Ever been to a Broadway show in NYC? Or watched the Rockettes perform their high kicks on the renowned Rockefeller Center stage? Even visits to small town performances warrant smiles from ear to ear. Most of the theaters facilitating these theatrical and almost magical experiences possess rich historical significance. Staten Island’s own historic St. George Theatre turned their bright and shining lights on in 1929. A sight for sore eyes, the magnificently constructed theatre remains a landmark for tourists to see their favorite musical artists and shows performed annually.
Check out what St. George Theatre has to offer!
What They Do
After being built in 1928, the St. George Theatre adopted various changes throughout the decades. From housing movies and vaudeville performances in the 30s to an attempted roller rink and nightclub in the 70s and 80s, the theatre wore many hats. After almost being torn down in 2004, Mrs. Rosemary Cappozalo alongside her daughters Luanne Sorrentino and Doreen Cugno saved the theatre through the creation of a non-profit organization.
As a result of the trio’s unending dedication, the theatre now booms with business and success, inviting the largest superstars to perform annually. The St. George Theatre creates an outlet for Staten Islanders not only to experience the joys of show biz in their own borough, but also gives them and their children an opportunity to perform on the iconic stage.
Who They Help
The St. George Theatre certainly knows how to make a difference! Instituting various initiatives to impact the community, they assist a wide variety of people. They offer free monthly shows to students interested in the arts and a summer program which provokes the kiddos to develop their theatrical skills alongside other students. The theatre also partners with organizations dedicated to the disabled, including “On Your Mark” and “Lifestyles for the Disabled,” facilitating events to raise funds and awareness for the disabled community. Looking for more? They also host the “Career Path in the Arts” program which informs high school and college students about potential occupations in the arts.
What It’s Really Like
Dreaming of getting the inside scoop in the music business? Showbiz won’t always remain rainbows and butterflies, but many find that the real nitty gritty becomes the most rewarding part of the job.
“Working at the SGT is definitely demanding however I love my work. I have the great pleasure of being surrounded by talented people who have the same passion I do for the Arts,” St. George Theatre CEO Doreen Cugno said.
While staff members hold various duties in the theatre, cooperation and communication remain focal points across the board. All staff members, volunteers and interns interact with patrons, concertgoers and each other every day, working to create a space where music and theatre lovers let loose and embrace the magic of show biz. Above all, workers and patrons alike share a profound adoration for theatre and music at their core.
“I believe everyone who works with me enjoys the arts, culture and live music regardless of the capacity of their role in the organization. We all have something in common and feel blessed to work in the wonderful world of live theater,” Cugno said.
The arts, in the end, unite us all. Who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with music and dance day in and day out?
What you’ll learn
The things you can learn at the theater can be put on a list a mile long.
“At the St. George, I learned so much because I was learning from the best–CEO Doreen Cugno and the excellent team who she calls ‘the A-Team.’ When I interned, I assisted in the Summer Outreach and Career Paths in the Arts programs. Being there taught me not only about administrative and organization skills, but I benefitted from the programs themselves too,” St. George intern and Pace University senior Leila Polio said.
Staff members also encounter problem solving and essential communication skills when assisting patrons at the box office and concessions. Alongside these people-oriented skills, workers gain an understanding of the theatre world in a technical way. They gain insight on how a performance hits the stage, the crucial advertisements provoking people to attend and the number of dedicated staff members required to put on a show.
“The Career Paths program is designed to teach students about the variety of career possibilities in the arts they can hold and being there helped me look at my own career path and the many directions I can go in, with the right experiences and networking skills,” Polio said.
Even programs designed for children impact the staff members all the same. Talk about impactful! The SGT teaches their employees all the necessary skills for their future occupations.
How to get involved
You don’t need a degree to start workin’ here, champ! Many occupations, volunteer opportunities and internships arise in the theatre, giving people of all ages the chance to work at the iconic Staten Island landmark.
“College students are welcome to send their resumes to the St. George Theatre for consideration of various Front of House theater positions, such as box office, concession stand, and usher employment opportunities. Volunteer and internship opportunities cover a multitude of non-profit organizational operations, such as administration, communications, event coordination, development, fundraising, programming, and ticket sales,” Executive Assistant to the CEO and Membership Coordinator Emily O’Lone said.
Skills that impress them
The first rule of working at the theatre—you must possess dancing and singing skills and show off your moves on the stage.
Just kidding. The team at the theatre won’t hire you for your impressive screech singing. Rather, they look for ambitious individuals who will go the extra mile to make patrons smile.
To Cugno, “enthusiasm, hard work, responsibility, intelligence, honesty and kindness,” remain the most important skills for all staff members to possess. So, take off your character shoes and throw on your smarty pants. You’ll need them for this job!
Interested in interning/working/volunteering at the theatre? Email your resume and letter of interest to [email protected]. Even looking to support a non-profit and see a show? Check out the St. George’s unforgettable lineup at ticketmaster.com.
For more information about their history and upcoming events, be sure to check out their website stgeorgetheatre.com. Stop by the theatre at 35 Hyatt St, Staten Island, NY 10301.