The rotunda on the NYC Health and Hospitals Jacobi campus in Morris Park has long been used as a space for staff lectures and symposiums. But this weekend, something new will hit the stage.
A new group, the Morris Park Performing Arts Theatre, will be testing out the waters on Sunday at 1 p.m. with its freshman “Oldies” show at the hospital auditorium.
Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association, told the Bronx Times that he wanted to bring a new flavor of arts to the community.
“I’d like to see something that would be beneficial for the Bronx,” he said.
While the Bronx is often associated with its lower income and education levels and higher crime rate, D’Angelo said he thinks it should be recognized for its community talent. He said he wants people to be proud to be from the borough.
“I’m tired of everybody dumping on the Bronx,” he said. “There are good things happening in the Bronx.”
John Doyle, the associate director of public and community relations with the hospital, said via that D’Angelo first proposed using the facility’s auditorium years ago, but the project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said opening the theater to the public this way will enrich the community.
“Jacobi is a staple of the larger community,” Doyle said in an email. “Opening the theater allows us to help serve the community in a different capacity and we are excited to work with community leaders to expand cultural opportunities in our area.”
D’Angelo said he wants theater to become an integrated part of the Morris Park neighborhood, and that will in part be contingent on how well Sunday’s show is received.
“I’m looking even to put on shows every month,” he said. Right now, he’s thinking future performances could include comedy nights, holiday shows and even movie screenings.
Sunday’s theater troupe are volunteers, D’Angelo said, who will be performing the “songs of yesteryear.”
“We want to set it off and hopefully it’s successful,” he added.
Sunday’s show starts with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jacobi auditorium at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance at www.mojac.org or $30 at the door. Light refreshments will be served.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes