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THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017
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MoonStage toBowOut
Originally called the “Rocka-
way Moon,” the iron sculpture
that served as a stage backdrop
and bridge between Rockaway
Artists Alliance’s sTudio 6 and
sTudio 7 galleries, came to be
known as the “Moon Stage.” After
being in place for nearly seven-
teen years, the sculpture has suc-
cumbed to the elements and will
be removed before spring.
Formerly part of the stage set
for “Ring ‘Round the Moon,” a
Lincoln Center production at the
Belasco Theatre on Broadway
(April-June 1999), the installation
of the sculpture in Fort Tilden
was conceived by former RAA
board director and member of
the Belasco staff, Jan Nebozen-
ko. The set was dismantled and
brought to the fort by the Belasco
staff and the Lincoln Center pro-
duction crew.
On site volunteers from RAA,
RockawayTheaterCompany,Na-
tional Parks Service, Bracci Fence
and Iron Works, Two Brothers
Construction, and more began
the three year process of modifi-
cation and installation.
The Moon Stage opened as a
performance space in 2003, and
saw the heyday of its use from
2005-2010. During those years
RAA staged the Summer Moons
concert series from 2005-2007.
The series hosted several musi-
cal acts each summer featuring
local favorites like Indaculture,
Squid and special guests, Seaside
Songfest. There were magicians
and belly dancers to add variety
and spice things up.During those
years, RAA’s camp kidsmART
hosted the annual camp showon
the stage, and often RAA’s open-
ing receptions for art exhibitions
were complemented by dance,
music and theatrical perfor-
mances on the stage.
The gazebo stage set was de-
signed for interior use and never
intended to be an outdoor piece.
Through the years, RAA tend-
ed to the sculpture extending its
lifespan, welding weak joints,
cleaning and painting the piece.
Unfortunately, the combination
of salt air and hurricanes have
weakened the metal beyond sal-
vation.
While RAA is sorry to see the
Moon Stage leave the organiza-
tion’s campus, there are plans for
something new to be put in its
place. Always interested in im-
proving the grounds and capital-
izing on their unique placement
within an urban national park,
RAA will begin to rethink the
space between their two galleries.
The process will include an ex-
ploration of ideas fromartists and
landscape designers in concert
with theNational Park Service.