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Taryn Sacramone: Director of Queens Theatre celebrates borough’s artists

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Taryn Sacramone, the managing director of the Queens Theatre, believes the performing arts space and concert venue is located in one of the most buoyant areas for artists in the country.

“There’s diversity and a tremendous energy in the borough right now,” she said. “It seems like a fantastic place for storytelli­ng.”

Originally from Ohio, Sacramone moved to New York in 2001. A political science major from Kenyon College, Sacramone has lived in Queens for the past 13 years and currently resides in Whitestone. Prior to her current position at the Queens Theatre, which she took on in August 2013, she worked as a senior projects manager at the Social Science Research Center and as the executive director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center for eight years. Sacramone said her work with APAC made her committed to promoting the arts and culture community of Queens.

The transition from her work at APAC into managing the Queens Theatre proved to be a challenge of increased size and scope. There are multiple performance spaces at Queens Theatre, which hosts comedy, dance and music events in addition to plays. Sacramone said the way she determines which projects will be presented at the theatre is methodical and takes global events into account.

“I seek out projects and try to pay attention to what’s going on in the world that might be interesting, and I have people bring projects to me,” she said. “Through a combination of those things you end up with a lot of options.”

In November, the theatre hosted a performance of a stage version of Harper Lee’s celebrated novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Sacramone said the decision to produce the play was inspired by renewed attention to the book due to the release of “Go Set a Watchman,” the novel’s sequel which was published in July 2015.

“The sequel sold very well, but the original novel, you were seeing it on the bestseller list. At the airport lounge, there was ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ on display,” she said. “The play is very rarely performed in New York City, so there is an opportunity to see it in a different form.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird” was originally published in 1960. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel about a young girl in Maycomb, Ala., whose father defends a black man who has been accused of rape. The book has sold more than 30 million copies.

Sacramone and the theatre’s staff will also continue to develop the Senior Ensemble Theatre, which works with senior citizens as they write, choreograph and perform a musical of their own, scheduled to be performed at the theater June 30.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 5:59 pm, May 27, 2016
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