POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s 27th annual Powerhouse Theater season will offer a wide variety of new plays and musicals this summer from June 24 to July 31, 2011. Award-winning writers, directors, and actors will all converge in Poughkeepsie, New York, for six weeks to create exciting new work in an intimate setting.
This summer the Powerhouse Theater Mainstage will open with Emmy® Award-winning actress and playwright Patricia Wettig’s (thirtysomething, Brothers & Sisters) F2M, first seen in the 2010 Readings Festival, directed by Maria Mileaf (The Argument, Lobster Alice, Underneath the Lintel). The cast has just been announced and will include Theatre World Award winner Talia Balsam (Jake’s Women, Mad Men), Harriett D. Foy (Once On This Island, Mamma Mia!, The American Plan), Keira Keeley (Angels in America, The Glass Menagerie/2010 Theatre World Award), Deirdre O'Connell (Whisper House/Powerhouse 2009, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Front Page), actor and producer Ken Olin (Brothers & Sisters, thirtysomething, Alias), Phoebe Strole (Spring Awakening, Mourning Becomes Electra, 30 Rock). (June 29-July 10, $35)
In addition to F2M, the season will also include:
- A Maze on the Mainstage, which is Rob Handel’s (Aphrodisiac, founding member of 13P) Powerhouse debut. He received the 2010 Whitfield Cook Award from New Dramatists for this play. Handel will be joined by Tony Award® nominee Sam Buntrock (Roundabout’s Sunday in the Park with George) for this highly theatrical examination of creativity, addiction, love, and power. (July 20-31, $35)
Three new Martel Musicals will be offered:
- The Nightingale by the Tony® Award-winning creators of Spring Awakening, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, who will return to the Powerhouse with this compelling contemporary musical rendering of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale. Directed by the Tony Award-nominated Moisés Kaufman (33 Variations, I am My Own Wife, Tectonic Theater Project). (July 8-10, $30)
- February House, by Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley, and directed by by Davis McCallum, was inspired by true event and is a powerful and funny new musical that marks the first commission of The Public Theater’s Music Theater Initiative. (July 14-16, $30)
- Piece of My Heart, by Bert Berns, Daniel Goldfarb, Brett Berns and Cassandra Berns, directed by Leigh Silverman, is a discovery and celebration of one of the most famous composers you may never have heard of, Bert Berns. Just a few of his songs that have defined the sound of an era include “Twist and Shout,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Cry to Me,” and “Cry Baby.” (July 29-31, $30)
Two Inside Look workshops will be presented:
- Margaret and Craig by David Solomon (Vassar alumnus, class of 1999), directed by Sheryl Kaller, and will feature Mario Cantone (Laugh Whore, Sex and the City, Assassins) who plays dazzling, dizzying Craig Russell, a 1970s female impersonator battling inner demons on his way to cult stardom. (July 1-3, $20)
- Handball, by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, directed by Candido Tirado, will offer a report from the front lines of a neighborhood 'in transition' that is a fresh and startling story of community, culture clash and turbulence around change. (July 15-17, $20)
Ten new works by both young and established writers will be offered as readings this summer during Readings Festival 1 and 2. These include:
- Playground: The Hallie Flanagan Project by Mattie Brickman, Rising Returns by Daniel MacIvor, Day One, A Hotel Room, Evening by Joanna Murray-Smith, Rivers of January by Ben Snyder, and Drones by Matt Witten (Readings Festival 1, June 24-26, free with advance reservations required)
- The Public by Ed Hime, The Hour of Feeling by Mona Mansour, Matty’s Place by Frank Pugliese, Marry Harry by Jennifer Robbins, Michael Biello & Dan Martin and Sleeping Demon by John Patrick Shanley (Readings Festival 2, July 29-31, free with advance reservations required)
Powerhouse will also offer a special musical presentation for families this summer:
- The Island Musical, by singer/songwriter Dar Williams (The Honesty Room, The Green World, The Beauty of The Rain), directed by Jeremy Dobrish, will combine Williams’ passion for the environment with her trademark exquisite songs in a new musical tale of a faraway island. (July 17, free with advance reservations required)
Powerhouse Theater 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 (124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY) during which more than 200 professional artists and some 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works.
Each summer New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) and Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) have offered discerning audiences a chance to see new works, which have included the the multi-award-winning Doubt (2004); the re-imagined classic On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (2010), to be presented on Broadway this fall; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot (2009); and A Steady Rain (2006), produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
Subscriptions to the 2011 Powerhouse Theater season and single tickets are available both online at powerhouse.vassar.edu and through the Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar campus: (845) 437.5599 // (845) 437.7235; PHTBoxoffice@vassar.edu; Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Relax and have a bite before the shows at Powerhouse's Café on the Quad, located by the Marcel Breuer-designed Ferry House on the Frances Fergusson Quadrangle. Artists and audiences mingle and enjoy Powerhouse’s festival atmosphere, pre-performance, Friday and Saturdays throughout the season. The Café offers a space to gather, relax, and savor light tasting menus, and wine and beer, presented by Gigi’s Hudson Valley. Menus feature Mediterranean fare prepared with seasonal ingredients highlighting the bounty of the farms, gardens, and food artisans of the Hudson Valley. Cash only, no reservations required. (Friday and Saturdays, June 24-30.) In addition, Tree City Coffee will serve as concessionaire at all performances. For more information and menus, see the websitehttp://powerhouse.vassar.edu/visit or call (845) 437-7645.
Vassar College is sited in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. Go tohttp://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.