New Line Theatre

A nonprofit organization

New Line produces world premieres like Johnny Appleweed, She's Hideous, Love Kills, In the Blood, Attempting the Absurd, and The AmberKlavier; brilliant, lesser known Broadway and off Broadway shows like Bat Boy, High Fidelity, A New Brain, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Wild Party, The Robber Bridegroom, Floyd Collins, and The Nervous Set; absurdist musicals like Reefer Madness, Urinetown, The Rocky Horror Show, The Cradle Will Rock, and Anyone Can Whistle; abstract musicals like Hair, Assassins, Jacques Brel, and Songs for a New World; concept musicals like Chicago, Sunday in the Park with George, and Cabaret; and radical reinterpretations of more mainstream works, like Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods.

New Line Theatre was founded just as the idea of more purely artistic musical theatre was starting to take hold across the country. The New Liners believe in what Broadway and film actor Laurence Luckinbill once wrote in a letter to artistic director Scott Miller: "Go broke if you must, but always over-estimate the public's intelligence. They will thank you for it." New Line has given birth to several world premiere musicals over the years and has brought back to life many shows that did not do well in their original New York productions. New Line Theatre was recently given its own entry in the latest edition of the prestigious Cambridge Guide to American Theatre.

Even though New Line produces only musical theatre, we work in almost every conceivable storytelling genre - lots of comedy and drama obviously, but also film noir (The Wild Party), crime drama (Love Kills), melodrama (bare), allegory (The Rocky Horror Show), fairy tale (Into the Woods), fable (The Fantasticks), folk tale (The Robber Bridegroom), thriller (Sweeney Todd), science fiction (Return to the Forbidden Planet), documentary (Hands on a Hardbody), sex farce (I Love My Wife), social satire (Bat Boy), political satire (Urinetown), political drama (Kiss of the Spider Woman), absurdism (Anyone Can Whistle), expressionism (Jacques Brel), impressionism (Sunday in the Park with George), religious drama (JC Superstar), Hero Myth (Passing Strange), biography (Evita), autobiography (A New Brain), confessional (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), and horror (Night of the Living Dead).

In addition to our work onstage, New Line also serves our community in so many other ways, including the creation of the first two St. Louis Theatre Racial Diversity Symposiums; the creation of the St. Louis Political Theatre Festival; New Line Theatre's intern program; New Line's Cultural Partners program; and the co-founding of the St. Louis Professional Theatre Cooperative. New Line also makes available free seats to every mainstage performance, open to any college student with a valid student ID. The New Liners are fully committed not just to producing quality theatre, but also to serving St. Louis metro area audiences through our work.

The artists of New Line honor our past and the Rodgers and Hammerstein school of musical theatre but believe that after more than seventy years of that model, it's time to move forward and explore new models and new paths. So, while working entirely within the musical theatre genre, New Line explores and experiments with audience expectations, the relationship between actor and audience, the uses of physical space, the uses of music, and the distortion or rejection of traditional linear storytelling, plot, and structure.

In 2010, President Obama hosted an evening of Broadway music at the White House, and he said, "In many ways, the story of Broadway is intertwined with the story if America. Some of the greatest singers and songwriters Broadway has ever known came to this country on a boat with nothing more than an idea in their head and a song in their heart. And they succeeded the same way that so many immigrants have succeeded -- through talent and hard work and sheer determination. Over the years, musicals have been at the forefront of our social consciousness, challenging stereotypes, shaping our opinions about race and religion, death and disease, power and politics."

This art form of ours has never been more adventurous or more vigorous, and the New Liners are determined to be a part of that excitement. (Check out this great New York Times story about the new generation of musical theatre lovers.) The musical theatre is one of our very few indigenous American art forms, one of America's greatest gifts to the world, full of the raw power of the American experience, and New Line treats it with the seriousness, respect, humor, and joy that it deserves.

We are very proud that New Line regularly casts actors in leading roles who have never worked with our company before. In most New Line shows, about half the cast are actors who are new to the company. This constant flow of new talent is important to New Line's work...


New Line Theatre, "The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre," was created in 1991, offering an alternative to the commercial musical theatre of New York and Broadway tours. The only company of its kind in the country, New Line involves the people of our region in the creation and exploration of provocative, alternative, politically and socially relevant works of musical theatre - daring, muscular, relevant, intelligent theatre about the issues facing us and our community in these turbulent times.

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Organization name

New Line Theatre

Tax id (EIN)



Marcelle Theater 3310 Samuel Shepard Dr
St Louis, MO 63103



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