We want to get children, adults, teachers, grandparents...everyone...excited about theatre and the performing arts. Everyone should attend live performances with a burning desire to see more. Today, Steamer No.10 Theatre, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt professional theatre creating shows for children and families, and touring to schools and theatres throughout the Northeast. We produce five shows each year, reaching between 10,000 and 15,000 people, with an emphasis on fairy tales, children’s literature and local history.
We have been dubbed the mad scientists of children’s theatre. The director starts with a script (or maybe not!) adds a couple of actors, wraps them up in costumes, and unleashes them on a set. Our haphazard collection of ingredients percolates for about two weeks and out comes our next show. Because we often rely on audience participation, it’s never quite ready until we have that audience, and we never know what they'll do at any given performance. We take risks, but it’s worth it. That ‘expect the unexpected’ atmosphere is what makes us unique and enjoyable for parents and children alike. In the process we are getting the next generation hooked on the performing arts.
We write our shows with an eye to involving our entire audience of children and adults. The shows are crafted so that an actor can leave the stage as one character, quickly switch costumes, and return as a new character. In this way three or four actors can populate a show with 20 characters. And we sometimes make it even more complicated. In our version of Rumpelsiltskin, three actors play eleven roles and we double cast the title role to create a manically magic madman.
We have a responsibility to use our talents and facility for the benefit of the community's children and families while remaining true to our mission. To this end we have begun our Eclectic Performance Series, providing a venue for works which might have trouble finding such. We host Theater Voices, producers of free staged readings of classic theatre, and Too Deep Entertainment, Albany's Multi-Cultural Performing Arts Troupe. We are a source of classes and workshops to educate children interested in theatre. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops sometimes enlist us in their quests for theatre merit badges. But it's not all theatre. There is no doubt that we can only exist through the goodwill and efforts of our community, so we seek to not only further the interests of our community, but the solidarity of that community. We have served as a polling location. We are a meeting place for such groups as New Albany Neighborhood Association, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, and Capital District Community Gardens. We are an integral component of the burgeoning Taste of Madison events. It is our belief that there is a symbiotic relationship between the theatre and the public: we all grow together.