Emit Theatre is an immersive educational theatre company committed to creating theatrical experiences through which learners of all kinds have the freedom to explore stories through direct interactions. At our core is a dedication to inclusive learning through the arts, placing artists and audiences side by side to provide one-of-a-kind opportunities for wonder and discovery. We are committed to sharing high-quality adaptations of Shakespeare and innovative new works with diverse young audiences in non-traditional settings and ADA compliant spaces. We invite each audience member to approach our productions from their own curiosity with a high level of agency.
Emit Theatre is a 501c3 organization originally founded by Gianna Cioffi, Amy Frey, Jo’Lisa Jones, and Amanda Urban, formed from a desire to create immersive theater that held education at its core and could be easily shared in order to impact as many people as possible. The collaboration began with an immersive production of Romeo and Juliet at BrooklynONE as part of the Brooklyn Shakespeare Festival. The production closed after an extended run and uniformly positive reviews.
Drawing from their diverse experiences in both interactive theatre and education, the team saw the potential for the immersive format to be used to educate students struggling with literacy comprehension. Their theory was put to the test as part of Gianna and Amanda's master's thesis project at The City College of New York. Using previous productions as a template, this version of Romeo and Juliet was specifically crafted to appeal to the average high school student. The project sought to create greater connection between the students and the characters in order to maximize comprehension. Data was recorded at every stage of the project. The research was awarded the Edward W. Stitt Memorial Fund grant for demonstrating excellence in research in an educational field in 2016.
Propelled by the data findings and the audience response of the first phases of the project, Emit Theatre was officially formed.