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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 the following reservation periods:

Reading Festival 1: June 15-17 (Subscribers only), June 19-21 (Open to all)
Reading Festival 2: July 13-15 (Subscribers only), July 17-19 (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.

The Pain of My Belligerence

June 22, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman

Featuring: Michael Esper, Halley Feiffer, Vanessa Kai and Amaya Press

Twenty-something and brilliant, Cat is a journalist at the top of her game: tack-sharp and ambitious, and rapidly establishing her place in the field.  Until she meets Guy – magnetic, devilishly charming, and married -- and the attrition begins. Charting their spiky relationship over twelve years, following a rapidly changing America, Halley Feiffer’s harrowing comedy sheds light on how we perpetuate our roles within a patriarchal culture, and the promise of a new paradigm.

Lick O' the Knife

June 23, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Jackie Roberts
Directed by Kent Gash

Featuring: McKinley Belcher, Carson Elrod, Walker Jones, J.D. Mollison, Christina Pumeriega and Carolyn Michelle Smith

Lick O’The Knife is a modern comedy in the tradition of popular 19th century plays. A ‘Black Swashbuckler’ that takes place over a wild 12 hours of drinking, poetry and love-making, the piece revolves around an imagined friendship between Russian poet Alexandr Pushkin and French writer Alexandre Dumas. It’s too often forgotten that these literary titans spoke openly of their experiences as Black men. This playful exploration of their bonds and rivalries, transposed to 1837, offers fresh perspectives into the dynamics of masculinity that we continue to inhabit in contemporary America.  

On That Day in Amsterdam

June 23, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Clarence Coo
Directed by Kareem Fahmy

Featuring: Frankie J. Alvarez, Julian Cihi, James Cusati-Moyer, Justin Walker White and Rocky Vega

Two young men, an American backpacker and a Syrian refugee, meet in a gay club in Amsterdam and spend the next day together knowing their paths will never cross again. As they visit the former homes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Anne Frank, they discover the meaning of love, art, and escape in the context of Europe’s current migrant crisis.


June 24, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By rupi kaur
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner

Featuring: Dahlia Azama, Mahira Kakkar, Nadine Malouf and Susannah Perkins

#1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, rupi kaur, explores a theatrical adaptation of her debut collection of poetry and prose, ‘milk and honey’, which received international acclaim and has been translated into over 30 languages. untitled takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

The Hole

June 24, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Sarah Gancher
Directed by Danya Taymor

Featuring: Betsy Aidem, Brittany Allen, Heidi Armbruster, Marc Bovino, Jacob Faunce, Joel Marsh Garland and Andy Grotelueschen

The Hole (n): In a morning zoo radio show, the killjoy woman whose job is to tell the bad-boy comedians “come on you guys!” or “you’re so bad!”  As the comedians who coined the term describe it: “the hole is where comedy goes to die.”

When struggling comedian Rocky (short for Roxanne) joins her local morning zoo radio show, the station’s reigning bad boy shock jock won’t let her be funny—he insists on making her the show’s “hole.” So, Rocky takes over the show with methods initially admirable, but increasingly brutal and destructive. A play about feminism, revolution, and who is allowed to be at the center of our stories, from the writer of The Lucky Ones and Hundred Days, and former New York Stage and Film Founders’ Award Winner.

The North Star

July 20, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Donja R. Love
Directed by Malika Oyetimein

Somewhere in North Philly the North Star shines bright. It lights the way for North, a Shakespearean-like rapper in his hood. But right after he lands a record deal his father is released from prison and he becomes forced to see the man that he always was.

The Dizziness of Freedom

July 21, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Stephen Nathan
Directed by Daniella Topol

Roger is the last remaining tenant of an old apartment building scheduled for demolition to make way for a new shopping mall. At 75 and with a history of left-wing social activism, Roger has no intention of giving the corporate interests the satisfaction of moving without a fight – his last stand. A young attorney, Annie, shows up charged with the task of evicting Roger. What should be easy for Annie becomes a test of wills and integrity, which uncovers both of their fears and their gaping generational divide. But this battle also shows them their ability to to transcend their differences and ultimately what binds even the most intransigent pair of combatants.

The Purists

July 21, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

By Dan McCabe
Directed by Billy Porter

A former rapper, a DJ, and a musical theatre fanatic have become unlikely stoop buddies in Sunnyside, Queens. When their friendly riffing about race, sexuality and music in America turns personal – and with the arrival of two up-and-coming female emcees – the trio must confront the changes to their purist ideals and question what it means to be authentic.

Melissa R and Dorothy Sue

July 22, 2018

In the Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Book by Geoffrey Nauffts
Music and Lyrics by Jonatha Brooke
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

When two women learn they have been living in each other's lives for the past forty years, their journey towards who it is they were supposed to have been leads them to some old familiar and new and unexpected places.