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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


New York Stage and Film and Vassar Announce the 21st Powerhouse Season of New Plays and Musicals

» Click for Powerhouse Season Schedule

Shows to include three new musicals, including The Man in the White Suit by the Tony Award-winning creators of Urinetown, five new plays and two reading festivals.

Following an explosive, record-breaking 2004 season, New York Stage and Film and Vassar College proudly announce the 21st Powerhouse Season, to be held on the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie from June 17 to July 31, 2005.

The 2004 Season featured the premieres of: the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, The Argumentby Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Pen by David Marshall Grant, Fran's Bed by James Lapine,and Amy Irving in A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop by Marta Góes,all of which were subsequently produced or are going into production in New York City. This record of developing exciting new work and training young talent has made the Powerhouse Season one of the nation's leading summer events for top theater and film professionals and student apprentices. Now, for 2005, the Powerhouse Season will take on an ambitious new format, expanding its developmental resources and introducing the next generation of artists to audiences.

Casting is underway and promises to feature artists as exciting as the 2004 company, which included Kathleen Chalfant, Kieran Culkin, Mia Farrow, Marcia Gay Harden, Amy Irving, Lucy Liu, John Pankow, Bill Pullman, Reg Rogers, Michael Stuhlbarg, and many others. Casting information will be released in the coming weeks.

A highlight of the 2005 Powerhouse Season will be the presentation of 3 new original musicals in the Martel Theater. The Season will also encompass 5 workshops of plays with partial production values, allowing audiences an early look at developing scripts; 2 special presentations shown free to the public; and 2 festivals of developmental readings. Rounding out the season is a schedule of classic plays in repertory, in free outdoor performances by the apprentice company.

Each summer, through the Powerhouse Season, more than 200 professional writers, directors, performers and designers live and work together with some 50 apprentices in a unique artistic environment on Vassar's Hudson Valley campus. This year, the Powerhouse Season incorporates residencies by Epic Theater Center and Naked Angels.

Musical workshops:

DANGEROUS BEAUTY, Music by Michele Brourman, book by Jeannine Dominy, lyrics by Amanda McBroom. Directed by Sheryl Kaller - A romantic and powerful new musical set in the opulent, decadent world of 16th Century Venice. A beautiful and ingenious young woman treads the only available path to education, power and the company of her upper class lover by taking on the life of a courtesan. Based on the movie of the same name, also written by Jeannine Dominy. July 7, 8, 9 and 10 in the Martel Theater.

BEHIND THE LIMELIGHT, Music, book and lyrics by Christopher Curtis, directed by Michael Unger. The wounded youth, the idealist, the cad and the genius all come together in this musical exploration of one of film's great enigmas and greatest legends, Charlie Chaplin. From one of the musical theater's rising young talents. July 21, 22, 23 and 24 in the Martel Theater.

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, Music, Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann. An eccentric scientist invents a fabric that never gets dirty, setting off a crisis in the textile industry and labor unions in this comic fable from the Tony Award-winning creative team of Urinetown. Inspired by the 1951 classic film. June 24, 25, 26 in the Martel Theater.

Powerhouse Plays:

BIG WYOMING, by David Neipris, directed by Hal Brooks (Thom Pain, based on nothing) - A Romanian philosopher in the twilight of his life relives memories of Paris, his one great love and the painful consequences of his youthful ideas. This play received a reading during the 2004 Powerhouse Season. July 13, 14, 15 and 16 in the Powerhouse Theater.

BLUE DOOR by Tanya Barfield - The ghosts of one family's past come alive to reveal a history of heartbreak and pain in post-Civil War America. July 6, 7, 8 and 9 in the Powerhouse Theater.

DONNA MORELLI by Gina Barnett. Tech-influenced adolescents cope with the most thrilling, scary and physical stage of life in this modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet. June 22, 23, 24 and 25 in the Powerhouse Theater.

Inside Look:

GET WHAT YOU NEED by Jessica Goldberg, directed by Carolyn Cantor. In two emotionally charged acts separated by 25 years, an idealistic couple faces a life-altering choice and question whether happiness can be found in a life of comfort and acquisition. July 15, 16 and 17 in the Shiva Theater.

Special Presentations

All shows free to the public!

ANNA AND ME, by Randle Mell, directed by Max Mayer. There's nothing funny about depression, unless it's someone else's. Randle Mell (a member of the company from the very first Powerhouse Season) takes you on a personal, metaphysical and emotional odyssey through the 1990's in this entertaining, touching and provocative one-man show. July 1, 2 and 3 in the Powerhouse Theater.

LOVE CHILD, by Dan Jenkins and Robert Stanton, directed by David Warren. Two theater veterans take you on a hilarious journey when they portray everyone on stage, backstage and in the house on one disastrous night at the theatre. July 1, 2 and 3 in the Powerhouse Theater.

Reading Series

All readings are free to the public!

Reading Festival #1 - June 17, 18 and 19:


SWEET MERCY,by Melody Cooper

THE NEW BROOM, by Michael Martin Kell


One more reading TBA

Reading Festival #2 – July 22, 23 and 24

YES! WE HAVE NO PAJAMAS, by Nicole Burdette, directed by Brian MacDevitt, with Tim


THE PLAINS OF ILION, by Steven Sater, directed by Barry Edelstein

RAPTURE, by Joanna Murray-Smith

JAYSON WITH A Y, by Darci Picoult

MANIC FLIGHT REACTION, by Sarah Schulman, directed by Trip Cullman

Free Outdoor Theater in Repertory

The popular repertory program returns in July, with the apprentice company performing outdoors on the sprawling Vassar campus green in three productions. This season's plays are:This season's plays are: Iphigenia (July 7-10), Much Ado about Nothing (July 14-17) and The Tamer Tamed (July 21-24). Times to be announced.

Ticket & Schedule Information

Martel Musicals are held in the 315-seat Martel Theater in the Center for Drama and Film. Tickets are $25. 5 performances. Running schedule TBD.

Powerhouse Plays are held in the 135-seat Powerhouse Theater or the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater. Tickets are $20. 5 performances. Running schedule TBD.

Inside Look! are held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater. Tickets are $18. 4 performances. Running schedule TBD.

Special Presentations are held in the Powerhouse Theater and admission is free to the public, first come first served. Running schedule TBD.

Reading Festivals are held in the Susan Stein Shiva Theater and are free to the public. Performance schedule to be announced.

Subscriptions for the season are available and can be purchased online at powerhouse.vassar.edu. Single tickets and subscriptions may be purchased online, or by calling(845) 437-7235, beginning June 2.

For the latest updates on casting and events, visit the web sites of New York Stage and Film at newyorkstageandfilm.org or the Powerhouse at powerhouse.vassar.edu.

To request a season brochure, e-mail the Powerhouse.

Biographies available upon request.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, April 29, 2005