Elizabeth Sophia Strauss, Production Assistant for Transport Group Theatre Company

Almost Maine

Almost Maine

How are the arts re-igniting your community and sparking innovation and creativity in your local schools?

I have been lucky enough to grow up in a community that greatly values the arts. Fortunately, it has not been a matter of reigniting, as there has been a long-standing commitment to the arts here in Port Jefferson. In elementary school, there were several opportunities for the students to work alongside Mary Seidman and Karen De Mauro as part of the Port Jefferson School District’s Artists-in-Residence program. Additionally, my high school has always has been host to the Amy Tyler School of Dance annual production of The Nutcracker. The dance company features artists from around the world, so that the community has the opportunity to see a top-notch performance without having to leave Port Jefferson. The Music Department in my school district has done a lot of innovative programming as well.

Not only does Port Jefferson have an Arts Council – which is a platform for music, theater, visual art, and dance – Port Jefferson is also home to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Despite growing up in a small town, I have had the good fortune to be exposed to a full range of the performing arts, which left a profound influence on me.

One of the best performance venues on Long Island is right here in Port Jefferson, Theatre Three, which is considered: “Broadway on Main Street”. I have seen everything from their annual A Christmas Carol to The Sound of Music. In fact, my first internship in theater was on Theatre Three’s Production of The Who’s: Tommy as their Assistant Stage Manager.

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