The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC), The Graduate Center, CUNY, is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theatre. Originally founded in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), it was renamed in March of 1999 to recognize Martin E. Segal, one of New York City’s outstanding leaders of the arts. At the same time, the multi-purpose performing space in The Graduate Center’s new home in the former B. Altman department store was named the Martin E. Segal Theatre. The New York Times called Mr. Segal “New York’s leading cultural power broker.” An extraordinary figure in the arts and education in New York City, he has played a seminal role in many of the City’s most important cultural initiatives.
The Center’s primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. As a result, MESTC is home to theatre scholars, students, playwrights, actors, dancers, directors, dramaturgs, and performing arts managers, as well as both the local and international theatre communities.
The Center presents staged readings to further the development of new and classic plays, lecture series, televised seminars featuring professional and academic luminaries, and arts in education programs, and maintains its long-standing visiting-scholars-from-abroad program. In addition, the Center publishes a series of highly regarded academic journals, as well as single volumes of importance, including plays in translation, all written and edited by renowned scholars.
The Martin E. Segal Theatre is a 70-seat, fully equipped flexible space that provides an intimate venue where both artists and theatre professionals can actively participate with audiences to further the advancement, awareness, and appreciation of the theatrical experience.