For the past thirteen years, Downtown Art has been led by Ryan Gilliam, a director, playwright, and experienced producer. Every season, Ryan works with a company of 35-50 young artists selected through audition and interview, most of whom are teens.
Downtown Art produces a public performance season each year which focuses on original work in theater and music by both adult and teen artists.
Each teen company member works at DTA primarily as an artist, yet each also puts in time staffing administrative projects and backstage crews. Iin this way company members learning fully what goes into running a small theater.
Company membership is the equivalent of a professional level apprenticeship or internship program.
In addition to its season of performances, Downtown Art has also produced the annual NYC Festival of Young Artists and Leaders, a free day-long outdoor event of performance, workshops and professional mentoring focused on teen artists.
Finally, the company published two editions of the “NYC Youth Resource Guide to Arts & Leadership Programs”, a guide for middle and high school students seeking afterschool, weekend and summer programs.