About Plaza

 

Where We’ve Been...

Plaza Theatricals’ beginnings date back to 1982 when they first started presenting live musical theatre productions in outdoor venues on Long Island. Under the direction of founder/producer Kevin F. Harrington, the first two summer seasons consisted of 4 performances. Kevin, with infectious enthusiasm and passion for musical theater, transported all the scenery, props, costumes, and technical equipment to the venues using his mom’s station wagon with a U-Haul utility trailer in tow. In those early days, the actors performed double duty as crew members setting up and striking the shows. The Plaza corporate office was Kevin’s dining room table and everything was stored in his parent’s garage.

Debbie Silver & Joe Canestro in Grease © 1988 GJK Photography
Debbie Silver & Joe Canestro in Grease © 1988 GJK Photography

In 1984, “the little theatre company that could” began presenting shows year-round in local restaurants, libraries, provided fund-raising shows for philanthropic organizations, and, to introduce young people to the magic of live musical theater, initiated both children’s theatre musicals and arts-in-education programs.

Patrick Fitzgerald, Scott Maskiell, and Michelle Lambert in Cabaret © 1992 GJK Photography
Patrick Fitzgerald, Scott Maskiell, and Michelle Lambert in Cabaret © 1992 GJK Photography

Who We Are Today...

Occupying a 7000 square foot complex, with offices, rehearsal studios, and production shop in Lynbrook, Plaza’s touring productions present over 250 performances each year in such local venues as Live Nation’s NYCB Theatre at Westbury, The St. George Theatre (Staten Island), Live Nation’s Wellmont Theatre (New Jersey), Cradle of Aviation Museum, The Suffolk Theatre, Long Island Children’s Museum, and Manhattan’s Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors

Festival to such long-distance venues located in Maryland, Ohio, and Wisconsin! Staying true to their original mission, thousands of Long Island residents are delighted each year by their free outdoor musicals presented in such locations as Eisenhower Park, Hecksher Park, Morgan Park, Steppingstone Park, and in parks within the Towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay. Most recent outdoor productions have included Mamma Mia, My Fair Lady, Hairspray, and Sister Act.

Patrick Regan and Emma Harrington in The Sound of Music © 2015 John Bruno
Patrick Regan and Emma Harrington in The Sound of Music © 2015 John Bruno

To encourage the next generation of performers, Plaza’s Performing Arts Academy facilitates hands-on theatre workshops, for students in grades K-12, focusing on Musical Theatre, Magic, Dance and Movement, Puppetry, individual voice instruction, private monologue coaching, Prop Design, and College Audition Techniques. 

In 2018, Plaza acquired the Hudson Vagabond Puppets which are well-known across the country for their narrated ballets and larger-than-life puppetry performances that enrich school curriculum and engage family audiences. “I was honored that HVP creator, Lois Bohovesky, passed the torch to me to continue the legacy of her award-winning Hudson Vagabond Puppets!” shared producer Kevin Harrington.

Over the years, The Plaza Organization has been recognized for its contributions to the arts via the Nassau BOCES Partner-in-Education Award, The Huntington Arts Council Legacy Award, The Town of Oyster Bay Excellence in the Arts Award, and has received official citations from State Senator Chuck Schumer, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and The Town of Hempstead.

Barbara Kirby in The Sound of Music © 2015 John Bruno
Barbara Kirby in The Sound of Music © 2015 John Bruno

Broadway FINALLY comes to Nassau County!

In January 2021, The Plaza Organization entered into a multi-year lease, to be the professional theatre company in residence, operating under a contract with the Actors’ Equity Association*, at the 420 seat fully-equipped state-of-the-art theatre located in a separate wing of The Elmont Public Library, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, New York. 

The Elmont Memorial Library Theatre, photo by Mark Schoen
The Elmont Memorial Library Theatre, photo by Mark Schoen

In this new venue, Plaza will continue its dedication to the preservation and development of musical theatre in a diverse and inclusive environment. Each season will feature four fully-staged Broadway musicals, running for four consecutive weeks, accompanied by a live orchestra, along with an annual Original Musical Theater Summer Festival featuring shows created by local playwrights, composers, and lyricists. Additionally, Theater for Young Audiences Musicals, Sensory-Friendly Performances, Arts-in-Education Shows, and Performing Arts Academy workshops and productions will be presented.

Plaza Theatricals at the Elmont Memorial Library Theatre

About the Producer

Producer Kevin Harrington, photo: Mark Schoen
Producer Kevin Harrington, photo: Mark Schoen

KEVIN F. HARRINGTON

In 1982, Mr. Harrington founded The Plaza Organization and has been producing and directing musicals for over 35 years!

While a graduate student at New York University, he studied with such notable theatre veterans as Agnes DeMille, Alfred Drake, Marni Nixon, and Larry Fuller. Sponsored by the League of American Theatres, Mr. Harrington was selected to participate in their highly competitive Commercial Theatre Institute’s certification program and produced the equity showcase production, Go Go Beach for the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

An associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, he has directed over 250 musicals including Ragtime, Evita, Funny Girl, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha, Into the Woods, Carousel, West Side Story, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, The Sound of Music, Awesome Allie: First Kid Astronaut, Les Miserables, The Music Man, Hairspray and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Mr. Harrington has received numerous awards such as the Huntington Arts Council’s prestigious Legacy Award for his contributions to theatre on Long Island, The Nassau BOCES Partner in Education Award, and the New York State English Council’s Educator of Excellence Award.