Amas embraced multiculturalism in theatre and was a founding exponent of diversity long before the term became a corporate mantra.
Since 1968, Amas has been a theatrical force in New York City, developing and producing new American musicals, a pioneer in non-traditional casting and equity, and a forerunner of theatre arts education for young people.
1968 was a year of divisiveness and social unrest leading to protests against racism, sexism and the Vietnam War; civil rights legislation and the black power movement. These tumultuous events led Rosetta LeNoire (1911-2002), a pioneering African-American actress and producer to her own decisive action.
Rosetta launched a non-profit theatre company, Amas (from the Latin “you love”) Musical Theatre, a laboratory for cooperation and collaboration among artists and students, and for audiences of all backgrounds. Amas embraced multiculturalism in theatre and was a founding exponent of diversity long before the term became a corporate mantra.
Rosetta began her career as a child performer “planted” in audiences by her godfather, the legendary Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. She founded Amas to combat racism, proclaiming “We are all flowers in God’s glorious bouquet, every one of us, every color!” From its beginning, Amas has sought to bring together people of all backgrounds, colors, and ethnic origin, and education programs have always been integral to the mission.
In 1988, Actors’ Equity Association acknowledged Rosetta and Amas’ contribution to the American theatre by annually bestowing The Rosetta LeNoire Award on producers and theatre companies who exemplify her commitment to multicultural production and casting.
In 1999, President Clinton awarded The National Medal of Arts to Rosetta as “an individual deserving of special recognition by reason of her outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States."
Following in Rosie’s footsteps for the past 25 years, artistic producer Donna Trinkoff has continued to engrave the unique Amas trademark with musical theatre works that embrace different cultural perspectives that reach out to underserved audiences, and has expanded the scope by celebrating communities-at-risk due to sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic position, disability, age, developmental status, and other differentiators that trigger marginalization, exclusion, and persecution.
Countless dramatists, composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers, designers and actors have graced Amas stages over the past 50 years, including Maya Angelou, Micki Grant, Galt McDermott, Sheldon Epps, John Rando, Christopher Gattelli, Ted Sperling, Shaina Taub, Tom O’Horgan, Ossie Davis, Billie Allen, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Andre deShields, Leslie Uggams, Phylicia Rashad, Brad Oscar, and Christopher Jackson. The contributions of these alumni, as well as the dedication of our talented roster of early career artists, speaks to the unique and important work of Amas – a laboratory for artists who share our vision of cultural equity and diversity and tell timeless stories that resonate deeply.
We are enormously proud of our rich legacy and are working towards a sustainable future. We honor Rosie’s vision and look to the next 50 years with the establishment of a New Musical Development Fund which will ensure that Amas grows and flourishes.
HERE IS THE GOOD THAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION CAN DO
$50,000 Sponsor a Mainstage Production of a New Musical
$ 5,000 Sponsor a Workshop Production of a New Musical
$ 500 Fund the Salary of an Amas Artist for One Week
$ 250 Finance Scholarships for Academy Students
$ 150 Underwrite the Attendance of 15 Students at our Mainstage Musical
$ ____ Subsidize Amas Programs at your Desired Level
Donation via Credit Card
or send a check to: Amas Musical Theatre, 257 West 52nd Street, 5R, New York, NY
Amas Musical Theatre is a multi-ethnic, non profit performing arts organization that depends greatly on the support of individuals, foundations and corporations large and small. All donations are tax-deductible, so please consider making a donation from $5 to $5,000 right now! —every penny counts!