Photo by Ruth Morgan
IMPACT REPERTORY THEATRE
Jamal Joseph, Executive Artistic Director
“Our focus is to make a positive, life enhancing difference on the professional and personal lives of the talented young people of IMPACT.”
Reflecting Harlem’s tradition of creative excellence, community responsibility and social awareness, the not-for-profit IMPACT Repertory Theatre, a vital subsidiary of the New Heritage Theatre Group, has been an uplifting theatrical and musical force since 1997. IMPACT’s mission is to use performing arts and the dynamics of leadership training to develop and empower urban youth for generations to come.
Founders Alice Arlen, Jamal Joseph, Joyce Joseph, and Voza Rivers, with assistance from Courtney Bennett and Ray Johnson, set a high standard that IMPACT’s young, gifted and committed actors, singers, dancers, writers, producers, directors and production staff have consistently met. Having to date reached a combined audience in excess of 150,000, IMPACT has staged over 300 live performances at colleges, libraries, outdoor festivals, homeless shelters, museums, churches, corporate events and correctional facilities.
The company has performed on the CBS, NBC, and Nickelodeon television networks, and in the HBO film Disappearing Acts. Other outstanding credits include appearances at the Million Family March, the Brooklyn Children’s Hospital’s “Healing Through Laughter” program, Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater, the New York City Marathon, the United Nations, Russell Simmons’ yearly fundraiser in the Hamptons, churches, and at many New York City public schools and universities. “Theater arts and education play a pivotal role in providing opportunities and transitions for the leaders of tomorrow,” advised Voza Rivers, Executive Producer of New Heritage Theatre Group (NHTG). “Our focus,” adds
Impact’s Executive Artistic Director Jamal Joseph, “is to make a positive, life enhancing difference on the professional and personal lives of the talented young people of IMPACT.”
In addition to writing, producing and recording their own impressive 2005 album entitled IMPACT: The Music, IMPACT is also featured on the late Tupac Shakur’s acclaimed spoken word CD, The Rose That Grew From Concrete. Recently Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, selected IMPACT to perform on Tupac’s forthcoming 2006 album.
IMPACT is adding pivotal performances and participation to the exciting and culturally captivating harlem is... Music exhibition tour, for which they created powerful original music and inspirational dramatic vignettes.
Ranging in ages from 13–19 years of age, the IMPACT Repertory Theatre is rooted in creative self-expression and anchored by a commitment to S.O.S: Safe space, Outstanding effort, and Service to the community of Harlem.
—by CHARLES E. ROGERS