The 2014/15 Season at DTA



Fridays at 7:30pm - May 15, 22, 29
Saturdays at 7:30pm - May 16, 23, 30
Adults $10 / Youth 18 and under $5

A company of nine young women re-tell the story of the march from Selma to Montgomery launched to protest the death of Jimmy Lee Jackson, a voting rights activist, at the hands of state troopers in 1965. The story is constructed from first hand accounts by Alabama residents, civil rights activists, police officers, youth, ministers, and politicians.

Performed by Juanita Andrade, Olivia Michel, Anais Quiles-Lewis, Dejah Lucas, Saige Rodriguez, Elise Ruiz, and Kayla Trammel, joined by guest artists Sadah Proctor and Samantha Santos.  Music direction by Michael Hickey, directed by Ryan Gilliam.

Audience members are invited to stay after to share in homemade desserts & conversation on the play's themes and their current resonance with historian/activist Emily Gallagher.

"How long?  Not long!  Because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."  - Rev. M.L. King, Jr., Selma, 1965



The Academy of Creative Engagement and 'Selma 1965'

Downtown Art proudly announces the Academy of Creative Engagement (ACE), a special fellowship program for high school students combining theater, acting, history and community service.

This year's music/theater piece will be 'Bending the Arc' - the story of a civil rights struggle in Alabama.

ACE, which is free, meets twice a week after school and twice a month on Saturdays from September to May. Graduating fellows act in the culminating theater presentation, earn certificates of accomplishment, community service experience, and letters of recommendation.

Downtown Art is partnering with Carlina Rivera of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), and historian/community activist Emily Gallagher. We are seeking youth ages 14-18 with an interest in theater, leadership and community engagement; admission is based on audition and interview. Please contact for information and to schedule an appointment.



We're so proud.....

of what Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper of the renowned 'Nature Theater of Okahoma' have to say about us:

"Every time we see a Downtown Art production we're inspired by its directness, innocence, and raw power - in our work we strive constantly to get back to that place.  Each time we are lost and question what we're doing and why, we return to Downtown Art to find inspiration and energy to go on.  The purity of purpose -- for doing theater -- is all there." - Pavol Liska

"In some of the many moments that I question whether what I do as a theater artist has any meaning -- I've been lifted up by the work of Downtown Art.  Ryan Gilliam's commitment and generosity and ambition for what theater can be not only for the young people involved, but for the larger community of theater-makers and theater-goers, has repeatedly inspired me to re-commit. The honesty, dedication, and consistent excellence of the performances is something I aspire to in my own work." - Kelly Copper


and of what DTA grads say about DTA....

“DTA is the greatest place and everything about it is amazing.  It quickly becomes the greatest part of the week…. Once your show ends, you will be longing for the next year.” – Jake

“Whatever twist of fate brought you here, I can guarantee this will be one of the most fun, memorable, and strange experiences of your life.  In this company, I have found more compassion, creativity, and a willingness to learn than I could have ever imagined.  Please make the most of this experience by trying your best and putting yourself out there.  We all have to try something new sometime – why not now?” – Michela

“DTA has been the most amazing experience in my life.  Here, you can be yourself without being self conscious or afraid of what other people might think of you.” – Lemon

“Welcome to DTA.  You will definitely grow as a person here.  Rehearsals will be fun, tech week will be stressful, and it will all be worth it. Absorb and take everything in.” – Max

“It’ll be crazy.  It will consume your life.  But that’s okay.  You’ll want it to. … It’ll be the best years of your life so far.  Get ready.” – Oscar

“The people here are open, charming, quirky and absolutely stuffed to the seams with creative energy.” -  Arianna

“I learned a lot about myself.. about what I am capable of.  Being a DTA member makes me proud.” – Claritza

“Dear incoming Downtown Art member – you are so lucky… from me to you, the people you will meet here will be so surprisingly chill..  They quickly become your family – people you can trust in any situation.” – Izzy

“I wish I’d known about DTA sooner.  It’s the one place where I can feel free and I’m sure you will find that as well.  Work hard and believe in your company members and especially in yourself.  Trust these people.  I have grown as a person and as an actor and I think I have started to understand myself better through this experience.  I hope you overcome the many fun yet challenging obstacles Ryan throws at you, but most of all I hope you find yourself - or a part of yourself - you didn’t know you had in you.” – Kamyn

Photos from 'Bowery Wars - Part 1'