The New Zenith Theatre (NZT) was originally launched as a community and arts initiative at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury Connecticut. Its successful efforts to create engaging and relevant theatre for young people, schools, and family audiences has expanded throughout the state, and has been embraced by teachers, parents and thousands of children and teens.

Our partnerships include the Connecticut Community Fund, Naugatuck Public Schools, Department of Children and Families, Mattatuck Museum, Webb-Deane-Stevens History Museum, Looking In Theatre, and The Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders at UCONN Health. These collaborations are examples of our passion about working with local organizations, schools, and communities committed to improving the lives of young people.


Our mission to create relevant and engaging theatre for youth has resulted in major productions of contemporary and classical plays, musicals, and touring projects. we also embrace the power of youth-centered films. In our digital storytelling projects, we utilize devised theatre methods, collaborating with actors, writers, educators, and health care professions to create unique dramatic works about the resiliency of today's young people--especially kids facing mental health challenges. Our "Critical Moments" film series and Trauma Avengers "Digital Diaries" are used to train therapists, and they appear on The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Duke University.

Great storytelling can inspire all of us to discover our inner spirit; to ignite the creativity within; and to help us better understand people who aren't just like us. NZT promotes stories where characters are willing to risk and reach for the truth! Join our efforts to build a creative community that inspires, teaches, and empowers young people. We know that together, anything is possible.

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Ed Wierzbicki

Artistic Director

Cortney Novella


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Kendra Garnett

Senior Company Member & Community Outreach

Jeff dePascale

Digital Designer/