By Becca Eis | Echo
"In theater, we find ourselves in the midst of the magic and the miracle," said Taylor alumnus Ryan Maloney ('13)
That is exactly where Maloney found himself as a sixth grader in Taylor Theatre's production of "Peter Pan" in the winter of 2002. Little did he know, this first theater experience would set the stage for his future career as Company Member, Resident Scenic Designer, & Production Manager at New City Players.
Son of Vance Maloney, professor of Psychology, Ryan Maloney grew up around Upland and became acquainted with Taylor and the Art Department early on.
When he came to Taylor as a freshman in 2008, Maloney declared visual art as his major. He also became involved with the production side of theater and began taking theater classes. By his junior year, Maloney began auditioning and acting in productions.
Maloney soon became immersed in the theatrical process and enjoyed the true artistry and communal collaboration that it entailed. By his senior year, Maloney was involved in student-directed shows, planting seeds for his work now.
"[The cast] had this moment where we looked around the room and were like, 'We could do this for the rest of our lives," Maloney said "This is so exhausting, but so rewarding at the same time.'"
After graduating, Maloney stayed local, getting connected to the theater community in Indianapolis and doing freelance design for Taylor's lyric theatre program while dating Jessica Kirsch Maloney ('13), his now wife.
When Maloney received a call from his friend, his plans to stay in Indianapolis changed. Tim Davis ('12) offered Maloney the opportunity to join him as a technical director at a high school in Florida and the promising possibility of starting their own theater company.
Maloney then moved to Ft. Lauderdale and started teaching technical theater at Calvary Christian Academy. Maloney and Davis also began working together to build their own theater company, fulfilling a dream from many years prior.
Even though New City Players' founding sponsor was the City Arts Initiative of City Church South Florida, the theater company is not faith-based.
"Our mission is not to present the gospel," Maloney said. "Our mission is to present transformative theater. We believe in the renewing of the city culturally and believe that theater is integral to people being transformed experientially. . . . (We) want to be in that arena and want to do it well and with integrity."
New City Player's produced their inaugural show, "Godspell", in April 2014. They went on to produce "Rabbit Hole" in November 2014 and "Red" in August 2015. By the summer of 2016, the company produced their first full season, including a play in which Taylor's own Tracy Manning, Managing & Artistic Director of Theatre, played a lead. In May of 2017, Maloney resigned from teaching at Calvary. This summer, New City Players produced three more plays, including "Proof," "Twelfth Night" and "True West," in which Tim Davis and his brother senior Andrew Davis acted.
Maloney has continued to audition locally and hopes to one day earn his Master of Fine Arts in acting.