In 1978 Tom Carroll Scenery was established in a garage work shop on W. 53rd St. when Max Ferrá, founding artistic director of Intar Theater asked Tom to build some props for a show he was stage managing. Tom Carroll grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, served his country in the USAF during Vietnam, and returned to attend the University of Louisville and go on to get an MFA in Acting from Ohio University in 1976. Tom made his way to NYC to find his way in the theater industry as an actor, director and stage manager. Little did Tom know that this was the catalyst for a 40-year career building scenery for the theater and beyond. From these humble beginnings, an industry leader was born.
Back then, Theater Row on 42nd St. between 9th and 10th Avenues was the heart of the young theater community, located on the edge of what was a very different and seedier Times Square. With theaters tucked between establishments of ill repute, Theater Row was where connections were made and every young artist establishing themselves in NY Theater worked. The sidewalk outside Theater Row was an outdoor social scene where many a midnight happy hour ensued, where artists of different cultures, races, and backgrounds mingled together and relationships were made. It was here on 42nd street that Tom found job after job and built a reputation as the guy who could make it happen for the budget available.
As the number of jobs increased, Tom moved out of the garage and in to a space on 26th St. and the West Side Highway. It was at this location Tom refined and developed his skills. As designers came to him with their ideas and visions, a true collaborative process was born. Tom learned to treat his customers like partners and make them allies in his process, as much as he was in theirs. This lead to true satisfaction at seeing a project through from idea to completion.
After 6 years on 26th Street TCS was ready to expand and move again. This time to a 7,000 sq. ft. space on Bayard St. in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The clientele evolved as well. The designers who had once worked on theater row, were now working as established designers in different industries all over the city, however their desire to collaborate with TCS remained. The Bayard St. location yielded lots of firsts. We did our first runway fashion show sets, our first film and television sets, our first store window displays, and our first marketing and branding events. As the industry evolved, so did Tom Carroll Scenery. We added metal fabrication to our services and began incorporating lighting in to our props and scenic elements.
In 2002 we moved to our current location in Jersey City, with 20,000 square feet of production space and full capabilities to build in wood, steel, aluminum and foam. We have a CNC machine that gives us the ability to take digital files and instantly create parts for assembly. We have stayed current with trends in the custom scenic and event industry incorporating automation, pneumatics, and wireless LED technology in to our repertoire. If you can dream it we can build it!
Building relationships is what Tom Carroll Scenery is all about. At TCS you are not just customers or clients, but partners and collaborators. Figuring out the best way to bring your creative idea to reality is our core philosophy. We embrace the rich diversity in NYC and love partnering with people from all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities to produce the highest quality custom fabrications available today. We work with both award winning veterans of the industry, as well as young designers looking for partners to help them build their portfolios. Contact us today to see how we can take your idea from the page to the stage.