Youth Ensemble Theater and Intergenerational Ensemble are both founded on the principal of student-centered development and training. Towards this end, these programs have engaged performing arts and media teachers and directors that bear an interest in process-based arts education, supporting performers to trust their instincts and come from a place of adventure and curiosity.
Bio: Amy Poux, Founder/Director/ Acting Teacher
Amy Poux began as a stage actress, training at NYC acting studios such as Neighborhood Playhouse, Playwright’s Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, Harold Guskin, Melanie Sommers, Tony Abeson, Carol Rosenfeld, Curt Dempster, among others. Poux performed on Off Broadway stages including Manhattan Class Company, WestBeth Theatre, Angel Theatre, City Center, Theatre for the New City, Greenwich Street Theatre and Playwrights Horizons with actors like the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, TV writing/producing team, Joan and Tony Phelan, Dan Bucatinsky, among many others.
She also founded the theater company, Working Playground, where she directed, acted in and produced multiple new works in NYC’s Off-Off Broadway theatre scene. In 1991, Poux ventured into NYC high schools and community centers to work with under-represented teens to create and act about the highly-charged events surrounding the Crown Heights race riots. Working Playground evolved into a pioneering arts education organization that provided intensive long-term and sustainable performing arts programming for underserved disenfranchised students. Working Playground thrived, providing multi-arts forums for countless young people to conceive, create and present original art works citywide. For this incisive use of the arts in communities across the five boroughs of New York City, Poux received the NYSCA Award of Merit, was recognized by the NY Times’ Neediest Fund, The Annenberg Foundation, The US Department of Education, the Consortium of International Arts Educators, and the NYC Department of Education. The company exists today as Urban Arts Partnership, providing transformative arts education programming for NYC’s youth.
Poux’s educational work continued at Ulster BOCES as Coordinator of Arts in Education and Talent Development and later as the Business & Entrepreneurship teacher, where she designed and launched businesses with students from across Ulster County.
Starting in 2014, as the former Director of Education for Film at Lincoln Center, Poux designed, launched and oversaw the youth education division, providing visual literacy and video production programs, and the Young filmmakers Awards as part of the Film Society Kids initiative, which benefitted more than 2000 children annually.
Poux’s work in film continued in the Kingston-based Stockade Works, where she collaborated with Mary Stuart Masterson and Beth Davenport to design Boot Camps that train adults to work as crew members on films produced in the Hudson Valley. Poux continues this work currently as the Educational Development & Youth Access Advisor for Stockade Works, where she is charged with designing and launching the Stockade Works Access for Youth (SWAY) initiative which will provide film crew training institutes to under-served youth to enter the Hudson Valley film crew workforce.
In 2019 Poux wrote/directed Do Nothings, (Northguild Productions/HUDSY-TV) a short film about a gender-queer teen and in 2020 made the film’s sequel, I’m Okay (HUDSY-TV) both of which were awarded by NewFilmmakers NY 2021, NYWIFT iWoman Fest, 2022. During pandemic times Poux pivoted to direct the Zoom teleplays “WEIrD” and “Zoom School”, as well as creating a number of Zoom improv programs for adults and youth. Most recently, Poux produced Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s (“Them” Amazon, “The Get Down”/Netflix) feature, Sunday at Il Posto Accanto.
Poux is currently directing films for Marian Dealy/Zone 2 Productions, which is slated to launch production in 2023.
Poux persisted as a theater director and maker, developing an ensemble approach to long-form improvisation over the last 18 years. During this time, she has directed youth and adults, creating devised theater pieces that explore issues of collective consciousness and provide a forum for actors to play close to the edge in their work. This work has included the development of Youth Ensemble Theater (YET) in Ulster County, NY, where she currently directs rural youth in creating experimental contemporary theater.
YET plays have performed Off-Broadway at the 52nd Street Project and the Labyrinth Theater company’s Bank Street Theater (NYC), The Richard B. Fisher Performing Arts Center (Bard College), NY State & Film/Powerhouse Theater Festival (Poughkeepsie, NY), Boughton Place (Highland, NY), Byrdcliffe Theater (Woodstock, NY), and High Meadow Performing Arts Center (Stone Ridge, NY). YET has garnered awards from the American Academy for the Dramatic Arts (Featured performance/Youth Theatre Conference 2018), the NYC Thespian Society (Best Play/Best supporting actress, 2019), NYS Theatre Education Association (Award of Excellence 2019) , and just recently was awarded 1st place, “Best Film 2022” for its short film ESCAPE!!! by the Tales From the Catskills Amateur Film Competition.
Currently, YET has found its home at The Rosendale Theatre with a new series of year-round theater and media programs and performances.
Poux resides in Rosendale NY with her life-partner, Johnny, with whom she has raised two kids, three cats, and many ducks.