Snug Harbor Announces Partnership With New Victory Labworks To Present Four Works-In-Progress For Collaboration With Staten Island Youth In Middle School, High School



February 13, 2023 | Staten Island, NY— Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is partnering with the New Victory Theater to present four works-in-progress for Staten Island youth. With events appropriate for middle schoolers and high schoolers alike, young people have the opportunity to collaborate directly with the New Victory LabWorks Artists in a setting where their participation and feedback is vital to develop and realize these creative projects. All events are free and will be held at the Carpenter’s Shop at Snug Harbor at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. Parents and students can learn more about each event and register by visiting

February 25, 2023: Most appropriate for high school participants

11:00 AM: Environmental Justice Card Game by Reynaldo Piniella is an interactive performance piece that gamifies public policy and community building, encouraging group dialogues around environmental and social strategies by requiring consensus for each round. The game invites audiences to form new communities to fight for environmental justice while playing a card game modeled after the legendary trading card games Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!. It is inspired by the successes of community activist groups, and collects and refracts the hundreds of actions needed to counter environmental racism.

2:00 PM: my body is geography by Sifiso Mabena uses theater, storytelling, and movement to investigate ways in which “the body keeps the score.” Weaving together a mix of personal, religious, mythological and popular fictional stories; this piece is an exploration of the ways we hold our stories, as lived and imagined experiences, in our bodies.

April 8, 2023: Most appropriate for participants ages 9 – 14 years old

11:00 AM: un lugar imaginario to meet a loved one by Sindy Castro is an interactive bilingual theater experience that welcomes audiences to enter an imaginary place created by a young girl – her memories, her dreams, the place where she remembers her dad – as she navigates going back and forth between her memories and the present.

2:00 PM: In The Land of Mauve and Gold by Arif Silverman is a brand new fairy tale musical intended for young femme performers. In the show, three children have a simultaneous dream compelling them to confront an empress and demand she decontaminate the waters of the empire, which are becoming so polluted that its people are getting very sick. The show includes themes of climate change, power, advocacy, family, grief, and joy. The performance will be a concert, showcasing five or six pieces from the show, interspersed with a summary of the narrative.

As we continue to investigate ways to establish New Victory LabWorks Artists within the wider NYC community, our ongoing collaboration with Snug Harbor is particularly helpful in creating work for young people by ensuring that these artists can receive helpful feedback as part of the development process,” said Mary Rose Lloyd, New 42 Artistic Director.

“Working alongside our brilliant teaching artists and program staff, Snug Harbor’s vibrant education and community programs will provide New Victory LabWorks artists with the chance to hear meaningful responses from young audiences who are within the recommended age group for each piece at these open rehearsals.”

We are excited to partner with the New Victory Theater on this New Victory LabWorks/Youth Matters series to provide a platform for young people to experience the dynamism of the creative process and to connect directly with artists whose work is socially relevant,” said Melissa West, Director and Sr. Curator, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor. “It is important to create space on Staten Island for community exchange, and this youth-centered programming will help nurture conversation and cultural production.”

Snug Harbor is proud to provide this unique opportunity for young people in Staten Island to work directly with inspiring contemporary artists and share their voices in the creative process. Through this program, Staten Island young people will be a direct part in building new, more inclusive works of theater for young audiences,” said Jessica Vodoor, President & CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. “Many thanks to Councilmembers Kamillah Hanks and David Carr for their support of the Youth Matters program as well as the New Victory LabWorks team and cohort of artists for their valuable collaboration with our community.”

New Victory LabWorks Artist Bios:

Sindy Castro is an actress, educator, and theater artist. She is co-founder of Jugando N Play, a multilingual theatre for young audiences. Their first play, The Neighbors – Los Vecinos – Las Vecinas, premiered virtually in 2020 to audiences in more than six countries and was remounted in 2021 and 2022. Sindy is a teaching artist with Arts Connection, Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Children’s Theater, and the People’s Theatre Project in NYC. She is a teacher mentor through the Arthur Miller Foundation and an ensemble member of Emit Theatre.





Sifiso Mabena is a New York based, Zimbabwean multidisciplinary theater maker who is a skilled actor, singer, puppeteer, playwright and deviser. Her work often explores displacement in diasporic communities, history, identity and femininity. As a playwright, Sifiso has collaborated with The Royal Court Theatre and the British Council (ZW). Her work has been performed at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Winner HIFADirect 2011), the Intwasa Festival and the Chimanimani Festival. More recently, Sifiso co-directed The Othello Project for Shake on the Lake and premiered her show [sunflower] at Dixon Place in June 2022.




Reynaldo Piniella is an actor, writer, activist and educator from East New York, Brooklyn. In 2021, he was in the acting company of two Broadway shows at the same time – Thoughts of a Colored Man and Trouble in Mind. His Off-Broadway acting credits include The Death of the Last Black Man…, Venus (Signature), The Skin of Our Teeth (TFANA), Lockdown (Rattlestick), The Space Between the Letters (The Public/UTR), and The Best of Theatreworks (Working Theater). Reynaldo is the inaugural recipient of the All Stars Project’s Fellowship for Young Artists of Color, a FREEdom Fellow at the Weeksville Heritage Center and has received residencies from the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative and HB Studio.

Arif Silverman (he/him) is a Brooklyn based actor, writer, teacher, and composer. His children’s musical THE STRAY was produced at the 14th Street Y in 2019. He has four solo shows, which have been performed across the country: NOLIE MIN TANGIBLE (Grafton Correctional Facility, Dixon Place), CONSTELLARIUM (Theatre Row, Access Theater), GALAHAD AND THE DRAGONS (BorderLight Fringe), and AMERICAN REFUGEE (HERE Arts Center). He currently teaches Drama to middle schoolers at the Hewitt School, an all girls’ school in the Upper East Side. This summer, his latest solo play AMERICAN REFUGEE will receive a reading at IATI Theater, and will be performed as part of the BorderLight Fringe Festival in Cleveland.



This presentation is made possible by the Youth Matters program at Snug Harbor, generously supported in part by NYC Councilmembers Kamillah Hanks and David Carr.

About New Victory Theater

At project of the nonprofit New 42, New Victory opens new worlds to young people and families through extraordinary performances, education and engagement programs. Bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids since 1995, this nonprofit theater has become a standard-bearer of quality performing arts for young audiences in the United States. Reflecting and

serving the multicultural city it calls home, The New Victory is committed to arts access for all communities of New York to experience and engage with the exemplary international shows on its stages. A global leader in arts education, youth development and audience engagement, the New Victory Theater has been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, by Americans for the Arts with a national Arts Education Award, and by the Drama Desk for “providing enchanting, sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.”

About Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is where art, history and nature converge. We offer dynamic programming in the arts, horticulture and agriculture for diverse communities and all ages, on our historic 83-acre campus. We envision being a locally impactful, globally renowned destination, true to our values of artistic vibrancy and community, inclusion and discovery, stewardship and conservation.

Snug Harbor is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors into a regional arts center, botanical gardens and public park. One of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, Snug Harbor encompasses 26 historic structures, 14 botanical gardens, a 2.5-acre urban farm, wetlands, forests and park land on a free, open campus. Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate organization. Learn more at

Banner Image: Arts education. Image Credit – Bernard Hermant


Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor was founded with the execution of the will of Robert Richard Randall, heir to a shipping fortune, who died in 1801. The will required the family fortune and estate be used to build and operate a haven for “aged, decrepit, and worn-out sailors.” Today, Snug Harbor is a place where history, architecture, visual and performing arts, gardens, agriculture, and education come together and provide dynamic experiences for all ages. It is one of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America and is one of New York City’s unique architectural complexes and historic landscapes. Majestic buildings of classic architectural styles are home to exhibitions on historical subjects and contemporary art. Snug Harbor’s Music Hall is the one of the oldest concert halls in New York City. Fourteen distinctive botanical gardens are spread across the site and include the celebrated New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden, based on a 18th century garden in Florence, Italy. Snug Harbor is also is home to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Artist Residency Program (SHARP), Staten Island Museum, Staten Island Children’s Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, Art Lab, Children’s Harbor Montessori School, and Staten Island Conservatory of Music. Snug Harbor is also a proud Smithsonian affiliate.

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