In 2007, we began offering youth theater programs, through Young Players Theater, and in 2011, we took our dream one step further by establishing the not-for-profit Brooklyn Acting Lab (BAL). BAL is a labor of love, and our vision is to be a theater company that offers comprehensive training programs to youth and adults in order to create innovative, inspired, and heart-filled work that reflects Brooklyn’s diverse global community.
Brooklyn is our home. We see Brooklyn’s stories—past, present, and future—and believe that there is so much richness to share and explore. Today, Brooklyn is a global brand, but the Brooklyn we know personally and love has much more life, passion, and human experience than what is captured by the new, branded Brooklyn story. Our Brooklyn is a place where people arrive and are raised with dreams, where people fight and laugh and work hard to make their dreams come true. This includes Brooklynites who have been here for generations and those who are new here. In Brooklyn, children have the freedom to play and see the world, in all its glory and diversity, around them on our streets. BAL seeks to help them make sense of that. We aim to create works that bring communities and different Brooklynites together, to give them an opportunity to see each other, to mirror each other, to respect each other’s differences, to notice each other’s similarities, and to celebrate our humanness—together.
Acting is our passion. Murat has a long history of acting, producing plays, and working in Turkey, Europe, and New York City. Kristen’s love for theater began in Brooklyn (where she was born), and grew at LaGuardia High School, NYU’s acting programs, in Paris, and among young people and adults in Brooklyn and beyond. Our teaching community is made up of actors who have the same passion for theater, creation, and children that we have.
Laboratories are places where people ask questions, find answers, experiment, and create. The word “Lab” honors the space BAL provides: a safe space where we come together, explore freely and without judgment, make observations and discoveries, experiment, break out of our boxes, and create! The process of creating theatrical art is as important to us as the finished product, the final performance before an audience. It is in the creation of theater that we are able to ask questions about who we are as individuals and then who we are together, as a community.
In establishing BAL, we worked with Creative Director Tet Marti and embarked on a journey to think about who we are as an organization today, how we plan to grow in the future, and how we want to challenge, inspire, and work with young people and adults—with theater as our mechanism—to achieve their fullest potential as individuals and as community members.
It is an exciting time for Brooklyn Acting Lab as we continue to develop new and interesting programming that responds to the world around us. Thank you for being part of the journey.
Kristen Lynch & Murat Ozcan
Founders and Artistic Directors
Brooklyn Acting Lab