Powerhouse Theater Training Company offers a series of free performances in July

Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Training Company season will kick-off on Thursday, July 7, and run through July 28. The 2016 season features diverse offerings, including a production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew as well as an original stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.

“It’s very exciting to have new work be part of the Training Company’s performance season this year,” says Ed Cheetham, producing director of the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway was adapted for the stage by longtime Powerhouse Training Company instructor Mark Lindberg, who is also a director.

Lindberg decided to adapt the classic novel “ be able to present a classic by a queer woman writer (though to be fair she never used that term herself), and because the piece deals with so many relevant issues, from class privilege to mental health to caring for veterans. I knew it would be a wildly challenging and rewarding piece to tackle with young actors.” Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway will be performed July 15-17.

The Taming of the Shrew will be directed by Andrew Willis-Woodward and will be performed July 22-24.  

“Shakespeare productions allow the Training Program participants to utilize the skills they're honing in the class room. Any piece of Shakespeare 'done right' requires deep textual analysis, healthy vocal manipulation and a keen sense of physicality, all of which are addressed in our core classes,” explains Michael Sheehan, director of education for the program.

Both productions will be performed at the new Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns in the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, rain or shine. The shows are scheduled to be performed outside, but the newly renovated facilities can also accommodate the productions should weather make that necessary.

Every Thursday in July, the Training Company will perform at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Soundpainting: This is All Very True is a series of ensemble, improvisational performances featuring music, dance, and acting utilizing Soundpainting, a live composing sign language created by composer Walter Thompson. These performances will happen July 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 6pm.

All Training Company performances are free and open to the public and are presented by the Powerhouse Theater Training Program participants—aspiring young actors, directors, and playwrights from around the country and world, who spend 5 weeks on campus learning from and working alongside some of the country’s leading and emerging theater practitioners. A full schedule of  Training Company performances can be found at along with information about the professional season.

New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors)  is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film. Since 1985 New York Stage and Film has played a significant role in the development 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 residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region  

Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Michael Sheehan, Producing Directors) 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 sciences, and combine to offer a curriculum of more than 1,000 courses.  Vassar College is sited in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at

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

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, June 20, 2016