ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
BRINGS HIGH-QUALITY THEATRE TO QUEENS
A still from "Jump" at APAC.
BY JENNA BAGCAL
For nearly two decades, the Astoria
Performing Arts Center (APAC) has
brought innovative and culturally relevant
theater to western Queens, from
productions like “Jump”, which shows
how a family deals with loss and grief,
to the upcoming “Man of La Mancha”
based on the teleplay “I, Don Quixote”.
Founded in 2001 by then Executive
Director Susan Scannell Gilbert
and former Artistic Director Brian J.
Swasey, the nonprofit’s mission has
always been to bring high-quality theatre
to Astoria and the greater New
York City area while supporting local
youth and senior citizens.
The off-off-Broadway theater —
meaning one that seats less than 100
guests — produces revivals as well as
premieres of plays and musicals. APAC
also develops original works through
readings and workshops throughout
Today, Artistic Director Dev Bondarin
heads the organization, which has
received nearly 70 nominations and 16
wins from the New York Innovative
Theatre Awards and an Off-Off Broadway
Theatre Review Award.
A year after APAC’s formation, the
organization introduced its yearly
Summer Stars Program, a free summer
performance camp for children
ages 8 to 13. Over the past 18 years,
hundreds of aspiring actors have gone
through the program, honing their
skills through theater games, vocal
and acting training and learning choreography.
Back in 2016, Gilbert told QNS
about the importance of programs
like Summer Stars and other free resources
APAC provides, including
an after school playwriting program
geared towards middle schoolers and
performance programs for seniors 60
“Queens has such vast diversity,
not only nationally, but economically
as well. It’s so important that everyone
have the chance to enjoy the arts,” said
The youth program’s funders include
the NYC Department of Cultural
Affairs and the Department of Youth
and Community Development in partnership
Kids participating in the Summer Stars Program.
with the City Council and
Councilman Costa Constantinides.
According to Bondarin, the continued
support is thanks to funders recognizing
that “this is a quality program.”
To learn more about APAC, visit
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL DEKKER/APAC
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRADLEY HAWKS/APAC
www.apacny.org or visit Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram.
Reach reporter Jenna Bagcal by email
at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
A8 TIMESLEDGER, GUIDE TO QUEENS, SPRING/SUMMER 2020 TL TIMESLEDGER.COM