Mission Statement

Theatre Within is a 501(c)3 organization that fosters individual growth and social good through the performing arts. We do this by creating opportunities for the artist in each of us to be nourished and for performing artists to give back to the world through their art.

We believe that expanding each individual’s artistic expression is a social good and that taking action for the benefit of others is good for the individual.

John Lennon is an inspiration to us because he exemplified this link: He was courageous and honest in pursuing his own growth as an individual; he used his art as a vehicle for that growth and as a platform to inspire positive social change and for the pursuit of peace.


Since 1962 Theatre Within has offered transformational workshops in creative expression and personal growth. Workshops are offered at no cost to non-profit organizations serving communities in need. In 2014 we launched The John Lennon Real Love Project, a mobile songwriting workshop for children and teens at the Children’s Hospital an Montefiore in the Bronx. The workshop resumes in September of 2016 at Gilda’s Club NYC, which provides free support programs for those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Our newest workshop, Celebrating Intimacy: An Overview of Meditation Practice, launched at Gilda’s Club NYC earlier this year and is continuing.

The Annual John Lennon Tribute

Our signature production since 1981 has been the Annual John Lennon Tribute. The only ongoing John Lennon Tribute in North America officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono, over the years the Tribute has raised money to feed the hungry, build music schools in the Third World, support disaster relief, and fund Theatre Within workshops. Notable performers have included Jackson Browne, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Judy Collins, Steve Earle, Taj Mahal, David Bromberg, Martin Sexton, Joan Osborne, Aimee Mann and Cyndi Lauper. 


In the last 50+ years, Theatre Within has produced countless solo theater and dance works, new and classic plays, experimental workshop productions and concerts, from Why Is A Crooked Letter (1966) with Al Pacino, to Positively Bob Dylan: A 75th Birthday Tribute (2016) featuring Willie Nile, Toshi Reagon, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky.

Furthering Our Positive Impact

We sometimes partner with other non-profits to help further their worthy missions. Previous beneficiaries of Theatre Within productions include Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, Clearwater, The Playing for Change Foundation, The Food Bank of NYC, Share Our Strength, The Yorkville Common Pantry, The Henry Miller Library, and Friends of the Shawangunks. In 2008, by bringing WhyHunger together with Yoko Ono, we played a vital role in helping launch the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign, which continues to raise funds to help feed the hungry around the world.