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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater

Season Schedule


the bandaged place

June 27-July 7, 2019

In the Powerhouse Theater

By Harrison David Rivers
Directed by David Mendizábal

Jonah is a dancer.
Jonah is injured.
Jonah has an ex-boyfriend.

When a former lover resurfaces, re-opening a painful wound, Jonah is forced to turn to his funny, precocious daughter and tough-love grandmother for support. A brutal and lyrical portrait of the things we hang on to and the price of moving forward, this Relentless Award-winning play tells of one man’s attempt to free himself from the abuses of his past. From New York Stage and Film Founders’ Award recipient Harrison David Rivers.

Lightning (or The Unbuttoning)

July 18-July 28, 2019

In the Powerhouse Theater

By Beth Henley
Directed by Mark Brokaw

In a cabin high on a peak surrounded by the blue mountains and a vibrant, swirling sky, a young woman is visited by a traveling salesman as a lightning storm brews. A mysterious, mystical visitor, he awakens in her the promise and the peril of something more. Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley returns to Powerhouse with this story of resilience and determination in an unforgiving world.


Musical Workshops

Annie Salem: An American Tale

July 5-7, 2019

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Adapted from the novel by Mac Wellman
Book by Rachel Chavkin
Music by Heather Christian
Lyrics by Heather Christian and Rachel Chavkin

An otherworldly journey into the jagged heart of rust-belt Ohio, where blue monkeys play in the wreckage of post-industrial America, and where high school boy Jack Scan is in love with the prettiest girl in town. This timely adaptation of Mac Wellman’s wry, surrealist coming-of-age story, adapted by Obie Award-winning artists Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown, The Great Comet) and Heather Christian (Animal Wisdom), travels through time and space, to Mars and back again as it tries to make sense of the forces lurking in the American woods.

The Elementary Spacetime Show

July 12-14, 2019

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Music and Lyrics by César Alvarez
Book by César Alvarez with Emily Orling
Directed by Sarah Benson

You can die, you just have to answer a few crazy questions first. And sing. And dance.

A young girl attempts suicide and wakes up trapped in a cosmic vaudevillian game show that she must win in order to enter the void of death. But the more she wants to die, the harder she has to work. A new musical of why to exist when you no longer want to, with up-tempo genre-bending songs and a healthy dose of the absurd from the creators of Futurity and the frontman of The Lisps.


July 26-28, 2019

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Conceived by Saheem Ali
Music and Lyrics by Michael Thurber
Book by Jocelyn Bioh
Additional lyrics by Mkhululi Z. Mabija
Directed by Saheem Ali

A young man returns home to the African coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, to marry his betrothed and step into his family’s political dynasty. But when he visits Moto Moto – a steamy afro-jazz club and the stomping ground of his youth – he finds himself drawn to a beautiful, mysterious new singer. Soon, he must decide whether to fulfill the legacy of his lineage, or give in to his love of music and a newfound attraction.  A story of love, destiny, the spirit world and the power of passion, inspired by the ancient myth of Marimba, the goddess of music.

Inside Look Workshops

…and the horse you rode in on

June 20-22, 2019

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

by Zach Helm
Directed by Kate Whoriskey

Featuring: Victor Almanzar, Joshua Boone, Alejandro Hernandez, Adriane Lenox, Reynaldo Pinella, Noah Robbins, Cesar J. Rosado, Constance Shulman

...and the horse you rode in on tells the story of Ben, a young hacktivist. Federally incarcerated for digital civil-disobedience, Ben attempts to bring the entire US Judiciary to its knees from inside prison as a warning on totalitarianism... all while his mother, in scant visits, attempts to negotiate for his freedom and mental health. It is the first of a proposed five play cycle drawn as an analog of real events of the past decade that expose the state of international espionage and the human lives it has torn apart.

The Best We Could (a family tragedy)

July 25-27, 2019

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Emily Feldman
Directed by Daniel Aukin 

A daughter’s road trip with her father becomes a theatrical journey across more than just state lines. This funny, wise, and heartbreaking debut from an exciting new writer will be brought to vibrant life by director Daniel Aukin (Broadway’s Fool for Love, Powerhouse’s The Fortress of Solitude).


Please note that the purchase of a full subscription gives you priority access to the readings reservations prior to the general public, but cannot guarantee reservations. Call the box office during the Readings Reservations period to request seats:

June Readings: June 14-16 (Subscribers only), June 18 (Open to all)

July Readings: July 5-7 (Subscribers only), July 9 (Open to all)

The Notebook

June 23, 2019, 3pm

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Based on the Novel by Nicholas Sparks
Music and Lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson
Book by Bekah Brunstetter

Featuring: Jelani Alladin, Nicholas Belton, Candy Buckley, Antonio Cipriano, Janet Dacal, Mili Diaz, Clifton Duncan, Vanessa Hudgens, Hailey Kilgore, Jennifer Mudge, James Naughton, Ben Jackson Walker, Megan Talay, Lorem Ipsum


June 29, 2019, 4pm

In the Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Book by Danny Strong
Music and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak and Michael Weiner
Directed by Michael Mayer

Galileo is a musical about a mathematician, inventor, astronomer and scientist who makes a discovery that will change the entire understanding of the universe. Unfortunately, what he has uncovered directly conflicts with the standard teachings of the most powerful institution in the the world. With a rebellious sound that parallels his rebellion, Galileo is a classic tale of an individual battling an entire system, and of how leaders of nations must lie to protect their own power, no matter how apparent the truth may be.

Sanctuary City

July 13, 2019, 5pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Rebecca Frecknall

DREAMers. Love(r)s. Life-long friends. Negotiating the promise of safety and the weight of responsibility, they’ll fight like hell to establish a place for themselves and each other in America. 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner, NYTW Usual Suspect and former 2050 Fellow Martyna Majok brings us an unforgettable story that asks what we’re willing to sacrifice for someone we love. Rebecca Frecknall, director of the 2019 Olivier Award-winning Summer and Smoke, helms the production.

Becky Nurse of Salem

July 19, 2019, 8pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Sarah Ruhl

Out of work and out of love, Becky Nurse is an ordinary but strong-willed grandmother just trying to get by in post-Obama America. She’s also the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was infamously executed for witchcraft in 1692—but things have changed for women since then, haven’t they? Desperate to raise her troubled teenaged granddaughter right, and also hook up with an old flame, Becky visits a local witch for help. But those spells and potions don’t work out exactly as planned. The latest play from Tony-nominated Sarah Ruhl, Becky Nurse of Salem speaks to the trials and triumphs of women today—and is also a comedic, warmhearted story about trying to do the right thing in a chaotic world.

Delusion by Proxy

July 20, 2019, 12pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Brooke Adams
Directed by Ethan Silverman

A black comedy about love and tyranny.
The story, set in the near future, is about a family that has been torn apart by personal grievances. It is a metaphor for the oppressive violence of the world outside. It addresses our collective anxieties about the fate of our society.

The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin

July 20, 2019, 5pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Jessica Huang
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans

During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other “Paper Sons,” Harry underwent a brutal detention and interrogation, and lived the rest of his life keeping secrets – even from his daughter. Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant who wound up in Minnesota. Through dreamlike leaps of time and space and with the powerful assistance of ghosts, the story of the Chin family reveals the personal and political repercussions of making group of people “illegal.”

The Excavation of Mary Anning

July 21, 2019, 4pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Ian August
Directed by Sammi Cannold

Amidst the groaning cliff sides and weather beaten shores of southern England, fossil hunter Mary Anning combs the earth for glimpses of the ancient past.  Armed with only her determination, her lucky hammer, and her canine companion, Tray, Mary uncovers secrets that redefine science and religion and philosophy.  But 19th century geology is a nobleman’s game, and Mary’s discoveries are buried beneath the rubble while the stars of her male counterparts grow ever brighter.  The Excavation of Mary Anning is a historical fantasia about things that come from the earth and things that go to the earth, and one woman’s quest to reclaim her legacy in a society that refuses to acknowledge her worth.

The Training Company

Romeo and Juliet

July 12-14, 2019, 7pm

In the Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns

By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Devin Kawaoka


The Winter’s Tale

July 19-21, 2019, 7pm

In the Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns

By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Andrew Willis-Woodward

Keep Your Head Above Water so as Not to Sink: A Soundpainting Performance

July 4, 11, 18, 25, 2019, 6pm

In the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Composed and Conducted by Max Reuben

Part of “Late Night at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center”

From One To Another: Rites of Passage for our Times

July 21-22, 2019, 7:30pm

In the The Mug in the College Center

Created and Directed by Emily Mendelsohn and members of the Training Company

New Works Play Festival

July 27, 2019, 2pm & 7:30pm

Location to be announced

Written and Directed by members of the Training Company