TRACY HOSTMYER (she/her)
Co-founder, Producing Director
Tracy began her theatrical career as an actress some 20 years ago in London. She worked all over Britain in theatre, film and television in the 10 years she spent there. She moved back to the USA and made Los Angeles her home. After 4 years she came to her senses and moved to NYC where she and James founded Roust Theatre Company.
Since the company’s foundation Tracy has produced all of Roust’s shows and been the associate producer on co-productions. The path from actress to producer has been a steep learning curve, but this girl loves a challenge. She has also acted in some of Roust’s productions, playing The Jewish Wife, among numerous other roles, in The Private Life of the Master Race, Lainie in Two Rooms and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She can act Shakespeare, do a line budget, use a power drill and firmly believes that theatre really matters in the world. As George Bernard Shaw once said, 'Art teaches. All else is torture.'
JAMES PHILLIP GATES (he/they)
Co-founder, Artistic Director
Before moving to New York to start Roust with Tracy Hostmyer, James had been a freelance director and the Artistic Director of a highly successful theatre company in London. Prior to this an intermittent acting career had inevitably led to disillusionment and, more poignantly, assistant directing.
His re-birth as a fully-fledged director found its journey from Shakespeare, Chekhov and Miller, to Stoppard, Anouilh and more Shakespeare - all via bold new writing, an armful of awards, and an unswerving belief that getting kids to visit the theatre to watch shows is where social change happens and new audiences are born.
He directed Roust's inaugural production of Brecht's powerful, politically charged masterpiece, The Private life of the Master Race (originally titled Fear and Misery of the Third Reich), and the majority of their productions since. As the mission says, he always wishes to hold an audience in the grip of unrelenting, imaginative theatre which forces them to sit up and question the world around them.
More humbly, he hopes his experiences can bring to bear burgeoning fruit to Roust and touch the lives of audience members in a positive way. And unlike George Bernard Shaw, he does not believe that 'England and America are two countries separated by the same language'!
Roust is dedicated to radical and epoch making theatre. We consistently aim to challenge and inspire an audience. We firmly believe that theatre is a lot more than just entertainment, theatre can and does make a difference in the world.
Theatre provides so much more than an opportunity for escapism - it allows us to connect with the communities around us, to open us to experiences and people we may never encounter, to question our perceived knowledge and preconceptions, and in doing so theatre brings us closer together. We want to educate and inform both new and seasoned audiences and to hold this audience in the grip of unrelenting and imaginative theatre which forces them to sit up and question the world around them, theatre that touches their conscience.
Community doesn't happen simply out of proximity, but evolves through shared experience. Audience members' shared experiences can hopefully energize them to recognize a larger community beyond their own doorstep and to expand their humanity in an environment that is becoming more and more self absorbed. We think this holds true for both new and seasoned audiences - if we can galvanize their ideas, hopefully social change can happen.
We believe that it is the duty of theatre to break the grip of mass media, which dilutes community consciousness.
JUSTICE IN OUR COMMUNITY. OUR COMMITMENT.
Roust has always believed that our work belongs to everyone. That we are welcoming to all audiences, nurturing to all artists, and a place where our entire community can come together.
We acknowledge and pay homage to the Wappinger, Munsee Lenape, and Schaghticoke peoples upon whose land we have the privilege of creating. We vow to uplift and spotlight the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI (Asian American / Pacific Islander), and SWANA (Southwest Asian / North African) members of our community, whose bodies and voices have been erased.
We understand identities are intersectional, and will not tolerate discrimination based on gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, class, ability, age, protected veteran or disabled status. We will continue to devote resources to dismantling systems that perpetuate anti-Blackness, racism, and white supremacy; particularly in our city, our industry, and our organization. This commitment is an integral part of our creativity.