Theater For a New Generation
TFANG was founded by Ray Thomas in 1994 after he completed an art-in-residence internship at the world renowned LaMaMa Theater in Manhattan NY. Under the guidance and direction of Mel Williams (Artistic Director of TFANG), the company has produced well-received Off and Off-Off Broadway shows. Mel also conducts acting classes for members and other professionals dedicated to theater and the actor’s training process.
The company is comprised of younger and older professional actors who collaborate together in between professional engagements. From original works to the classics, TFANG continues to challenge artistic boundaries. We are committed to providing our audience with quality and thought-provoking plays.
From Philadelphia to New York, the group has worked, produced, and trained out of theaters such as the Paul Robeson Theatre in Brooklyn NY, LaMaMa Theatre E.T.C., The Producer's Club, Theater 22, Musical Theater Works, Pulse Ensemble Theater, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan NY. The company has come a long way from the days of conducting acting classes out of each other’s houses and apartments.
Even though we are respected and known for our "Guerrilla style with a touch of class", we still manage to produce plays all theatergoers would love to see. The struggles continue and we need your help. We welcome individuals and groups who would be interested in supporting our cause.
Mel Williams has been directing and training actors for the professional stage for over 40 years. His own training began in 1967 at The Neighborhood Playhouse where he trained under Sanford Meisner. The next year he interned with Lee Strasburg at The Actor's Studio. Over the years, Mel has acted and directed in outstanding regional theaters in the country, including Freedom Theater, The Arden Theater, InterAct, and The Drama Guild in Philadelphia; The Arena in Washington, D.C.; The Opry House in White River Junction, VT; and The Globe in Boston.
Mel relocated to New York City in the 1990s and began his directing career at LaMama Theaters under the guiding eye of Ellen Stewart. It was at LaMama's that Mel directed three plays, including the awarding winningKEEP BACK 200FT. Other directing assignments included ZOO STORY and LINE at Lincoln Center,DUTCHMAN at StageEast, CORNER WARS at 47 St. Theater, and A SOLDIER'S PLAY at The Paul Robeson Theater. Mel has directed scores of showcases and continues to teach two classes, SCENE STUDY and PRODUCTION, aimed at developing actors. He has coached some of the top talent in the business: Queen Latifah, Common, Michael K. Williams, Mary J. Blige, Rick Ross, Dwight Howard, and Jill Scott. In 2001, Mel was selected, along with 52 directors from around the country, to become members of The Lincoln Center Director's Lab Class of 2002.