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The Garage Theatre Group Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: The Garage Theatre Group believes in the power of theatre as a tool for growth, understanding, and communication. Our aim is to use the process of theatre, as well as the product, to educate, inform, and connect the communi ty in which we live. The shows that comprise The Garage theatre Group season are challenging as well as entertaining, reflecting our belief that theatre is an open dialogue between the playwright, the performer, and the audience. At the conclusion of each Main Stage performance, a discussion with the cast, director, and audience is held. By doing so, we hope to inspire and create a new generation of artists, theatregoers, and patrons.

Geographic areas served: Northern New Jersey

Programs: To provide low cost theater events to the general public and to teach young adults about the theatrical experience

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kathryn21

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful theater group that runs an outstanding youth theater arts program as well as provides the community with affordable professional theater. Their teaching staff produces very professional youth theater productions and attracts the very best young talent in Northern New Jersey. I have seen troubled youth thrive and grow with the training and encouragement provided.

Julie144

Client Served

Rating: 5

High school is hell. At least it was for me. Most days I didn't want to go to school because high school girls are a different, horrible species. I didn't think I was ugly, or fat, I wasn't self conscious. I had my close group of friends. But everyone else didn't get me. I always a distinct personality that isn't the norm in high school so I became bitter and violent because I felt I had to make myself this way to deal with the bullying. My wit and sharp mindedness that fuels my humor and is the center of my persona was mutated to the point where I could put anyone down on a dime. I even graduated a year early to get out off the mess. But I never would have had the motivation to do that without Garage. With Michael Bias at the helm I found my niche and talent in theatre. I found people I relate to and felt comfortable enough to let down my thick, thorny walls. Michael knows how to bring out the best in people and unlock potential. With Garage inspiring my confidence, I graduated high school a year early and beginning college when I was just 17. As soon as I was out if that toxic environment I started enjoying myself and pursuing my theatrical passion. I am now 26, and have been working consistently on the professional theatre level in NYC for 6 years. Who knows where I would have been without Garage. Probably wearing booty shorts working the Hog Heaven BBQ with all the other "cool" kids from my high school. I can't wait for the opportunity to give back in any way I can to this wonderful organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Garage Theatre Group is celebrating 20 years!!!!!! That says it all in a nutshell!!!!

I have had the pleasure of attending sooooo many shows and one was better then the next.

So many kids then and now young adults,
have continued to be a part of this great Theatre group ,whether acting or even behind the scenes.

Michael Bias.... cudos to you!!!!!

Barbara139

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that I have been associated with this company from its beginning. My husband is the artistic director and has directed, produced or acted in 3 professional shows a year and three youth conservatory shows each year. He teaches classes to all students of all ages and has incorporated classes for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. The company has engaged in community efforts to bring the arts into the schools and accessible to all who are interested in participating through grants and scholarships. Over the years he has coached countless individuals on their monologues for entry into the college of their choice. On the professional side he has brought theater that is thought provoking and challenging, ending each and every performance with a talk back session that provides insight into the writer. actor and directors point of view.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a theatre critic for North Jersey Media started to review plays and was impressed with both the quality of productions and the interesting and challenging plays they chose to produce. Soon discovered that Artistic Director , Michael Bias and I, have similar artistic sensibilities and we established a professional relationship and I now both direct and act for the Garage Theatre Group.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I both performed and took classes at The Garage from eighth grade until I graduated from high school. After graduating and after completed four years at NYU for drama I was honored to perform my one woman show at the Solofest. Both performing in shows and taking Michael Bias's classes were instrumental parts of my development as an artist and as a young adult. Michael's classes encouraged me to respect theatre and view acting it as a craft. What began as a hobby soon turned into a passion that I knew I would pursue throughout my life. Class was a time to learn and ask questions, a safe place to try new things without fear of failing or looking silly. Without these classes, I don't think I would have fallen in love with theatre. Performing in the Garage shows was THE highlight of my high school years! Often times in conversation with other alumni we say that these were the best years of our life! Through these shows I gained confidence and courage. I found a community, a family really, who shared my dedication to theatre. At the Garage, no one feels like an outsider. I made best friends at the Garage that I will have for life. In summary, I highly recommend participating in the Garage Theatre Group!!!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with GTG has been rich, rewarding, and reflective. Rich, in the way only live theater can provide; rewarding, as the parent of a child who, through involvement with the Youth Conservatory, has seen first hand and up close the nurturing and thriving of creative growth; and reflective with consistent offerings of plays that challenge the theatergoer long after the curtain has closed by way of provocative substance and creative presentation. While the theater suffers aesthetically with age - ripped my stockings on my seat while getting up - the performances trump! The Youth Conservatory is amazing under Michael Bias and his staff. Unlike other 'performing arts programs' Michael allows each student to find and nurture their creative bliss. Students are not limited to simply acting in the theater, but rather, are encouraged to explore all the avenues of the theater experience with an interesting hands-off approach which mentors, not meddles.

6

Client Served

Rating: 4

Garage Theatre is the best kept secret in Bergen County! NYC-style theatre, right in our own back yard. Great staging, great actors, great productions, great direction, shows you can't see anywhere else, a terrific youth program - all in all about the best entertainment value out there. Don't just take my word for it - go see for yourself!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I were looking for local entertainment on a wintry Sunday afternoon and decided to check out the Garage Theater's production of Enigma Variations. We've been raving about it to friends ever since. The play was totally absorbing as the plot unfolded with one surprise after another; the professional actors, onstage alone for almost two hours without intermission, gave wonderful performances. Thank you. We wish you a long and successful life.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a member of the Garage family. I performed in their Youth Conservatory and Summer Camp productions from the time I was 10 years old until age 18, when only leaving for college could take me away. The artistic experience Garage provides for children and adolescents is without equal: educational classes provide fundamental theatrical building blocks that can then be applied in rehearsals for productions. Garage provides seasoned professionals that act as teachers and mentors at every step of the process. Just as importantly as the theatrical experience of Garage, though, the atmosphere is truly phenomenal. As Chelsea (another reviewer on this page) wrote, the friendships made in Garage last a lifetime. Although most of us have since gone off to (or graduated from) college, my Garage friends are some of my closest friends and confidants to this day. As one example, Chelsea and I are actually friends from our Garage days (we were both in the shows she included pictures from!). The fact that Chelsea and I are both currently seniors in college but still feel strongly enough to come years later and share our feelings and experiences regarding Garage I think speaks volumes about the impact it can have on one's life. Looking forward, the people I've met through Garage will undoubtedly be an invaluable network of support and advice as I forge my way into the real world after graduating from college this June. To put it succinctly, as anyone who's been a part of GTG knows, "There's always a home for you at the Garage."

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Everything I know about performing I learned from my experience with Garage. Michael Bias has dedicated his life to sharing his vast knowledge with his students, and I am so grateful to have been one of them. The Garage Theatre youth productions provided me with a community of artists and friends throughout middle and high school. In fact, almost ten years later, I am still close with people from my very first production of Free to Be You and Me at Garage. We are out of college and still talk about how well Garage Theatre set us up for our chosen profession. I cannot express enough how much this theatre company has inspired and changed the lives of so many young people. I am eternally grateful for my experience with Garage Theatre.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been part of the "Garage Theatre family" for many years. Our daughter has attended their fine summer program for several summers. In fact, our family vacations are planned around our daughter being able to attend both summer sessions. Each summer our daughter has learned and thrived in a caring, nurturing and supportive environment. She is also able to appreciate the "arts" by attending a weekly Broadway preformance. What an amazing opportunity! Our family also benefits from attending many fine preformances throughout the year that are available to the community. The Garage Theatre offers so much and enriches the lives of those who share in all they offer.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always loved the theater. When my son developed his love for it also I was overjoyed. Through the Garage Theater he had the chance to develop his passion through their exceptional Youth Conservatory Program and I had the wonderful opportunity to watch him grow through the musicals he was in and also to attend Garage's entertaining and moving equity shows which, director Michael Bias produces in this intimate theater. My son is now off to college pursuing his passion. A passion which he would never have realized if it wasn't for Michael and his wonderful theater. I still attend the adult and youth shows to this day. Don't let this gem of Bergen County slip by you. Go see a Garage Show today.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

The productions at this little theatre are top notch! There is a tangible feeling of community from the moment you enter the theatre, and being able to access a show up close, and participate in a talk-back with the actors and creators after the performance, makes this theatre experience outstanding! I would definitely come back and recommend this theatre group to others!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Garage Theatre Group is an outstanding regional theatre company in northern New Jersey. As a matter of fact, it's the only professional theatre in Bergen County. They produce unique plays and world premieres that challenge the mind and stimulate thought-provoking discussions. I've served as a volunteer usher and attended their plays for several years. I've always been entertained and frequently enlightened by their superb productions. They also produce an excellent SoloFest during the winter, which allows individual performers the opportunity to showcase their one-person plays. Overall, my experiences with the Garage Theatre Group have been extremely positive.

4

Client Served

Rating: 4

Our 10 year old attended the GTG Youth Conservatory summer program and performed in 2 musicals. GTG is supported by dedicated and creative professionals and hard-working volunteers. Our daughter learned skills that will last her a lifetime. It was a great experience for our whole family, and we're looking forward to participating again.

5

Client Served

Rating: 4

Although my experience with Garage has so far only consisted of weekly acting classes and one unforgettable summer camp experience, I can say that this organization/company has helped me in so many ways. Out of all the acting/theatre companies I have had experience with, this is the only theater company that seems to truly care about their clients getting their money's worth, which is to say, they really do care about their students learning what acting is TRULY about. I capitalized 'truly' because this company is very serious about what they hope to teach their students. They don't just simply hand out empty encouragement to a student who is truly not grasping a certain concept about acting of performing in general. They're honest. Michael Bias, founder, is such an inspiration. With his wacky, laid-back, and honest persona, he can make anyone of any age feel comfortable, unless of course, he's trying to get one out of his/her comfort zone (in acting). He's not just a teacher; he's a great friend (if you want him to be, that is). The Garage Theatre Group is super frumious! ;D

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great experience for our daughters, and for us for that matter. Nothing like working with professionals to be introduced to the theatre profession. Excellent mentors, excellent set building experience. What a great experience all together. If you want to introduce you children to this field, you can't do any better than with the Garage Theatre and Michael Bias.

5

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

With the loss of arts programs in many schools, Garage Theater provides a wonderful learning experience for the students in their Youth Conservatory. Their student productions are always very professional. With rising costs of attending shows on Broadway, Garage offers the local communities an affordable night of entertainment. We need to keep community theater alive and Garage deserves our support.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The youth conservatory provides the creative outlet and exsposure to the arts that is missing in their daily routine. The opportunity for my children to perform in a play, learn what it takes to put on a full production and interact with kids form elementary to high school(- - and they all get along in one big group!) is so valuable. The middle school in my town doesn't even put on a play. Friends and family who come to see the shows can;t believe how professional they are. They don't expect a youth conservatory to be so polished!