Who is New Line Theatre?
New Line Theatre, "The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre," was created in 1991, at the vanguard of a new wave of nonprofit musical theatre being born across the country during the early 1990s, offering an alternative to the commercial musical theatre of New York and Broadway tours. The New Liners believe in what Broadway and film actor Laurence Luckinbill once wrote in a letter to artistic director Scott Miller: "Go broke if you must, but always over-estimate the public’s intelligence. They will thank you for it."
The only company of its kind in the country, New Line was founded to involve the people of the region in the creation and exploration of provocative, alternative, politically and socially relevant works of musical theatre – daring, muscular, intelligent theatre about contemporary issues.
New Line does not produce your grandparents' musicals. New Line produces world premieres like Johnny Appleweed, She's Hideous, Love Kills, In the Blood, Attempting the Absurd, and The AmberKlavier; brilliant, lesser known Broadway and off Broadway shows like Bat Boy, High Fidelity, A New Brain, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Wild Party, The Robber Bridegroom, Floyd Collins, and The Nervous Set; absurdist musicals like Reefer Madness, Urinetown, The Rocky Horror Show, The Cradle Will Rock, and Anyone Can Whistle; abstract musicals like Hair, Assassins, Jacques Brel, and Songs for a New World; concept musicals like Chicago, Sunday in the Park with George, and Cabaret; and radical reinterpretations of more mainstream works, like Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods.
Read the 2015 profile of New Line Theatre
in The Riverfront Times
Read the 2014 profile of New Line Theatre
in American Theatre magazine.
What the Critics Say
“The coolest theatre in town.” – John Waters, filmmaker
“The little cutting-edge theater that could.”– Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Reinventing the way we perceive musicals.” – Steve Allen, Stagedoor St. Louis
“If you live in New York or London, you enjoy lots of opportunities to see new shows. . . In St. Louis, we have those opportunities as well – mostly because of Scott Miller, the artistic director of New Line Theatre.” – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“If you want to see a show and feel like you're in New York or Chicago, go see a show at New Line.” – Christopher Reilly, The Patch
“The sort of opportunity that musical theater lovers pray for, and then travel great distances to indulge in.” – Dennis Brown, The Riverfront Times
“The kind of experience that absolutely defines modern musical theatre.” – Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld
“Musical theatre for audiences who think that musicals can’t be hip.” – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“St. Louis’ premier company when it comes to raw-nerve theatrics.” – Paul Friswold, The Riverfront Times
“Really good, well done adult theatre at New Line that nobody else really attempts here in St. Louis.” – Harry Hamm, KMOX
"You won’t find a more daring, unexpected or entertaining evening of theater anywhere else.” – Steve Allen, Java Journal
“Yes, New Line produces musicals, but these have an edge, a swagger. They are fierce.” – The Beacon
“New Line Theatre is all about presentations that are daring, different or deliciously skewering the conventional.” – Mark Bretz, Ladue News
“When it comes to challenging St. Louis theater audiences, to stretching them, exposing them to new stimuli, hardly anyone is in a class with New Line Theatre.” – Joe Pollack, KWMU
“Almost unbearably emotional.” – American Theatre magazine
“The most provocative theatre in St. Louis.” - Alive Magazine, The Hot List
“So weird. So smart. So shocking. So entertaining.” – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Steve Allen of Stagedoor St. Louis says, "Scott Miller and his New Line Theatre never back down. Has a musical been a quick flop on or off Broadway? He’ll make it a hit and suddenly regional theatres are salivating to produce it. Is a musical considered too 'out of the mainstream'? No problem, let’s give our audiences a choice and see what happens." Peter Filichia, Broadway critic, called his trip to St. Louis to see New Line's The Nervous Set "the most valuable theatrical pilgrimage I've ever made."
In 2009, Alive Magazine named New Line the most provocative theatre in St. Louis, adding, "This regional performing arts group prides itself on pushing the envelope with alternative, politically and socially relevant productions. Whether staging world premieres, presenting lesser-known Broadway fare or reinterpreting mainstream work to make it more provocative, New Line is anything but ordinary. St. Louis Magazine's Best of St. Louis “A List” named New Line the best theatre in St. Louis, writing, "What's on stage is not some frivolous confection but something meaty, different, and occasionally challenging. So if you have a craving for real theatre, especially musical theatre, take a chance on New Line. At least you'll leave the theatre humming. Or better yet – talking.”