NYSTI: A Kid’s-Eye View of the Endangered Theater


The Troy-based New York State Theatre Institute has been under attack in recent months. Back in January, Governor Paterson proposed eliminating their funding from the state budget – completely.

In April, NYS Inspector General Joseph Fisch released a detailed report charging NYSTI artistic director Pat Snyder with financial misconduct and serial nepotism.

Then, earlier this month Snyder – who had been at the helm since the theater’s inception 36 years ago – and the theater’s board of directors all resigned.

So what it the future of NYSTI? Can it possibly survive all of this turmoil and continue to present students with an introduction to live theater?

Here’s what NYSTI means to area youth, as seen from the viewpoint of some students from Hackett Middle School in Albany:

  1. Zachary says

    NYSTI is one of the best equity theater houses in the Capital Region. Growing up I was always awed when I used to go see a NYSTI production. Also, there are numerous alumns that have come out of NYSTI and have ended up in the NY Theater and Broadway scene. If NYSTI closes it would be a huge loss for the theater community in upstate NY. Its one of the only places in upstate NY where new theater is created and worked. It is wonderful for children and families to go see a show that not only inspires their minds but educates them at the same time. Hopefully everything can be solved and NYSTI will stay open and keep inspiring and educating young theater artists in the Capital Region.

  2. Cameron says

    Please post this info and link on USA THEATRE CHAT on facebook… Theatre Chats groups can be found found in various cities and states. Look for our LOGO from http://www.theatrechat.net



  3. Lisa (Hamelin) Flatley says

    The allegations put forth against Ms. Snyder have not been proven. Never the less, the New York State Institute, and its employees, should not be chastised for any wrong doing. These dedicated workers, performers, artists, actors, volunteers, supporters and interns should be allowed to continue to serve the community with their wonderful performances, not to mention the various programs that are offered to the youth of our community that enlighten them on the importance of the arts. The need for these programs is undeniably crucial to the youth of our community and must not be eliminated. The NYS Theatre Institute is a cherished organization in the Capital Region and must not be forgotten when contemplating the state budget. Let’s cut the travel expenses for the politicians, I’m the only one that pays for me to drive to my job every day !!!

  4. Robin Scharf says

    For years, I was a volunteer with my two daughters and husband for the NYSTI theater. NYSTI is the only theater that I know of that allows and encourages families to volunteer together. For five years, we saw every play that was performed. Each time, I was impressed with the choice of play, the commitment of the actors and the entertainment value. In addition, I am a school social worker. NYSTI was a wonderful place to bring my students for field trips. The educational value was uncomparable. The pamphlets provided to teachers gave students a chance to develop historical references, vocabulary enhancement and a better understanding of the play. Cutting NYSTI causes me great concern. It is similar to cutting funding for state parks. It is a sad indicator of our priorities. It is essential for our children to have opportunities to participate in healthy leisure activities which are affordable. Otherwise, we run the risk of a future society where children have few role models and few chances to see positive options ahead of them. I give my full support to NYSTI’s future.

  5. jess says

    hayy i love jon d

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