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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater

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Vassar & New York Stage and Film announce highlights for the Powerhouse Theater season, June 25 to August 1, 2010.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY —A world premiere, fully-staged production by John Patrick Shanley, the first professional production for playwright Tracy Thorne, and the newest musical project from the multi-award winning director Michael Mayer will be just a few of the many highlights of Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater season, June 25 - August 1, 2010.
 
A unique collaboration between Vassar College and New York Stage and Film, Powerhouse Theater is entering its 26th season this year. Since the first season in 1985, Pulitzer, Tony, and Oscar-winning writer John Patrick Shanley has returned to Powerhouse summer after summer and many of his plays, including Doubt, have had their start at Powerhouse. One of two Mainstage productions this year, Shanley's new work Pirate will mark his 14th work to debut at Powerhouse. (Note: Pirate was seen in a reading at Powerhouse last summer.)
 
Playwright Tracy Thorne's work We Are Here also will be produced on the mainstage. This will be the first full production of one of her full-length plays. She was a playwriting fellow at The Lark Theatre and is currently participating in their ‘Meeting of the Minds’ project. In addition to writing, Thorne is also an actor and has collaborated with directors such as Matthew Warchus, Phyllida Lloyd, Anna Deavere Smith, Tony Kushner and Thomas Babe.

Award-winning director Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening, Side Man) will return to Powerhouse this summer with his newest musical project, a re-envisioning and reincarnation of Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane’s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with a new book by Peter Parnell. This will be one of two musical workshops presented this season at Powerhouse. Last summer, Mayer chose Powerhouse to workshop American Idiot, before taking it to Berkeley Rep in the fall. Before Spring Awakening, Mayer had directed the debut of the Tony-winning Side Man at Powerhouse in 1996. This summer, Mayer will return to Powerhouse for his new project as he respects the rigorous and nurturing environment, as well as the discerning audiences.

The 2010 season will also include workshops of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s Handball; Maria Cassi and Patrick Pacheco’s My Life with Men – and other Animals, directed by Peter Schneider and featuring internationally acclaimed performance artist Maria Cassi; Keith Bunin’s Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir; and a musical workshop of Bonfire Night by Justin Levine, directed by Alex Timbers.

The two Readings Festivals, which open and close the Powerhouse season, will include new plays from such esteemed writers as Romulus Linney, Richard Nelson, Patricia Wettig, and Stephen Karam, and a new screenplay by Jennifer Westfeldt, among others.
 
The Powerhouse Apprentice Company once again will offer their acclaimed outdoor performances of the classics, this year featuring Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Sophie Treadwell's Machinal. Last season one of the highlights for the apprentice company was the standing-room-only performance of Cheri Steinkellner’s musical Hello! My Baby. This year, building on that success, New York Stage and Film co-founder and producing director Mark Linn Baker will work with the Powerhouse Apprentice Company on a presentation based upon Walter Jones' The 1940s Radio Hour. The one-night-only workshop production will be a collaboration featuring members of both the apprentice and professional companies.
 
Café on the Quad, a popular pre-and post-theater feature introduced last summer, will return again this season. Several restaurants from the Arlington area that surrounds Vassar College will offer light suppers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings on the Vassar campus.
 
These are just a few of the highlights of the amazing 2010 Powerhouse Theater season, to be announced in detail later in April. For additional information, see the website http://powerhouse.vassar.edu.
 
Powerhouse season subscriptions will go on sale (online only), Wednesday, May 19; individual tickets will be available for purchase in person at the Box Office or online, Wednesday, June 2.

About Powerhouse Theater

Powerhouse Theater, now entering its 26th season, is the result of a unique collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College. The program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 200 professional artists and some 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works. Powerhouse steadfastly supports both emerging and established artists.

The annual residency has included such writers as John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Henry Kreiger, Warren Leight, Christopher Durang, Richard Greenberg, Stephen Belber, Eric Bogosian, Steve Martin, Dael Orlandersmith, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater; directors Mark Brokaw, Joe Mantello, Lisa Peterson, Roger Rees, Liz Swados, David Warren, and Michael Wilson; and actors Chris Cooper, Dana Delany, Olympia Dukakis, Edie Falco, Peter Gallagher, Joel Grey, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Johnston, Lucy Liu, Julianna Margulies, Rob Morrow, Frances McDormand, Josh Radnor, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Kyra Sedgwick, Fisher Stevens, David Strathairn, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Westfeldt, among many others.

Since its inception in 1985, Powerhouse has played a significant role in the development of hundreds of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for the Hudson Valley, the New York metropolitan area, and the surrounding region.

About New York Stage and Film

Founded in 1985 by Producing Directors Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang, and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer and Managing Director Nicki Genovese, New York Stage and Film (SAF) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the development and production of new works for theater and film.  SAF has developed and produced premiere works by such writers as John Patrick Shanley, Jon Robin Baitz, Steve Martin, Theresa Rebeck and Eve Ensler (www.newyorkstageandfilm.org).

About the Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program

This year, around 40 student apprentices from across the country will participate and form the 2010 Powerhouse Apprentice company. These young artists — current students, recent graduates, and future theater professionals — are provided with a distinctive opportunity to create their own new work as well as work on the development of theater and musical productions headed for Broadway and top-ranked theaters nations-wide. The educational experience is not replicated anywhere else in the country. Some of the program alumnae/i include Erin Buckley, Edward Cheetham, Katherine Kovner, Melissa Errico, Amy Fox, Catherine Kellner, Kate MacCluggage, Josh Radnor, Jordan Roth, Leah Ryan, Alexandra Tolk, and Jonathan Togo.

About Vassar College

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861. Consistently ranked as one of the country’s best liberal arts colleges, Vassar is renowned for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the natural and architectural beauty of its campus. More than 50 academic departments and degree programs — from Anthropology to Cognitive Sciences to Urban Studies — encompass the arts, foreign languages, natural sciences, and social services, and combine to offer a curriculum of more than 1,000 courses.

Vassar College is sited in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. Go to http://www.vassar.edu/directions for directions to the Vassar campus.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, April 9, 2010