Women's Activism NYC

Rosie Novellino-Mearns

By: Kam Singh | Date Added:

Rosemary (Rosie) Novellino-Mearns is an author, playwright, lyricist and retired dancer. Rosie Novellino-Mearns was the ballet dancer who led the fight to save Radio City Music Hall from demolition, and she was listed amongst the "Great Women of Rockefeller Center." Rosie Novellino-Mearns was a determined young dancer from New Jersey who embarked on a journey to dance in Radio City Music Hall's Ballet Company in 1966. Even after an unsteady start, Novellino-Mearns was in the Ballet Company for 12 years becoming the Dance Captain and assistant to Choreographer Peter Gennaro. Novellino-Mearns authored the book "Saving Radio City Music Hall: A Dancer's True Story," in which she told the "emotionally charged, and painful" story of how she saved Radio City Music Hall in the Spring of 1978, all within four months. After the announcement that Radio City Music Hall would be closed and demolished, Novellino-Mearns could not let that happen. She became President of "The Show people's Committee to Save Radio City Music Hall" and urged her co-workers, friends, fans and thousands of supporters of the Music Hall to help save the Art Deco gem. National media, politicians and cultural leaders were all enlisted to prevent the demolition. With these efforts, Radio City Music Hall was saved and was declared a National Historic Landmark. Her efforts to save the Art Deco theatre protected the hundreds who worked behind the scenes as well as thousands who would attend in the future. After Novellino-Mearns left the Music Hall, she toured with Michael Bennett’s Broadway show Ballroom. She was a featured dancer in the role of Marie. When she retired as a dancer, she became a lyricist with her composer husband, William Mearns, a singer who she met on "The Great Stage" at Radio City. Novellino-Mearns became a blogger in 2009 where she posts non-fiction short stories on her page "Read what Rosie Wrote." She has also written the lyrics for the musical such as "Ebenezer," based on A Christmas Carol, as well as script and lyrics for "Patch of Life," and "The Haunted Bookshop.” Rosie Novellino-Mearns is an inspiration to many, both within and beyond the world of dance. She fought an amazing battle to save Radio City Music Hall.

click here

Share This Story

We'd Love Your Feedback

Share your thoughts on this story with us. Your comments will not be made public.


WomensActivism.NYC is a project of the NYC Department of Records and Information Services