A Unique Place for Actors
to explore & enjoy the art of theatre
Rising City Arts offers unique opportunities for adults and children to explore and enjoy the art of theatre-making.
We serve the New York metro area with high quality, innovative theatre and acting-based classes, workshops and in-school residencies taught by some of New York’s finest Acting Teachers.
Our approach to the craft builds smart actors with a greater awareness of self, community, confidence and artistic potential.
We continually seek to grow in connection with what drives our creative spirit
Rising City Arts launched in 2010 with a big heart, loads of arts in the classroom experience and a serious passion to help kids and adults enjoy the process of creating theatre with others.
For six years, we became immersed with our community in Astoria, Queens – forging positive professional relationships with public and private schools and community organizations in our neighborhood. Our programs always shine with excellently talented Teaching Artists who possess compassion, positive energy and a gift for shaping and sharing theatre arts. There is always a love for the magic of the theatre behind all that we do.
Over time, our clients & friends spread the word so we branched out beyond our beloved Queens and began collaborations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In 2017, we launched Rising City Arts NORTH, up here in the beautiful Lower Hudson Valley where we now reside. We are so grateful to share and grow in our new community.
Check out our Rising City Promotional Videos!
The Living Green Superheroes Project The High School of Applied Communications
Dina Comolli, Executive Director/Co-Founder/Teaching Artist
Dina is a sixteen year veteran of New York City Teaching Artistry who specializes in developing innovative theater programming for youth. She holds an MFA in Acting from Harvard’s American Repertory Theater Program for Advanced Theater Training and a BA in Theater from DeSales University in Allentown, PA. In addition to running operations and teaching for Rising City Arts, Dina teaches Vinyasa Yoga. Previously, Dina spent many years teaching ELLS and Seniors with The Queens Theatre and The Center for Arts Education, two years at Dodge High School in the Bronx through the Counseling In Schools National Network (CSNN) and nine glorious years teaching acting with City Lights Youth Theater. In addition to many residencies with The Queens Library and Arts to Grow, past work includes residencies with The Creative Arts Team’s ELTA program, Claire’s Creative Adventures and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Dina loved her three years at PS/IS 123 in the Bronx where she was a post September 11th Crisis Counselor for Project Liberty.
Julian Rozzell, Education Coordinator/Co-Founder/Teaching Artist
Julian Rozzell is a founding member and a Program Coordinator with Rising City Arts. Mr. Rozzell has worked at such schools as The Academy of Finance and Enterprise, High School of Applied Communication and PS 69. Previously, he had been a teaching artist through City Lights Youth Theatre, Manhattan New Music Project and Possible Arts. He has developed and conducted residencies in schools all over New York City, including the Bronx School for Writers and Artists, Bronx Latin School, PS 125, PS 140, PS 107, PS 182, and CS 61. He has designed and led workshops for Odyssey House and the Flatbush YMCA of Brooklyn, NY. Julian also taught performance workshops at the Horizons Academy at Rikers Island, where Mr. Rozzell led a drama residency for three years.
Three cheers for
Our Rising City Arts Teaching Artist Team, past & present...
...in gratitude, we honor your creativity & commitment to sharing the art of theatre!
Nicolas Paul Carter
Julian Rozzell Jr.
Lindsay Rae Taylor
What is a Teaching Artist? A Teaching Artist is a professional working artist in their given field. In the classroom, they help provide a tangible link between the creative process and all kinds of learning by sharing artistic activities with students that foster creative expression, discipline, collaboration, self-awareness, personal transformation and the human drive to make sense out of the world.
The In School Residency
A period of time in which one or more Teaching Artists partner intensively with Classroom Teachers to guide groups of students on one or more classroom curriculum infused theatre projects.
Short or long term
Includes performance sharing of work
The After School Program
An organized program in which one or more Teaching Artists invite youth to participate in the arts outside of the traditional school day
Runs from one to five days per week
Short or long term (more effective when longer)
Usually culminates in a more elaborate performance sharing of work
An educational and entertaining seminar or series of one day sessions emphasizing interaction and exchange or artistic information among any number of participants.
Generally runs shorter term
Sharing of work only among workshop participants
The Special Project
An arts experience, including in-school performances by professional artists or field trips to theatrical performances with related accompanying in class lessons.
Special Projects work well in conjunction with other programs
ALL ABOUT ACTING
The Fundamentals of Theatre Making
This high energy fundamentals of theatre-making program helps unlock the power of the creative imagination through performance studies. We will delve into scene work, improvisation, theatre games, relaxation techniques, vocal/physical warm-ups & theatrical movement as a way of revealing a sense of character, place and action. This residency concludes nicely with a formal or informal performance sharing.
Grades 2 - 12
Grades 5 - 12
SHAKING IT UP WITH SHAKESPEARE
This super cool literacy and performance-based program centers around the exploration of Shakespeare's key plays. Students will put on their actor hats while they learn the basics of approaching and conquering poetic text, character, classical period and plot. This residency's goal is performance so students will have the opportunity to shine their strengths through drama and poetry.
THE LIVING GREEN SUPERHEROES PROJECT
With fun and engaging theatre based games and activities, kids learn about how to reduce their carbon footprint by conserving energy, reducing waste, decreasing air pollution and supporting local farming. With this important knowledge, students create original superhero characters and stories about how to save the planet earth from destruction. All props and costumes are made from recycled items. This program concludes in an outdoor play sharing and optional tree planting ceremony.
Grades 3 - 6
for Children with Special Needs
This playful program offers an introduction to theatre-making, character development and storytelling with children & teens on the autism spectrum. With a focus on enhancing social interaction skills and emotional intelligence, our Rising City Drama Therapists joyfully share the many gifts of creative storytelling and physical expression.
Grades 2 - 12
LEADERSHIP & LIFE SKILLS 101
This vital life skills course works to enhance a student's positive social interactions while offering an in-depth look at direct communication in job interviews, work/family/peer related situations, public speaking events and professional social gatherings. Teaching Artists will facilitate theatre games, voice and diction exercises, improvisational scene work, relaxation techniques and video recorded mock interviews.
Grades 6 - 12
This joyful acting program, powered with creative explorations through fairytales and children’s stories, is guaranteed to make kids smile. With the use of improvisational games and techniques; budding Actors will come together and play; becoming familiar with the fundamentals of character development, story structure and boundless creativity. Imaginations run wild as students are encouraged to collectively re-imagine and re-create their chosen stories in preparation for a Fairytale Adventures Sharing on the final day of class.
Grades 1 - 4
FROM CANVAS TO CHARACTER
In this highly imaginative playwrighting residency, students are guided to interpret a piece of classical artwork and adapt it into a scene or short play. Teaching Artists will teach dramatic structure, character development, dialogue improvisations and monologue writing while the kids dynamically write and revise and write some more. This program inclues a staged reading or semi-staged production or original student work.
Grades 4 - 12
Ages 18 - 100
and Creative Scenes
It doesn't matter your profession or prior experience. Improvisation is a learned skill that has the power to inject your life with more spontaneity and "yes, and..." mojo. Expect loads of laughter as we journey through the basic rules of improvisation, all the while building skills through group and partner comedy improvisational games. Once themes and characters begin to emerge, the group will begin to script scenes for a possible final performance.
THE NEW ACTOR'S WORKSHOP
This class offers a double dose of serious actor fun for adults with Master Teachers at the helm to guide you into the world of Improvisation and Acting Technique. Release your inner actor with in-depth explorations into the fundamentals of character development and given circumstances. Learn to play an action with truthful emotion and personal presence as you work through monologues and duo scenes. Expect a lot of laughter with a hint of drama! Final performance sharing is optional.
Ages 18 - 100
Request a Quote Today! (718) 986-0967
Rising City Arts Partnerships
Mercy Home for Children2012 - 2020
Program: "Drama Therapy for Children with Special Needs"
The Epiphany School2013 - 2020
Middle School Programs:
"Shaking it up with Shakespeare"
"Canvas to Character"
"All About Acting"
Ramapo/Catskill Library System2018 - 2020
Warwick/Greenwood Lake/Haverstraw Daughters Public Libraries
"All About Acting"
"Comedy Improvisation for Adults"
"Leadership & Life Skills"
St. Demetrios Elementary School2011 - 2018
"The Living Green Superheroes Project"
"All About Acting"
(Grades 3 & 4)
Queens Technical High School2011 - 2012
"Conflict Resolution through Theatre"
(Grades 9 & 10)
Academy of Finance and Enterprise2011 - 2013
"Speak the Speech, Public Speaking 101"
"All About Acting After School"
(Grades 11 & 12)
Queens Public Library System2011 - 2017
"The Living Green Superheroes Program"
PS 171, Queens2013, 2014
"Theatre Arts Professional Development for Classroom Teachers"
Jacob Riis Settlement House2013
"Rising Stars Summer Camp at PS 166, Queens"
(Grades 3,4 & 5)
Donate to Rising City Arts
Thank you to
Awards & Grants ....
Corporate Sponsorship ....
Individual Donors ....
Materials for the Arts
Martha's Country Bakery
Jimmy's No. 43
Buon Appetit, Astoria
($100 and up)
Jim and Kristine Comolli
Tim & Susan Wexler
Laura Van Holt
Helen & Al Comolli
Ira & Elise Goldman
Michi & Jim Wexler
Gia & Dino Liva
Lyn & David Grogan
(&50 and up)
($30 and up)