spotlight stories

spotlight on partnerships - blue hill troupe

Whether students are working together to row a 17-foot Whitehall to an oyster restoration station up river, to steam, clamp, and fasten a cedar plank to an oak frame, or successfully navigate a small sailboat back to the mooring in heavy wind, teamwork is a constant at Rocking the Boat. This is equally true on an organizational level, with collaborators of many different stripes contributing to our goal of “building kids.” Enter the Blue Hill Troupe, a nearly 100 year-old, all-volunteer musical theater ensemble acclaimed especially for its Gilbert & Sullivan productions, a prime example of teamwork at its best. Or as they put it on their website,, “The quality of the performances we put on is testimony to the dedication and effort we are capable of as a group.”

Every season, the Troupe selects a New York nonprofit as its charity partner and recipient of the proceeds of its two shows. They have contributed over $9 million since 1924! Rocking the Boat is thrilled to have been chosen—for the second time—as that nonprofit and to benefit from this talented front and backstage cast.

The fall show, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is being staged at the Theater at St. Jean’s, located at 150 East 76th Street, from November 8 to 16, 2019. In the spring, they will present Gilbert & Sullivan's rarely performed The Sorcerer at the newly renovated theater at El Teatro of El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, from April 22 to 26. Both shows are family friendly and attending is a great way to support both Blue Hill and Rocking the Boat.

“I was born in Montserrat but coincidentally grew up in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx, right across the river from Rocking the Boat. A lot of Rocking the Boat students are immigrants, too. So on a personal level, I am delighted to be supporting Rocking the Boat this season. But more than that, there is terrific synchronicity between the two groups. At Blue Hill, we take hands-on tasks, theater, and philanthropy and mix them together to enrich the lives of Troupers and our audiences. Rocking the Boat similarly does so much good for their kids and this world by combining building, rowing, sailing, education...and so much caring.”

- Past Troupe President Valerie Browne, business manager at Columbia U. by day, stage manager and rigger demon by night

“Receiving funds that Blue Hill went all out to generate would be amazing on its own. But Troupers extend themselves so much further than that, collaborating on ways to engage with Rocking the Boat on multiple levels—comping our students and alumni to the dress rehearsal of Drood and welcoming our older students to their workspace to help construct sets and scenery. I encourage you to treat yourself to a show, and drop by to say hello at the Rocking the Boat table in the lobby!”

- Jaye Pockriss, Rocking the Boat Development Director

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474
phone: 718.466.5799

Rocking the Boat is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Download Form 990.