Why Rattlestick?

Rattles are an instrument that remind us to wake up and come together as a community. They unite all ages, race, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and families together in celebration. A rattle stick is an instrument used by many Native American/Indigenous Nations. We acknowledge our theater is on the traditional land of the Lenape Nation People in Manahatta (Island of Many Hills) or Manhattan. 


Our mission is to produce ambitious plays to inspire empathy and provoke conversation that will lead to positive social change.

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen in DRAW THE CIRCLE at Rattlestick Platwrights Theater - Photo by Russ Rowland (3).jpg


Rattlestick produces a Mainstage Season of daring new plays each year, maintains a New Voices/New Works program to assist writers readying projects for production, mentors our apprentice company The Middle Voice at Rattlestick, brings teaching artists into NYC schools, and engages deeply with communities and community organizations.

We believe that inspirational theater can provoke conversation and lead to social change. Our current Mainstage Season serves as a testament to our commitment to this belief.  This past season, Rattlestick was the second participating theater in the Sol Project, an initiative to launch work by Latin writers. Artistic Director Daniella Topol participated in an Undoing Racism Workshop by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

 January 5, 2018 - New York, NY  Dress rehearsal of Until the Flood, NY premiere of a new solo show written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. 

Directed by Neel Keller
Set Design - Takeshi Kata
Lighting Design - Mary Louise Geiger
Costume Design - Kaye Voyce
Sound Design - Justin Ellington
Projection Design - Nick Hussong

Photo Credit-  Robert Altman for Rattlestick
Photographer- Robert Altman

History | Rattlestick Playwrights

Founded in 1994 by Gary Bonasorte and David Van Asselt, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is an Obie-Award winning theater that has developed and produced over 100 World Premieres in the past 23 seasons. Our mission is to produce ambitious plays to inspire empathy and provoke conversation that will lead to positive social change.

We have produced the first plays and unique works of some of today’s leading voices, including Annie Baker (The Aliens), Sheila Callaghan (That Pretty, Pretty), Jesse Eisenberg (The Revisionist), Samuel D. Hunter (The Few), Craig Lucas (Ode to Joy), Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Diana Oh's (mylingerieplay), Dael Orlandersmith (Until the Flood), Adam Rapp (The Hallway Trilogy), Daniel Talbott (Slipping), Lucy Thurber (The Hilltown Plays), Jonathan Tolins (Buyer and Cellar) and Craig Wright (The Pavilion). We produce theater to inspire empathy and provoke conversations in response to the complexities of our culture.

hib-6- solo microphone-Draft.jpg