Posted on:January 2, 2013
Lauren Jost, Director, Spellbound Theatre
When was the organization founded and by whom?
Spellbound Theatre was founded in 2011 by Lauren Jost, with support from Margot Fitzsimmons (Double Image Theatre Lab). Lauren and Margot were partnering on several artistic and educational projects and decided to form a new company committed to developing innovative new work for young audiences and their families.
Where in Brooklyn are you located?
Spellbound Theatre primarily operates in Park Slope, but we also have classes and performances in Windsor Terrace, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Gowanus.
Who is your primary audience?
Spellbound's primary audience is young families with children ages 0-5. We create innovative and original new performance that is specially crafted to address the unique questions, concerns, and interests of this age group. We also offer regular creative play classes and community storytimes for young children to spark their creativity and curiosity.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of running an arts organization in Brooklyn?
Finding performance spaces that are accessible and comfortable for our family audiences can be challenging. We're lucky to have found a few partners in Park Slope with very inviting spaces, but we are always on the lookout for performance spaces in other neighborhoods so that we can expand our audience.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of running an arts organization in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn audiences are so creative and enthusiastic. As a new organization we have found that there is a great desire in Brooklyn for innovative new performances for families and it is very exciting to be a part of the emerging field of organizations reaching out to this audience. Brooklyn is not only a great place for families to live, it is also a great place for families to see and create art!
What do you see as the biggest issues facing the arts community today?
As the director of an emerging theatre company, I greatly believe in the value of small, almost "boutique" arts organizations that can focus on innovation in very specific areas. Our challenge is how to network together and share the resources needed for managing our projects - performances spaces, marketing and PR, grant-writing. I am very interested in how like-minded companies can band together to meet common needs. Rather than viewing one another as competition, we can create partnerships that enable us to optimize our resources.
Do you have any major events, projects or expansions on the horizon?
Spellbound Theatre will premier Aidee, a new theatrical play of hide and seek, at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn on January 19th and 20th. This will kick of our 2013 New Play Development Program, and will be followed by two more original productions: Wink (BAX, May 4th-12th) and Under the Tree (Washington Park, June 2013). We also are expanding our educational programs with classes and storytimes at new times/locations in January 2013. Check out our full schedule at http://spellboundtheatre.com.