Roundabout Theatre Company is thrilled to celebrate with Manny Marroquin, an alum of the nationally recognized Theatrical Workforce Development Program (TWDP), who has joined Local One, the stagehands union of the International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
After working for three years on union contracts at theatres including City Center Stage I, the Vivian Beaumont, Circle in the Square, and the Samuel J. Friedman, Manny completed the necessary work and training requirements to become a union member. But before his work at Broadway and off-Broadway theatres, his training began in 2018 in Roundabout’s first-of-its-kind Theatrical Workforce Development Program—a public-private partnership initiative led by Roundabout and IATSE to teach technical skills, connect participants to a network of industry professionals, and provide internship and job placement opportunities.
Manny is a 2017 high school graduate of Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, a Roundabout Partner School in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was exposed to theatre late in high school through a Broadway League internship and saw a pathway for his future at the intersection of theatre and technology. After being accepted into the TWDP program Manny made the most of his skills, network, and drive. He says, “Through TWDP I learned all about technical theatre, got a Local One mentor, had an internship at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and a gig as a technician on a cruise ship. Our cohort learned, traveled, and made a lot of memories together.”
The TWDP program, designed by Roundabout’s education team under the direction of Jennifer DiBella, has trained 114 young adults since 2016. More than 70% remain working or training in technical theatre, and others have transferred their technical and professional skills to meaningful careers in healthcare, support services, and education.
In the spring of 2023 TWDP received an official citation from NYC Mayor Eric Adams acknowledging the impact of the program, “I applaud everyone associated with TWDP for their efforts to connect young New Yorkers to long term careers, build a more diverse talent pipeline, and strengthen the technical workforce that powers our theatre community.”
And now Manny and his fellow alumni are giving back and creating opportunities to support the newest members of the program. Some alumni have become Roundabout Teaching Artists. Others have risen to technical coordinator and manager positions and now hire our trainees and alumni. This past spring, Manny worked with Education departments at Roundabout Theatre Company and Manhattan Theatre Club to arrange an outing for current TWDP fellows and program alumni to attend the show he was working on at City Center Stage I (King James by Rajiv Joseph), receive a backstage tour, and take part in a post-show talk back, where Manny shared his journey and gave behind-the-scenes insights into the technical elements of the production. Manny and his fellow alumni continue to support the next generation of technicians by being Alumni Mentors and staying connected to the program. It is not an overstatement to say that the alumni of TWDP are making this program more and more successful each year.
Launched in 2016, the Theatrical Workforce Development Program was created to change the landscape of technical theatre across the industry. Participants, ranging from 18-24 years old, work hands-on in four disciplines while training with some of the industry’s top working professionals. In partnership with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and The Door, Roundabout Theatre Company delivers this alternative pathway for preparing behind-the-scenes theatre technicians through a year-long paid-training model that is followed by a year of job development support and on-going alumni assistance services and training opportunities. The program is made possible through dozens of industry partnerships at the training, internship, and employment levels. For information about how to partner or support TWDP email email@example.com.
Roundabout’s Theatrical Workforce Development Program (TWDP) is made possible through the generosity of Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Altman Foundation, Capitol One, the Herbert M. Citrin Charitable Foundation, the Kaplen Foundation, the Pinkerton Foundation, the Solon E. Summerfield Foundation, NYC’s Human Resources Administration and Center for Economic Opportunity’s joint support through the Work Progress Program, and by the New York State Department of Labor with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
Major funding to establish the Made in New York Stagecraft Bootcamp is provided by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and NYC Department of Small Business Services.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.
We are grateful to those who contribute to Education at Roundabout’s many programs: Lisa Alexander-Taylor, Cynthia and Ron Beck, Mary and Chris Behrens, The Bok Family Foundation—Roxanne and Scott L. Bok Trustees, Jenny Brorsen and Richard DeMartini, The Durst Organization, Susan and Ed Forst, The Golden Family, Liz and Steven Goldstone, the Gray Foundation, Jeanne and Tom Hagerty, the JPB Foundation, The Kaplen Brothers Fund, Kors Le Pere Foundation, Jill and Barry Lafer, Gess and Pamela LeBlanc, the Julia C. Levy Education Fund, David and Anita Massengill, The Mustang Foundation, Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Samantha Rudin Earls and David Earls, Mary Solomon, Jennifer and Owen Thomas, Diane and Tom Tuft, Johannes and Regis Worsoe, and Cynthia C. Wainwright and Stephen Berger.
TWDP is made possible by the Champions for Inclusive Theatre and Roundabout’s Forward Fund. We acknowledge the generous friends who support our many efforts to increase representation and inclusion in all aspects of theatre: Elizabeth Armstrong, Bank of America, Eugene and Joann Bissell and the Lillian Lincoln Foundation, Kevin Brown, Barbara and Peter Bye, Ginger McKnight Chavers, Ford Foundation, Jill and Barry Lafer, Gina Maria Leonetti, Iva Mills, Beryl Snyder, and Denise Littlefield Sobel.