History

 

 
Born and raised just outside of New York, B.R.I.D.G.E Co-Founder Joe Quintero was exposed to the exciting world of live theatre from an early age. It was only a matter of time before he found himself cast in shows throughout the city. One of his most memorable experiences was working with the 52nd Street Project, which facilitates playwriting workshops for inner city kids and produces their plays. Witnessing the gleam in the eyes of a nine year old writer as he watched his story come to life was a moment of tremendous impact for Joe. It was at this moment he realized that he wanted to continue this kind of work throughout his life.

Traveling abroad as a working actor infused Joe with the desire to bring theatre mentorship to communities on a global scale. In his travels, he observed that the ritual of theatre is indeed a universal one. Working with others to embark on a journey of humanity, he realized that theatre connects us all.

In the summer of 2008, Joe collaborated with fellow actor, writer and teaching artist Adam Kalesperis in a series of theatre workshops at a youth correctional facility near Los Angeles. Adam shared Joe’s philosophy on theatre as a conduit for conflict resolution and bringing different cultures together. A year later, Joe invited Adam to accompany him on his trip to South America, where he would help facilitate theatre workshops with youth in Ecuador. Adam saw the trip as an opportunity to develop an arts organization dedicated to cultivating and sharing original youth-written work around the world. Striking a chord with Joe and his previous experiences in New York and abroad, they partnered together to create B.R.I.D.G.E Theatre Project.

   

With South America serving as B.R.I.D.G.E’s inaugural destination, Joe and Adam traveled to various regions in Ecuador teaching basic theatre principles to poverty-stricken youth and children in special education. The participants were eager to learn more, and upon Joe and Adam’s departure, members of the community were anxious to know when they would return. It was clear that B.R.I.D.G.E could make a real difference, and in seeing the effects of their introductory visit, Joe and Adam knew that it was only the beginning.