My name is Nathan McNiff and I have been a theater guy my entire life. I have been lucky enough to see first hand the transformative power of the arts. Music, theater, poetry, and dance have the power to start important conversations as well as promote empathy, awareness, and understanding…. which I think we can all agree, we desperately need right now.
As I became more involved in the non profit theater I moved from actor, to director, to being part of the production staff. As I worked on different arts boards I saw first hand the major challenges that all the arts are facing. Public arts funding is disappearing at the state and federal level. The costs of maintaining a brick and mortar performance spaces are high, especially seeing as they are only in use a small part of the week. These spaces have to pass that cost to the companies that rent them and in turn the arts companies have to charge high ticket prices which denies important cultural events to many citizens. It denies those with lower incomes the opportunity to engage in community events. The arts have always, and should always, be for the masses.
Believing that necessity breeds innovation I worked to develop the concept and design for “The Wandering Stage”, a twenty foot, custom built, transportable pod that can be parked in any street festival, field, park, parking lot, or any open outdoor space. Then, with the push of a button a stage that was latched to one of the walls falls and transform into a 20 foot stage. Onboard generators run lights and sound and the inside of the trailer serves as a backstage area for makeup, props. and costume.
By maintaining a low overhead and renting the theater out to a host of different entities, The Wandering Stage strives to offer affordable venue costs to arts companies across New England and beyond.