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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater

Readings Festivals

To request a reservation to one of our readings, call the box office (845-437-5599) during following reservation periods:

Reading Festival 1: June 17-19 (Subscribers Only), June 21-23 (Open to all)
Reading Festival 2: July 15-17 (Subscribers Only), July 19-21 (Open to all)

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. 

Good Grief

June 24 at 8pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Lorien Haynes
Directed by John Slattery

Good Grief is a romantic comedy - about grief. Four Weddings With A Funeral - it’s sharp, funny, brutal, irreverent and quintessentially British. In the aftermath of Liv’s untimely death, her boyfriend, Adam and her best friend, Cat begin a secret affair; hiding from Liv’s sister Sally, with whom they’re attempting to negotiate everything between a raucous wake and releasing her worldly goods to the Jewish Women’s League. Running the gauntlet of the five stages of grief, the thirtysomething trio compete for who ranks highest on The Grief Meter, reveal hidden unspeakable truths and fail to agree on epitaphs and the allocation of earrings. Ending up in cupboards, in bed, on trains and in the emptiest Indian restaurant in England, Good Grief explores how the young are ill equipped to lose each other. And whether, when you’ve lost the love of your life, your sense of humour can keep you alive.

The Ways of Necessity

June 25 at 3pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Stephen Nathan
Directed by Evan Yionoulis

Richard, a modest New York accountant, has just received devastating news. As his wife and three grown children try to come together to deal with impending losses, a secret from Richard’s past threatens to break them apart. From Emmy-nominated writer and producer, Stephen Nathan, The Ways of Necessity explores the lengths to which one man will go to preserve his family.

Nollywood Dreams

June 25 at 8pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Saheem Ali

It's the nineties and in Lagos, Nigeria, the "Nollywood" film industry is exploding. Looking to make the first Nollywood film with Western crossover appeal, Gbenga Ezie, Nigeria's hottest director, has decided to host an open casting call for the female lead of his new romantic drama/thriller "The Comfort Zone." Casting for the film draws on more emotions than expected in this imagining of what the growing Nollywood film scene was like as it rose to become the phenomenon it is today.


June 26 at 1pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Maria Mileaf

Informed by Plato’s dialogues, Socrates imagines the tumultuous conclusion to the life of one of the world’s most confounding men.  Penned by acclaimed actor, director and writer Tim Blake Nelson, the teachings and philosophies attributed to Socrates are passionately debated in this intricate, funny, and emotional new play.

The Great Blueness

June 26 at 5pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Andrew Gerle
Based on the book by Arnold Lobel
Directed by John Carrafa

In a fairy tale world where everything is grey, the town Wizard accidentally invents Blue, with unexpected consequences. Four-time Richard Rodgers Award-winner Andrew Gerle and two-time Tony nominee John Carrafa bring to life the book by Arnold Lobel, author of the beloved Frog and Toad series, in a new musical about the joys of exploration and discovery (and sometimes needing to make a little mess along the way). The Great Blueness is a musical intended for young audiences. Families with children ages 6 and up are most welcome!

The Portuguese Kid

July 22 at 8pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley

The Portuguese Kid is a romantic comedy about impossible people banging heads in Providence, Rhode Island. A Greek American woman named Atalanta, who has made a fortune in real estate, is chasing/persecuting a local two bit attorney named Barry Dragonetti. Both Atalanta and Barry have younger lovers, and a checkered past. The play crashes into real issues about men and women on its way to a satisfying resolution/train wreck. 

We Are Among Us

July 23 at 12pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Stephen Belber
Directed by Daniella Topol

War; love; deceit; omission. A 20 year old son still living with his mother; a daughter and her dead father.  We Are Among Us tells the story of a younger generation grappling with the actions and inactions of those who came before it.

Sacred Valley

July 23 at 5pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Josh Radnor
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

Narby and Natalie can’t remember a time when they weren’t friends. But their seemingly rock-solid friendship is upended when Narby takes Natalie’s husband Brian out for what he thought would be a harmless little mushroom trip. The next day, a confused Brian leaves Natalie, an enraged Natalie blames Narby, and three people are forced to ask themselves the deepest questions about love, friendship, and growing up in this unconventional comedy from Josh Radnor (Liberal Arts, “How I Met your Mother”, Powerhouse’s The Babylon Line).

Between The Lines

July 24 at 12pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson
Book by Timothy Allen McDonald
Based on the books “Between the Lines” and “Off the Page” by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Directed by Jeff Calhoun.

Between the Lines, based on the bestselling book by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer, is an enchanting new musical that asks what happens if the line between fiction and real life becomes blurred?  When the handsome hero of her favorite book literally starts speaking to her from the page, Delilah thinks she has found the perfect escape from a challenging junior year in high school… her overworked single Mom, her constant ability to get on the outs with the “in” crowd, and her need to find a friend who truly understands her. Produced by special arrangement with Daryl Roth, with book by Timothy Allen McDonald, music and lyrics by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel, and directed by Jeff Calhoun, this musical is for everyone who has ever wondered if they have the power to change their own story.

Rancho Viejo

July 24 at 5pm

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Dan LeFranc
Directed by Daniel Aukin

We never meet young Richie and Lonna, whose marriage is on the rocks. But miles and miles away, in the affluent Southwestern suburb where their parents live, this couple’s separation is disturbing the tranquility of a community they’ve barely met. In Dan LeFranc’s comedy of anxiety and awkward neighbors, the residents of Rancho Viejo drift from one gathering to the next, wrestling life’s grandest themes while fending off existential despair — set against the lustful, yearning strains of a distant bolero.