Powerhouse Theater Announces 22nd Season of New Works, Featuring Pulitzer-Winning Playwright, Oscar-Winning Composer, and a Musical of Sondheim and Shakespeare

Poughkeepsie, NY – Vassar and New York Stage & Film announce the 22nd Powerhouse Season, to be held June 23 – July 30 on the Vassar College campus. The season will include over 15 different theatrical events, performed over seven weeks, including new works by Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley, Daisy Foote, Kia Corthron, and Keith Huff. Online subscription and ticket sales begin May 22, and the Powerhouse box office on the Vassar campus opens June 7.

Two debut mainstage productions in the Powerhouse Theater, and three new original musicals in the Martel Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, will highlight the 2006 Powerhouse Season. It will also include two workshops of plays with partial production values, allowing audiences an early look at developing scripts, and one festival of developmental readings. Rounding out the season are three classic plays in repertory, performed free outdoors by the Powerhouse 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 The Lark Theater Company, Naked Angels, O-Lan Jones, and Page 73.

Mainstage Productions:
(Held in the 145-seat Powerhouse Theater, 12 performances, $25)

BHUTAN by Daisy Foote, directed by Evan Yionoulis. With Tasha Lawrence, Sarah Lord, Jedadiah Schultz, and Amy Redford. In association with Cherry Lane Theater.
She dreams of Bhutan, but can barely find the kitchen door. Her mother is insane, her aunt stalks a married man, her saintly brother is in the slammer, and her father is inconveniently and recently dead. What's a normal fifteen year old like Frances to do?
June 28-July 8
Powerhouse Theater

A STEADY RAIN by Keith Huff, directed by Trip Cullman.
An urban tale of love and rage. Two Chicago cops, friends since childhood, and their competing accounts of the few harrowing days that changed their lives forever. Keith Huff returns to the Powerhouse with a play of enormous power, compassion and theatricality.
July 12-23
Powerhouse Theater

Martel Musicals
(Concert readings held in the 325-seat Martel Theater, in the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, $25)

PRAIRIE, Music by Rachel Portman, book by Beth Henley, lyrics by Donna DiNovelli. Directed by Francesca Zambello.
Based on the enormously popular "LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE" series of books, a new musical, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner and Powerhouse regular Beth Henley (CRIMES OF THE HEART), and composed by Academy Award winner Rachel Portman, the first woman to win the Oscar for best score (EMMA), featuring a cast of 15 and live music. The inspiring and quintessentially American story that has moved and entertained generations, of a pioneer family in the Dakotas.
July 7 – 9
Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film
4 performances

MIXED COMPANY, book by Billy Porter, music by Stephen Sondheim, co-directed by Billy Porter and Tazewell Thompson.
Renowned cabaret performer Billy Porter (whose Broadway performances include SMOKEY JOE'S CAFé, MISS SAIGON, and FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE) combines many of the best-loved songs of Stephen Sondheim with his own unique musical style, and some of Shakespeare's greatest poetry. A first look at what is certain to become a highly acclaimed event in the musical theater.
July 28 – July 29
Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film
2 performances

JERRY CHRISTMAS, book by Daniel Goldfarb, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, directed by David Warren.
Jerry Barron is a comic movie star who hasn't had a hit in much too long. A live TV special of his family's All-American Christmas morning is just the thing to turn around his career. All he needs now is a good place to hide his menorah. Andrew Lippa's music and lyrics (THE WILD PARTY at Manhattan Theater Club, winner of 13 Drama Desk nominations), and Daniel Goldfarb's book, promise a hilarious and touching musical evening.
July 29 – July 30
Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film
2 performances

Inside Look! plays
(Workshops held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater, 4 performances, $18)

BOB, by Anton Dudley, directed by Leigh Silverman.
An all too common man, all too tempted by a dynamic underage girl, strays from his lover, the woman sheriff of the very small town where they all live. In this comedy/drama of intrigue, betrayal, stupidity and not so common sense, Anton Dudley (HONOR AND THE RIVER) takes a clear-eyed look at the human spirit in all its frail glory.
July 14 – July 16
Susan Stein Shiva Theater

QUIVER AND TWITCH, by Erin Courtney, directed by Sarah Benson.
What if Dick Cheney lived in your basement? What if your super had been a prisoner of war? What if you keep dreaming that your apartment has extra rooms? QUIVER AND TWITCH is a play that follows a family through a terrain of dreams, political anxieties, and parenting manuals. Using puppetry, dreamlike imagery and humor, the play smashes the domestic, the fantastic, and the political into one very small apartment in a big U.S city.
July 21 – July 23
Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Readings Festival:
(Held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater, free to the public with reservations strongly recommended)

LIZARDSKIN, by Jennifer Silverman
THE AS IF BODY LOOP, by Ken Weitzman, directed by Wendy Goldberg
SAMS COMING, by Kia Corthron, directed by Leah C. Gardiner
EMERALDS, by Cindy Lou Johnson
June 23-25
Susan Stein Shiva Theater

Outdoor Repertory Theater:
(The Powerhouse Apprentice Company will once again perform abbreviated versions of classic plays, at the Outdoor Amphitheater on the Vassar College campus. All performances begin at 6:30 p.m., are free, and weather permitting):

The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov, translation by Carol Rocamora, adapted and directed by Emily Mendelsohn (July 6-10)

The Oresteia, by Aeschylus, adapted by Leah Ryan, directed by Jen Wineman (July 14-17)

The Storm, by Alexander Ostrofsky, translation by Eugene K. Bristow, adapted and directed by Jennie Ward (July 21-23)

Subscription, Schedule, and Box Office Information:

To request a season brochure, email

Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased online starting May 22, at The Powerhouse box office on the Vassar campus will open June 7, and be reachable at (845) 437-7235 or (845) 437-5599.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, May 18, 2006