again.


We are Stumble Trip Theatre






Meet Us

Stumble Trip Theatre was created by Chloe and Grace in 2017 when they met at the Jacques Lecoq School, Paris.

Their first show ‘Heather and Harry’ toured in the UK and internationally. “Boundlessly energetic Lecoq trained clowns... create a theatrical experience that is truly unique” - Three Weeks. They are currently developing their second show Frills and Spills - “an hour of excellently timed, infectiously funny, joyous clowning” AYT - which will tour the UK in 2020/21.



Grace Church

Grace is a theatre-maker, performer & workshop facilitator based in London. She studied at Jacques Lecoq, Paris and has a first class BA in English Lit and Drama from UEA. She is an associate artist with Guttersnipe Theatre.



Chloe Young

Chloe is an actor, dancer, theatre maker and workshop facilitator based in London. She trained at The Arts Educational School Chiswick, has a BA in Drama from Exeter University and studied at Jacques Lecoq, Paris. She is an associate artist with Klump Company.





Stumble Trip’s stories are performed in diverse venues in collaboration with Embers Collective. Stories include ‘Herbaceous Kitchen Invasion, ‘Fallen Angel’ and ‘Sisters’.


Contact Stumble Trip

Give us a shout if you want to find out more about our theatrical ventures, book a workshop or just to say hello.


Theatre Making

Stumble Trip’s new show ‘Frills and Spills’ combines their ‘multiple skills, classic storytelling and madcap humour’ (FringeReview) with extravagant costume in an absurd cabaret exploring privilege.

Previous shows include ‘Heather and Harry’,Back the The Woods (in collaboration with Embers Collective) and bespoke performances for private events, find out more by clicking below.

Frills and Spills Grace posing
Chloe and Grace posing for workshops



Stumble Trip run workshops on a variety of themes including body language, body image and consent. The workshops involve movement, games and discussion.

They equip participants with a set of practical tools for combating low confidence and self esteem whilst shunning negative stereotypes surrounding our bodies.



The people we work with




Tour Poster for Stumble Trip Theatre

Theatre grace church

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