Limited balcony seating at Powerhouse Theater’s 25th anniversary gala is now available for $50, June 27, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—On Saturday, June 27, Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater, will celebrate 25 fabulous seasons of great new theater with a star-studded gala featuring Oscar, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning artists and works. The performance if followed by a party featuring great cuisine and beverages produced in the Hudson Valley. Single orchestra or parterre tickets are $100 and there are limited balcony seats available at $50 (enter code: GALABALC). So go online to or call the box office at 845-437-5599 or (845) 437-7235 for additional information or to purchase your tickets.


Oscar winner Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves, Battlestar Gallactica), Randle Mell, and Deborah Hedwall will reunite at the gala to perform selections from one of the favorite plays of Powerhouse’s premiere 1985 season: Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo.

Other artists who will return to light up the stage at the gala, directed by Sheryl Kaller, with musical direction by Fred Lassen at 7pm on Saturday, June 27, include, from the original cast of LargoManu Narayan (The Love Guru, Bombay Dreams) and David Forman; Tony and Grammy Award-winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening); David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck); Rob Morrow (Numb3rs, Northern Exposure, Quiz Show); Mark Linn-Baker (My Favorite Year, Perfect Strangers), who was just seen this fall off-Broadway in John Patrick Shanley’s Romantic Poetry; Carol Kane (Wicked, Annie Hall, and Taxi); Wendy Makkena (Side Man); Rob Morrow (Numb3rs, Northern Exposure); Jenny Powers (Little Women, Grease, Follies); Reg Rogers (Holiday); Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer of the smash Broadway hit Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik; David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck, The River Wild, Passion Fish); from The Closer Jon Tenney (The Heiress), who is also a member of Vassar’s class of 1984; Jennifer Westfeldt (Wonderful Town, Kissing Jessica Stein, Ira & Abby); and many more to come!

Powerhouse audiences – new and old – will be given the chance to hear selections from some of the most popular productions of the past 25 seasons including musicals: Pete Townshend’s The Boy Who Heard Music (2007), Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick’s Adrift in Macao (2002); Largo (2001), Willie Reale and Robert Reale’s A Year with Frog & Toad (2000), and Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Nero (2008). In addition scenes from Powerhouse plays will be performed, including Warren Leight’s Tony Award-winning Side Man (1996); Stephen Belber’s Fault Lines (2008), which had its off-Broadway debut last fall;, Theresa Rebeck’s Spike Heels (1990); David Marshall Grant’s Snakebit (1994); and Dangerous Beauty by Jeannine Dominy and Michele Brourman (2005) are among the well-loved and well-remembered works that will be performed.

Following the performance, the gala will move outside the Martel Theater to the Frances Daly Fergusson Quadrangle for a party where the audience will join with the artists to celebrate the best of the Hudson Valley with a light supper prepared by Gigi’s Hudson Valley, award-winning wines and beers from Clinton Vineyards and Keegan Ales, and tempting desserts by Babycakes Café.


Join the Powerhouse Theater community and become among the first to see a new play or musical performed, often before it goes on to a larger venue, on or off-Broadway, or in theaters across the country.


The season will open this year on June 26 and continue through August 2. The Powerhouse Mainstage productions will feature Joanna Murray-Smith’s Ninety, directed by Maria Mileaf and featuring Sarita Choudhury and Kevin Kilner (June 30 – July 12); the musical The Burnt Part Boys, directed by Erica Schmidt (July 17 – July 26); and Hudson Valley native and HBO’s In Treatment writer Keith Bunin’s Vera Laughed, directed by Carolyn Cantor (July 22 – August 2) – all tickets $35.

The Martel Musicals will feature concert readings of Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow’s Whisper House, directed by Keith Powell (July 10, 11) and Anton Dudley, Charlie Sohne, and Brian Feinstein’s Tina Girlstar (July 31 – August 2) – all tickets $25.

All performances for comedian Lewis Black’s comedy One Slight Hitch, directed by Joe Grifasi, have already sold-out, however limited tickets for Ben Snyder’s urban fairy tale Shoe Story, directed by Tony Award-winner Thomas Kail, are still available (July 23 – July 25) – all tickets $20.

The free Readings Festivals will open close the season and will include new plays by Bryan Delaney, Andrew Dolan, Yussef El Guindi, Beth Henley, Dan Moran, Theresa Rebeck, John Patrick Shanley, Julian Sheppard, and Regina Taylor. Seating is extremely limited and reservations are strongly recommended for this free series.

Season after season Powerhouse audiences have had the chance to be a witness to the creative process and development of award-winning works through artistically exceptional and affordably priced performances, including John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (four Tony Awards including Best Play and Pulitzer for Drama), Warren Leight’s Side Man (two Tony Awards including Best Play and Pulitzer nominee), and Jay Presson Allen’s Tru (Tony Award for Best Actor).


Last summer Opera News described Powerhouse as “a safe haven for plays to be nurtured before they make their way into the world, an incubator where writers can work on the development of a show without commercial and critical pressures, far from the ka-ching of Broadway.” 



Tickets to the gala are $50 for limited balcony seating (enter code: GALABALC) and $100 for orchestra and parterre seating. A special Mainstage subscription and gala package is $174.25 and will include admission for one to the gala (orchestra or parterre seating), to all nine readings, and to any performance of all three Mainstage shows

Individual tickets to Mainstage shows are $35; Martel Musicals $25; and the Inside Look series $20. Mainstage subscriptions ($89.25) offer admission to any performance of the three Mainstage shows (Ninety, The Burnt Part Boys, and Ninety) and all nine readings at 15% off single ticket prices.

This year, continuing its mission of presenting artistically exceptional and affordably priced performances, Powerhouse Theater will offer a $5 student rush ticket for students 25 years and under [as available 15 minutes before curtain].

To purchase tickets, go online to, call (845) 437-7235 or (845) 437-5599, or visit the Box Office on the Vassar campus.

Vassar is sited in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. Go to 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.


Powerhouse Theater, now entering its 25th 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.


Founded in 1985 by Producing Directors Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang, and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer, 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.


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 & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater
25th Anniversary Season

June 26 – August 2, 2009 or  (845) 437-5599


(Limited balcony tickets $50 (enter code: GALABALC); orchestra and parterre tickets $100, with special Mainstage subscription & gala ticket available for $174.25)

A Silver Celebration under the Stars: 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit

Featuring performances of and by Oscar, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning artists.

Directed by directed by Sheryl Kaller

Musical direction by Fred Lassen

June 27: 7pm Performance; 8:30pm Locavore Party

Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film


(Fully-staged productions held in the 145-seat Powerhouse Theater and the 325 seat Martel Theater, $35)


By Joanna Murray-Smith

Directed by Maria Mileaf

Ninety will be performed without an intermission.]

June 30, July 1, 2, 3, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 11 at 8pm; July 5, 11, 12 at 2pm; July 5 at 7pm

(Note: no performance on Saturday, July 4)

*Post-show discussion on Tuesday, July 7

Powerhouse Theater

The Burnt Part Boys

Book by Mariana Elder

Lyrics by Nathan Tysen

Music by Chris Miller

Directed by Erica Schmidt

July 17, 18, 21*, 22, 23, 24, 25 at 8pm; July 19, 25, 26 at 2pm; July 19 at 7pm

*Post-show discussion on Tuesday, July 21

Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film

Vera Laughed

By Keith Bunin

Directed by Carolyn Cantor

July 22, 23, 24, 25, 28*, 29, 30, 31, August 1 at 8pm; July 25, 26, August 1, 2 at 2pm.

*Post-show discussion on Tuesday, July 28

Powerhouse Theater


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

Whisper House

Music & Lyrics by Duncan Sheik

Book & Lyrics by Kyle Jarrow

Directed by Keith Powell

July 10, 11 at 8pm; July 11 at 2pm

Tina Girlstar

Book by Anton Dudley

Lyrics by Charlie Sohne

Music by Brian Feinstein

July 31 and August 1 at 8pm


(Workshop presentations of plays with partial production values, held in the 125-seat Susan Stein Shiva Theater, $20)

One Slight Hitch

By Lewis Black

Directed by Joe Grifasi

July 17, 18 at 8pm; July 19 at 2pm and 7pm

Shoe Story

By Ben Snyder

Directed by Thomas Kail

July 23, 24 at 8pm; July 25 at 2pm


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

Readings Festival 1

June 26 – June 28, 2009

A New Play

by Theresa Rebeck

Directed by Jeremy Cohen

Friday, June 26 at 8pm


By Julian Sheppard

Directed by Sarah Benson

Saturday, June 27 at 2pm

The Onion Game

By Bryan Delaney

Directed by Will Frears

Sunday, June 28 at 2pm

Language Rooms

By Yussef El Guindi

Directed by Blanka Zizka

Sunday, June 28 at 5pm

Readings Festival 2

July 30 – August 2

Soul Cake

By Dan Moran

Directed by David Wohl

Thursday, July 30 at 8pm


Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley

Friday, July 31 at 8pm


By Regina Taylor

Saturday, August 1 at 2pm

That Good Night

By Andrew Dolan

Directed by Bob Krakower

Sunday, August 2 at 2pm

The Jacksonian

By Beth Henley

Directed by Doug Hughes

Sunday, August 2 at 5pm


(All performances are free, no reservations are needed.)


The Trojan Women

By Euripides

Directed by Dennis Reid

July 10, 11, 12, July 13 at 6pm

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Anthony Luciano

July 17, 18, 19, 20 at 6pm

The Taming of the Shrew

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Brian McManamon

July 24, 25, 26, 27 at 6pm


Dances at an Exhibition

Directed and soundpainted by Mark Lindberg

July 9, 16, 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm


(Concert reading in the 325-seat Martel Theater, Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film.)

Hello! My Baby

Book and new lyrics by Cheri Steinkellner

New music and arrangements by Jeff Rizzo

Directed by Christa Kimlicko-Jones

August 1 at 5pm

Please note that all programs and artists are subject to change>.


Posted by Office of Communications Friday, June 19, 2009