After eight seasons, 29 productions starring over 100 Broadway veterans, including Tony, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Obie Award winners and nominees, and mentoring 50 budding stars in their pre-professional training program, The Harbor Lights Theater Company founders Tamara Jenkins and Jay Montgomery are taking a bow, dimming the lights and saying farewell. The husband and wife duo, Harbor Lights’ co-Artistic Directors as well as its founders, are moving to Chicago at the end of the month to be closer to Jenkins’ family and to explore opportunities within the vibrant Chicago theater community.
“We are excited for this new chapter in our lives but sad to say goodbye to so many friends, colleagues, fans, patrons, and supporters,” says Jenkins.
This June, Jenkins and Montgomery performed a show of their own making. It was an intimate journey through the ups and downs of a ‘Musical Theater Romance’ – their own. The songs, which ranged from Sinatra to Sondheim, gave them an opportunity to share with the audience how the theater has shaped their lives. It was that passion and love, not just for each other, but for the theater, that propelled them forward through two house fires, hurricane Sandy, and all the other challenges of running a not for profit theater company, to “illuminate the human experience” through producing the highest quality theater. Over 25,000 fellow Staten Islanders attended their productions.
Their production history boasts audience favorites including RENT, The Music Man, Driving Miss Daisy, The Kind & I, Lombardi, West Side Story and 23 more.
The Harbor Lights Theater Company was the first and to date remains the only Equity theater company in the history of Staten Island. Since founding HLTC in 2010, Broadway veterans Jenkins and Montgomery built a bridge from Broadway to Staten Island, while earning an excellent reputation within the Broadway community, commanding regular Manhattan press coverage, including an editorial feature in the New York Times and regular features by local press including the Staten Island Advance and NY1 News. Their own professional contacts and this reputation for exceptional work allowed them to draw the best talent from Manhattan to Staten Island.
Harbor Lights education program, “Enter Stage Right” gave serious youth ages 11 – 18 a professional training experience that included Master Classes with Broadway Producers, Musical Directors, and Casting Directors. Students from the program have landed in programs at NYU, Manhattan School of Music, Boston College, University of The Arts, Muhlenberg, Montclair, Ithaca, and Syracuse.
“We want to thank everyone who was part of the Harbor Lights’ family over the last eight years, and we wish you all the very best!” says Montgomery.