Rooted theater company engages, challenges and inspires audiences through theatrical productions that range from the classics to new and emerging works; our programming encourages social consciousness through Real, Open, and Objective Theater Education. We celebrate the diversity of our community's roots, our present struggles and future successes through intentional theater.
Rooted is dedicated to producing socially relevant theater based on community experiences.
Rooted Theater Company was founded in the Fall of 2013 by Kareem Nemley and his husband, Wilfredo Florentino. Kareem, a native of East New York, Brooklyn, having always been involved and engaged in theater, noticed the lack of access to community theater in his community. Together with his husband, they conceived of a theater company whose mission it would be to produce socially relevant theater firmly rooted in the community’s experiences.
Rooted’s first production “A Lesson Before Dying” a play by Romulus Linney based on a novel by Ernest J. Gaines was produced to standing room only crowds at ARTs East New York in June of 2017. Since that production, Rooted has taken on a number of community-driven issues such as Female Empowerment, Gentrification, Colorism, Hyper-masculinity and arm chair activism.
Initially conceived as “Justice Theater Company” Rooted has become the premiere community theater in East New York, Brooklyn. Rooted is currently in their third year of seasonal programming. With the help of the Legal Aid Society, by the end of calendar year 2019, Rooted will be a 501c3 corporation. Rooted has also benefited immeasurably by the support of Brooklyn Arts Council and their occasional neighborhood collaborator ARTs East New York. Rooted envisions a season that not only includes cutting edge theatre but, after school programs and programming for youth, elder-led productions, theater workshops, and much more!
reintroduced the theatrical arts to a community with limited access
engaged more than 3000 community members within 6 yeARS
Built partnerships with community leaders & stakeholders
Crafted programming directly influenced by the community
Reinvigorated a passion for theater in east new york, brooklyn
Our Neighborhood - East New York, Brooklyn
East New York is a neighborhood in the easternmost section of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community District 5, covered by Brooklyn Community Board 5.
Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: Cypress Hills Cemetery to the north, the Borough of Queens to the east, Jamaica Bay to the south, and the Bay Ridge Branch railway tracks next to Van Sinderen Avenue to the west. Linden Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue are the primary thoroughfares through East New York. Its ZIP Codes include 11207, 11208, and 11239. The area is patrolled by the 75th Precinct. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property in the area is patrolled by P.S.A. 2.
During the latter part of the twentieth century, East New York came to be predominantly inhabited by African Americans and Latinos.
in 2013 the African Burial Ground Square was designated after remains were found between New Lots and Livonia Avenues from Barbey to Schenck Streets. It shares space with the New Lots branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. After months of community based efforts the burial ground was confirmed and formally recognized.