A shining grassroots theater.
Mission & History
Unity Stage Company, Inc. (USC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2009 with a mission to positively impact the diverse population of New York City in the areas of physical and mental health through the medium of the performing arts.
Through our interaction we:
- Level the playing field for artists of all backgrounds to create work of the highest caliber that reflects our world.
- Expand the capability of people of all ages to improve themselves positively through the learning and refinement of performance skills to enhance fitness of mind and body.
- Build a bridge between our diverse communities.
In summary, we bring high quality performing arts programming to Western Queens to support local youth and audiences of all ages.
On our main stage, USC produces revivals of plays and musicals that address relevant social conditions and USC also develops new works through annual readings and workshops. USC embeds itself in the community by presenting programming in a variety of popular local facilities including Sunnyside’s Queen of Angels Church Auditorium, All Saints Church Sanctuary, Café Marlene, Jackson Heights’ St. Marks Church Attic and The Chain Theater in Long Island City.
USC offers free annual community programming (Community Read-Aloud featuring Queens leaders in performance with professional, local and youth actors, Community Vaudeville Night). Need-based scholarships are afforded to qualifying youth participants in all of USC’s youth performance programs, including its full-day Unity Stage Summer Arts program for children in grades K–9, weekly after-school theater and musical theater program for elementary school students offered in three separate Western Queens locations (Jackson Heights, Long Island City and Sunnyside), a teen performance program for youth in grades six and older and Cantiamo Youth Chorus. These programs reinforce the bond between the performing arts and the community.
Sofia Landon Geier Board Member
Sofia Landon Geier is the Founder & Producing Artistic Director of Unity Stage Company. As an actor, she has appeared both on and off-Broadway and in regional theaters such as New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater with David Hyde Pierce and at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theater, which she co-founded. A stage director and Emmy-winning writer, Landon Geier raised her family in Sunnyside. She founded Unity Stage Company to provide the community with greater access to high-quality performing arts.
Sean Martin Board Member
Sean Martin is Vice President and General Manager at Between The Bread, a high-profile Manhattan catering company, and their latest upscale venture, The Crafted Cookie. Sean is the former owner and operator of Durow’s of Glendale, NY. Sean became interested in serving on Unity Stage’s board after experiencing the positive effect of its youth theater programs on his two children, who have been studying with Unity Stage since 2009.
Elyse Orecchio Board Member
A native of Queens, Elyse believes all little New Yorkers should have the opportunity to express themselves through theatre, music, and dance. She is an advocate for the arts as a benefit to youth with special needs. A performer herself, Elyse also writes and edits for a nonprofit, and lives in Sunnyside with her husband, Joe, and their children, Theo and Melody.
Patricia Foster Shultz Board Secretary
Patricia is a long-time Sunnyside resident and beloved teacher at P.S. 11 in Woodside. She recently earned an advanced certification in supervision and administration and is studying Spanish at Hunter College. Patricia is the current president of the Madison Court North Property Owners Association in Sunnyside Gardens. She has a deep appreciation for theater and music and is dedicated to the development of the artistic landscape of Western Queens.
Guy Ventoiere Board Member
Guy has a Specialized B.A. in Shakespearean Theatre from CUNY. He is a member of Actor’s Equity and has performed in over 100 plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. Guy has also been a dramatic instructor to both adults and children for over 15 years at various organizations and served as the resident Children’s Theatre Director for Lehman College. Guy has performed with Hip to Hip Theatre Company for two seasons and is their new Managing Director.