Founded in 1972 as a touring company, the BroadHollow Theatre Company has since grown into a not-for-profit, subscription-based organization with three performance locations. The BayWay Arts Center in East Islip, Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst and BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont offer year-round main stage entertainment, as well as children’s theater, educational productions and classes. In the past, BroadHollow has resided in several other locations, including McGuire Theatre in Old Westbury, Center Stage in Rockville Center and the original BroadHollow location on Route 110 in Farmingdale.
The main stage programs consist of musicals, comedies, thrillers and dramas. Productions have ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime, from classics to contemporary works. The quality and integrity of BroadHollow’s performances have helped the company to grow and prosper for more than 30 years. It has provided patrons with critically acclaimed productions of classics such as Death of a Salesman, The King and I, Driving Miss Daisy and Little Women, along with newer works like Lobby Hero, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress and The Producers.
Children’s theater flourishes at all three theaters every Saturday afternoon from September to May, creating a whole new generation of theater go-ers. BroadHollow stages children’s favorites, including Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Aladdin and The Wizard of Oz. Special attention is paid to performances during holidays, ensuring that audiences can enjoy renditions of classics like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Nutcracker in the winter and other relevant plays throughout subsequent seasons.
The cost of tickets to experience BroadHollow’s live children’s theater is less than a family trip to the movies. After performances, families are invited to a Princess Tea Party, in which tea and sandwiches are served and cherished characters like Cinderella, Dorothy, Alice or Sleeping Beauty grace the festivities.
In the early 80s, BroadHollow began offering educational performances for children in grades nursery through high school. As a result, more than 10,000 schoolchildren every year are exposed to live theater— some for the very first time. Performances range from Charlotte’s Web to Aesop’s Fables for younger audience members and The Diary of Anne Frank to 1776 for older students. For educational performances, teachers receive study guides and children may ask questions after the shows. Younger children may even get the chance to meet Winnie the Pooh, Dorothy or Aesop.
BroadHollow also offers classes and summer programs for children as young as age 4 through teenagers. The Tiny Tots program encourages children’s creativity and imagination through theater games and exercises, storytelling and role playing. As children get older, their classes become more performance-based, with the opportunity to actually showcase work for an audience. The theater has been affiliated with successful school productions of shows, such as Les Miserables School Edition and Into the Woods. Many of BroadHollow’s instructors are professionals actively working in the field or elementary school teachers with experience in the arts.
By continually adapting to the times and the wishes of audiences, BroadHollow has managed to survive for more than three decades. With the support of its many patrons, the theater company should continue to thrive and provide quality entertainment for the next 30 years.