Sundog was the dream of six people from diverse backgrounds that included directing, performing, education, administration, tech, producing, fundraising, and finance.
For months, we met and discussed how to bring this organization to life that would develop original material and offer school arts programs.
We formed Sundog Theatre initially to present original, contemporary, and thought provoking theatre on Staten Island. Incorporated in August 2002, our first production was the original comedy by Steven Somerville, Jason’s Journey, inaugurating the Muddy Cup’s 75-seat theatre in Stapleton. Our vision has evolved from its goal of presenting original theatre and arts programs for children to portraying the human condition through comedy and drama in order to shed light on it and challenge the audience to think and explore. Sometimes theatre is enlightening and at other times it is pure entertainment. Both serve important purposes.
Sundog’s arts-in-education programs began with one school in Staten Island in 2004 and have expanded to serve over 35 schools with approximately 70 arts programs in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, and literacy. These programs support core school curriculum and help make learning come alive.
Since its inception, the Theatre has worked with hundreds of actors, directors, writers, designers, teaching artists, and technicians from Staten Island and the metropolitan New York City area. Sundog has commissioned original plays and musicals featuring iconic people and organizations in Staten Island. We have presented productions at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, College of Staten Island, Wagner College, Staten Island Children’s Museum, and Casa Belvedere, as well as in Manhattan at Vital Theatre (McGinn Cazale) and 52nd Street Project/Five Angels Theatre. Our theatrical and educational collaborators have included Lincoln Center, Center for Arts Education other Staten Island theatres, and many local organizations such as The Alice Austen House, SI Children’s Museum, SI Zoo, Conference House, SI Museum, St. George Theatre, NYC Parks & Recreation, and the JCC.
Our annual touring productions bring literature, iconic figures, and social issues to light for thousands of young people, families, and teachers in Staten Island, New Jersey, Queens, the Bronx, Maryland, and Connecticut. Sundog has tackled issues of prescription drug abuse, bullying, and smoking. Other shows have included The World in My Hands: The Helen Keller Story, Charlotte’s Web, A Christmas Carol, Young Abe (Lincoln), Harriet Tubman Herself, and Ellis Island: Gateway to a Dream.
Theatre is a teaching tool, it is entertainment, and it is a way into the human psyche that reveals truth and inspires. Sundog hopes to bring all this to our audiences of adults and young people.