While public gatherings have been on pause, exciting original artistry has safely taken place in Johnson City. Goodwill Theatre, Inc. collaborated with NYC’s award-winning Prospect Theater Company, whose mission is to create and present original musical theater works by emerging artists. In response to safety concerns, Prospect created their new VISION Series, which features six short original music and theatre films, from a variety of writers, composers, and other artists. Four pieces were filmed on location during a September residency at the historic Goodwill Theatre and Firehouse building in Johnson City. The first short film, The Band at the End of the World, is scheduled for release tomorrow (October 21, 2020).
“We’ve had a long and rewarding relationship with Prospect Theatre Company. When we heard they were thinking of creating a series of videos but needed a space to create in, we were happy to open our doors,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “The Goodwill Theatre building, which turns 100 years old this year, was the perfect space to allow for social distancing while creating. We followed all the protocols of SAG-AFTRA, compete with a regular schedule of COVID-19 testing and onsite monitoring.”
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. and Prospect Theater Company have been collaborating since 2007 with a reading of Sacagawea. Collaborative projects have also included the staged readings of The Flood, Marco Polo, Evergreen, and most recently the musical The Hello Girls, which later went on to a successful Off-Broadway run.
During Prospect’s September residency at the Goodwill Theatre, health and safety requirements were generously sponsored by United Health Services, including regular COVID testing under the guidance of Health Safety Supervisor, RN Megan Farmer.
“We were thrilled to welcome professional artists – many of whom are Broadway veterans – into our incredible space,” continued Kradjian. “When someone steps inside the Goodwill Theatre building for the first time, they always have a moment of awe, and these videos help to capture the magic of the building while offering a virtual tour of the space.” Three floors of the historic Firehouse were also used for filming.
Two of the films have strong ties to the Binghamton community. Suffragette Belva Lockwood, the subject of the short film Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, operated a school in Owego, NY, which has since been transformed into the Belva Lockwood Inn. Angel Desai, the star of Lady Apsara, was raised in Binghamton, before becoming a Broadway, TV and film actress, vocalist and musician.
The Fall 2020 projects filmed during the Goodwill Theatre residency were:
- The Band at the End of the World, created by Bandits on the Run (Roy Dodger, Bonanza Jellyfish, and Clarissa) a.k.a. Adrian Blake Enscoe, Sydney Shepherd, and Regina Strayhorn. Directed by SRĐA, with cinematographer and editor Bart Cortright.
Description: In a post-apocalyptic world, three musicians discover an abandoned theater and strive to re-connect with humanity.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21st
- Lady Lawyer Lockwood Rides Her Tricycle, written by Britt Bonney, directed by Cara Reichel. Director of Photography Gabrielle Mariella. Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Tina Stafford, Jacob Keith Watson, and Fiona Santos (who also serves as Music Director).
Description: Groundbreaking 19th-century American lawyer Belva Ann Lockwood, the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, grapples with her decision to run for President of the US in the 1884 election.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28th
- UNRAVELL’D, a thrilling movement narrative conceived and directed by Kristen Brooks Sandler, scored by Or Matias, with Director of Photography Sean Dolan. Choreography created by Thistle Dance / Kristen Brooks Sandler in collaboration with performers Morgana Mauney and Lucas P. Melfi.
Description: Lost in the labyrinth, with hope suspended by a single thread, Ariadne and Theseus desperately seek to find each other.
Anticipated Special Halloween Release Date: Friday, Oct. 30th
- Lady Apsara, book and lyrics by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, music by Kamala Sankaram. Directed by Zi Alikhan, with Directors of Photography Sean MacLaughlin and Brian Bon. Starring Angel Desai, and featuring Chris Cornwell, Shinya Miyamoto, and Debbie Christine Tjong.
Description: Apsara, a hard-working NYC actress whose identity is both Filipina and Indian, sings her way through a two-audition day… to an extraordinary conclusion.
Anticipated Release Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11th
Two additional commissions will be filmed by Prospect Theater Company in New York City this fall.
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. with support from Broome County Land Bank and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo are pleased to announce the demolition of two buildings, in order to remove blight and spur revitalization in Johnson City.
“Eliminating these blighted structures removes hazards to our community and makes way for the continued development of the Goodwill Theatre Performing Arts and Conference Center Complex which will enrich our community through arts and recreational events,” said Broome County Land Bank Executive Director Margaret Scarinzi. “The Broome County Land Bank is pleased to partner with the Goodwill Theatre on this project.”
The Mission of Goodwill Theatre Inc. is to create and operate a dynamic regional performing Arts and Conference Center Complex that will enrich the lives of Southern Tier residents and visitors through education, events and performances.
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. is located in the urban core of Johnson City (JC) Greater Binghamton area, in one of the most distressed and abandoned areas in the Southern Tier with 28% of the population below the poverty line.
This project is consistent with the Town of Union and Broome County Comprehensive Plans and the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company Brownfield Opportunity Area Plan (BOA). It is located within the Health and Cultural iDistrict created by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC).
“Investment by the Broome County Land Bank and New York State at this stage creates the possibility of a healthy vibrant community where highly skilled healthcare professionals and Binghamton University students and faculty can train, live and work. It will increase opportunities for cultural enrichment.” Goodwill Theatre CEO, Naima Kradjian, stated.
The project currently stretches approximately 2 acres within the Willow Street and Broad Street block of Johnson City and includes 8 properties. This project has received state and federal support for its ability to serve as a magnet with tourist potential as well as increasing access to residents for recreation and preservation of regional history.
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. purchased 59 and 55 Broad Street in March 2016 using funds from a DASNY (Dormitory Authority of New York) grant from Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. The necessary environmental surveys and abatement of 55 and 59 Broad Street prior to demolition was made possible by funds from Broome County Land Bank and donations of in-kind services from Delta Engineering . Gorick Construction Co., Inc. is donating demolition services.
The demolition of these properties will allow access for the expansion of the Goodwill Theatre building and future construction of the infill connector building between the Goodwill Theatre and the Firehouse. This property will be used for interim parking until Phase 2 is completed
Goodwill Theatre, Inc. will hold a press conference on Friday, November 9 at 10:30 am.
The following people will be speaking:
- NYS Assemblywoman: Donna Lupardo
- Broome County Executive: Jason Garnar
- The village of Johnson City Mayor- Greg Deemie
- Johnson City Police Chief: Brent Dodge
- Broome County Land Bank Corporation Executive Director: Margaret Scarinzi
- Goodwill Theatre CEO, Naima Kradjian
We are stilling waiting on confirmation from Senator Akshar.
The press conference will be held outside of 48 Willow Street. In the event of rain we will be inside 48 Willow Street (Schorr Family Firehouse Stage)
Questions and Answer, Refreshments and Tours of the complex will be provided.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through this email or the number listed below.
For additional information please contact Naima Kradjian, CEO at (607) 772-2404, ext. 305 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodwill Theatre was recently awarded a large grant of $500,000 thru Round 4 of the Consolidated Funding Application from New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation Environmental Protection Fund to repair the foundation of the Firehouse Building. We will install a french drain around the building and also complete all interior demolition in the basement, second and third floors. It will also pay for installation of all new windows to get this building completely ready for the future! We need to raise $250,000 to match this grant award.
In addition, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) received the $500,000,000 award for our region. Goodwill Theatre Inc is slated to receive monies from this fund but we don’t yet know all the information needed about the process and the timing. These funds will help us build the connector building so that we can fully rehabilitate the Goodwill Theatre and Firehouse buildings. We need this connecting building so we can have safe access to both the historic buildings and have elevators, stairs, rehearsal halls bathrooms and production studios to support those buildings.
We are very grateful for this large lead gift from New York State to help us reach our full potential. We will be busy raising the matching funds for this mega award!
Goodwill Theatre was awarded the 2015 Community Advocate of the Year by the Greater
Binghamton Chamber of Commerce at the Annual Thanksgiving Community Luncheon that was held at the McKinley in Endicott on November 17, 2015. Over 550 people were in attendance.
The Community Advocate of the Year is awarded to an organization that has made a significant contribution to the improvement and/or enrichment of the neighborhood it serves, or the Greater Binghamton area as a whole.
Goodwill Theatre Inc. exists to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation of the arts through education. Our vision is to create a center for the arts where performances, workshops, professional backstage and performance theater training is conducted – whereby youth and professionals can work side by side in a creative environment.
CEO Naima Kradjian accepted the award and gave a brief speech at the event.
Our project architect, Killis Almond, will visit this week, as we finalize some details for the next phase of the project.
Watch the brief clip below as Killis describes the project as an “archeology architecture project,” as he investigates what is there (in the Firehouse building).
You may have noticed the lift parked outside the Firehouse. So, what’s going on? Ganem Contracting Corporation is completing the pointing of the masonry brick associated with the parapets, windows, window sills, walls and lintels of the Firehouse building. They will also be putting up parapet caps (the white caps at the top of the building that look a little like crown molding.) It may not sound like such a big deal, but it is hugely important to keeping the facility stable.
This project is funded through the Rural Area Revitalization Projects (RARP) program that is administered by the Office of Community Renewal (OCR) under the direction of the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC). The purpose of the RARP program is to provide financial/technical resources to New York communities for the restoration and improvement of housing, commercial areas and public/community facilities in rural areas of the state.
Recently, the Clinic building at 67 Broad Street received some structural fortification. When we investigated roof replacement, our architect, Killis Almond, discovered that, years ago, several load-bearing walls had been removed. This caused the roof to sag and leak. With a CDBG grant, the structural walls were re-added, the skylight on the roof was taken out and several other structural changes were made. We believe that this will extend the life of the roof for about 5 years.
The Clinic is the oldest GWT property. We believe it was built circa 1850. It was purchased by Endicott Johnson in 1918 and served as part of EJ Medical Services for EJ workers and immediate family members. At one time, the facility housed Endicott-Johnson’s maternity ward. As part of EJ’s “cradle-to-grave” policy, each baby born to an EJ worker received a silver spoon and a $10 certificate to begin a savings account. Purchased by GWT in 2005, the building is listed as a significant structure in the Susquehanna Heritage Area, and is currently the home of the Goodwill Theatre staff offices.
Project Architect Killis Almond provided architectural services for this project. The work was completed by First General of Southern NY, Inc. Funding for this project was from a CDBG grant administered by the Town of Union.
The facade of our Administrative Office Building in the old EJ Medical Building at 67 Broad Street (Clinic) got a facelift on the Day of Caring 2014. Volunteers, guided by artist Jon Ed Bon Fed (John Federowicz), painted the new lively murals in the style of renowned pop-culture artist Peter Max. The bright paint job has received a lot of attention locally. We’re happy that the changes were noticed!
Hats off to our Day of Caring Volunteers, Artist John Federowicz, GWT CEO Naima Kradjian and Board Members Judith Miller and Nancy Phillips, who all contributed to the face lift.
Learn more about artist Peter Max: http://petermax.com/.
The Goodwill Theatre has received a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department. The goal of this grant is to undertake a project to identify and survey undocumented historical records pertaining to the development and history of the medical program undertaken by the Endicott Johnson Corporation. Such historical records include materials such as plans and polices of the health benefits, medical benefit booklets, photographs, memorabilia, correspondence, nurse training information, and records pertaining to numbers served and cost of services for the company.
The Goodwill Theatre has been spear-heading historical documentation in Johnson City, New York in regards to the Endicott-Johnson Corporation for 15 years. Goodwill Theatre Inc. completed a Conceptual Master Plan for a Health & Cultural District for the Village of Johnson City in March of 2013 which was adopted by the Village of Johnson City Trustees in December 2013. A goal of the Plan is to continue historical documentation for archival purposes and to use it for future interpretation. It has been recognized that the “health” component of the Endicott-Johnson Corporation welfare capitalism story has been under-documented in regards to the health reform programs that were provided for employees and their dependents from 1910 to 1970. Particular interest in the E-J medical plan springs from the fact that Goodwill Theatre Inc. offices are housed in the Former Medical Clinic at 67 Broad Street.
The Endicott-Johnson (E-J) Corporation, manufacturers of Boots and Shoes, influenced the development of Binghamton, Johnson City & Endicott from the late 19th through late 20th century. The industrial heritage of this company and the immigration that resulted from its growth impacted the state and the nation with “The Square Deal” welfare reform policies that engendered loyalty and work ethic for their employees. Existing documentation covers the corporate paternalistic practices of this company and its leader, George F. Johnson. This documentation includes the life of the leader, his company and workers, the immigrants, recreational facilities and E-J worker homes. There is a large under-documented part of the story on health reform that is needed to accurately complete this important piece of NYS heritage.
Cradle-to-grave medical care included health care for all employees and their dependents, but if needed, a patient would be sent to a sanatorium in the Adirondacks for tuberculosis, or to New York City to see a specialist. It has been said that E-J provided this along with the bus ticket to the location and spending money. This work is critical to obtain whatever archival documents exist to accurately document and interpret the health reform story that occurred here.
Goodwill Theatre Inc. is requesting information from local residents whose families participated in E-J Health and Medical services as patients, physicians and/or nurses. Residents who have documents, mementos, anecdotes, and/or memorabilia are encouraged to contact the Village of Johnson City Historian, Janet Ottman at 607-798-9803 extension 260 or email her at email@example.com with information and/or questions. We want to know if you have records or know of someone who does.
There is also a form that can be downloaded from the Goodwill Theatre Inc. website www.goodwilltheatre.net. Residents can also call 607-772-2404 ext. 301 to request a form to be mailed to them.
Download an EJ Medical Story form here.
Goodwill Theatre Inc. is not collecting actual artifacts but rather documenting what is available in the community. If residents would like to donate memorabilia, the Advisory committee formed for the grant award will recommend several options as repositories.
Consultant, Yvonne Deligato, will compile an overall historical review of the E-J Corporation and Welfare Capitalism focusing on the health reform benefits provided by the company from 1910 to 1970. Ms. Deligato will also is guide the Advisory Committee which consists of :Gerry Smith – Broome County Historian for 40 years, Roger Luther – President of PAST, Daria Golazeski- Former Planner of the Village of Johnson City and member of the Susquehanna Heritage Commission, Gail Domin- Former Chief Broome County Planner and Executive Director, Susquehanna Heritage Area Commission, Ted Warner – former Endicott historian and active officer of the Olde Union Historical Society, and Janet Ottman – Village of Johnson City Historian.