Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - The Vassar & New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Company performance season kicks off on Thursday, July 10 and will run through Monday, July 21. The ambitious season will include productions of Figures, a devised performance created for and performed in the Vassar campus's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center through the use of the live composing sign language called "soundpainting." A workshop performance of resident Ugandan playwright Margaret Namulyanga's Privileged Life of Cats will also perform at the Art Center, followed by panel discussions on LGBTQ community both locally in Hudson Valley, and in central Uganda.
Apprentice Company productions of the plays The Seagull and A Midsummer Night's Dream will take place at the Vassar Farm & Ecological Preserve, across the street from the main Vassar campus at the intersection of Raymond Avenue (state highway 376) and Hooker Avenue (in case of rain, performances will be held in the Skinner Hall of Music). All Apprentice Company performances are free and open to the public, without reservations (full performance calendar follows below). For more information contact the Powerhouse Theater administrative offices at email@example.com or call 845.437.5907. For information about the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.
About the Powerhouse Theater Program
Now in its 30th season, the Powerhouse Theater Program is a unique collaboration between Vassar, a prestigious liberal arts college, and New York Stage and Film, an established professional theater company. Powerhouse is nationally renowned for its dedication to new theater works, through support for both emerging and established artists.
Alongside Powerhouse's professional productions, the program also provides a five-week apprentice training program for high school and college students. Young theater artists choose to study acting, playwriting, or directing, and together they form the Powerhouse Apprentice Company. All acting apprentices are cast in two of the four productions of adapted and abridged texts, which are attended by the public. The 2014 season includes The Seagull directed Tomi Tsunoda; A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Tracy Bersley; Privileged Life of Cats, directed by Emily Mendelsohn, and Figures conceived by director Mark Lindberg and devised by members of the Apprentice Company.
Complementing their training, the apprentices also gain invaluable experience within the framework of the larger Powerhouse Theater summer community on campus. Through Vassar's collaboration with New York Stage and Film, apprentices have the opportunity to work in various capacities alongside some of the country's leading theater talents. In past years this has included such well-known and emerging theater artists as John Patrick Shanley, Duncan Sheik, Sarah Ruhl, Tomi Tsunoda, Erik Ehn, Deborah Asiimwe, Davis McCallum, and Emily Mendelsohn.
2014 Apprentice Company Performance Schedule
Thursdays July 10, 17, 24 at 6pm
Directed by Mark Lindberg
FIGURES utilizes movement, music, poetry, and improvisation to examine the human body as instrument and artwork. "Part of Late Night at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center", FIGURES runs alongside the exhibition "Faces and Figures in Self-Taught Art."
Friday, Sunday, Monday at 7pm
Saturday at 6pm
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Tomi Tsunoda
Friday, Sunday, Monday at 7pm
Saturday at 6pm
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Tracy Bersley
Sunday at 3pm
Monday at 8pm
PRIVILEGED LIFE OF CATS
By Margaret Namulyanga
Directed by Emily Mendelsohn
In the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
A workshop of Namulyanga's new play that follows a lesbian couple in Uganda after they are outed in a local tabloid. In addition to the play there will be a special conversation about local and global LGBT identity and the particular context influencing the recent anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda
About Powerhouse Theater
Celebrating 30 years this summer, Powerhouse Theater is a collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film. The Powerhouse program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 250 professional artists and 50 apprentices in the Powerhouse training program live and work together to create new theater works. Recent highlights at Powerhouse include The Hamilton Mixtape, the latest work from In the Heights Tony® Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda; Bright Star, an original musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; and The Fortress of Solitude, a musical adaptation of the best-selling novel by Jonathan Lethem. Many shows from past seasons have found their way to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and theaters nationwide, including Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theater); Seminar by Theresa Rebeck (Golden Theater); Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash's Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theater Club); Pulitzer finalist Nathan Englander's The Twenty-Seventh Man (The Public Theater); and Storefront Church, John Patrick Shanley's final installment of his "Church and State" trilogy that began with Doubt (Atlantic Theater Company). Other projects developed at the Powerhouse include the Tony Award-winning Side Man and Tru; the multi-award-winning Doubt; the groundbreaking Broadway musical American Idiot, and A Steady Rain, produced on Broadway in 2009 with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.
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 www.newyorkstageandfilm.org.
Vassar College (Ed Cheetham, Producing Director) 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. www.vassar.edu
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 (http://www.vassar.edu).