How It All Began
In the summer of 2006, Joshua Wilder, MyVision’s co-founder, attended the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor’s School of the Arts for Performance Theater. The Governor’s School experience not only inspired Josh as an artist, but it instilled in him a desire to give back to his community. Upon returning to Philadelphia, Josh was determined to create a theater company that challenged the traditional view of theater and explored the raw emotion of the art. He hoped this new theater company would appeal to the masses of Philadelphia, not just to certain audiences.
While at a local coffee shop, Angela Cutrone (co-founder) and Joshua finalized the concept and founded MyVision Theater Ensemble. They held open auditions at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. Fifteen of their fellow students auditioned, and ten joined MyVision. These students became the foundation and spirit of MyVision Theater Ensemble.
The new theater company differed from other Philadelphia companies because MyVision focused on the development of young student artists. Every role, from the director to the actor, was filled by a high school student. Josh and Angela organized vigorous classes to teach the members proper acting technique and skills. They challenged the members to write their own productions and lead rehearsals. The primary goal for MyVision was to create a student movement focused on the process of theater.
Josh successfully established the student-run company during his junior year at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. The early days required a lot of work and dedication, but on December 1, 2006, MyVision debuted its very first production, Trapped - a show written, produced, and directed by the ensemble. The company received positive reviews and even the opportunity to do an encore performance. With the success of their first show, and knowing what the ensemble had achieved on their own, the members became motivated to move MyVision forward. The ensemble planned an aggressive 2007-2008 season that included the following productions: Trapped Vol. 2: The Society, Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, and two original shows: Michael’s Testimony and Skye’s the Limit, which Josh produced and directed while managing the complexities of being the artistic director and completing his senior year of high school.
Joshua Wilder, MyVision co-founder and its first artistic director, graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. After working as the August Wilson fellow in Pittsburgh, PA, Josh moved on to a fellowship in Minneapolis, MN. He recently finished his Master's degree at Yale University under the tutelage of playwright Sarah Ruhl. Without Joshua Wilder, MyVision Theater Ensemble would not exist and we will continue to recognize that fact. Good luck, Josh! And thank you for everything you’ve started…
…you are a TRUE artist.
-Peter Danelski, previous artistic director