The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble

was founded as part of the programming of The Touchstone Center and is dedicated to exploring, for children and their families, themes of the natural world and the life of the imagination – particularly through the integration of myth, stories and poetry. The Ensemble has performed at the Brooklyn Museum, Wave Hill, Staten Island Children’s Museum, Manhattan Children’s Museum, Poets House, Hudson River Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Botanical Garden, American Museum of Natural History, La Mama, World Financial Center, NY Public Library and the Central Park Dairy.

The Ensemble is directed and hosted by Richard Lewis and is made up of actress, Clea Rivera and musician, Harry Mann. Their present repertoire consists of renderings of poems by Richard Lewis including All of the Earth, All of the Sky; A Tree Lives; And So It Was Day; Each Sky Has Its Words; Plant The Sun In Your Hand and Play, Said the Earth to Air.

The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble

Richard Lewis is a writer and a teacher who founded and directs The Touchstone Center. He has edited and written a variety of books on the poetic and imaginative life of childhood, including When Thought Is Young, Living By Wonder, and The Bird of Imagining. His recent books are A Tree Lives, illustrated by Noah Baen, I Catch My Moment: Art and Writing by Children on the Life of Play, Sea Tale, illustrated by Gigi Alvaré, and a collection of poems, Shaking the Grass for Dew. He has taught children in public schools throughout New York City – and teachers, among others, at Lesley College, Rutgers University, Bank Street College and Sarah Lawrence College.

Clea Rivera is a playwright, actress and teacher who received her training from SUNY Purchase and the Acting Conservancy as well as studying with, among others, Barbara Knowles, David Wells and Eulalie Noble. She has performed extensively with the Mettawee Theatre under the direction of Ralph Lee, in addition to performing with the One Dream Theatre, La Mama E.T.C., Women’s Project, Judith Anderson Theatre, Rattlestick Productions, Missouri Repertory Theatre and the Denver Center Theatre. Most recently she was in “Anna in the Tropics” at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. She also wrote, produced and performed a solo show, “Food of Life” at various venues in NYC.   She has been a member of The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble since 2004.

Harry Mann is a musician, actor, dancer and performance artist who has collaborated with Cecil Taylor, Ray Charles, Joseph Chaiken, Ann Bogart, Ralph Lee and Anne Hammel. He has composed music for many modern dance and off-Broadway productions and has been a recipient of grants from Meet the Composer and Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. He recently composed the music for Each Sky Has Its Words, a video by Geoffrey Jones produced by Touchstone Center Publications – and has a been a long time member of The Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble.