A new theatre, a successful season, and a bright future. Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is on a roll!
On September 23, 2017, Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm celebrated its Grand Opening. Located on a 5-acre farmstead north of the Weston Playhouse on Route 100/Main Street, the new facility complements the theatre company’s summer use of the historic flagship Weston Playhouse on the Weston Village Green. Over 650 enthusiastic well-wishers made their way to Weston for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and an afternoon of performances, outdoor music, and self-guided tours.
In June, the MainStage season opened with the Vermont premiere of the Tony award winning, Once, directed by Weston Associate Artistic Director Michael Berresse. The hugely successful production began each performance with a “don’t miss” experience where audience members joined the actors onstage for a non-alcoholic beer or birch beer, as the cast serenaded the audience with rousing Irish music. Following Once, the Weston Playhouse continued its season of award winners with the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, Lost in Yonkers. This Neil Simon classic was made even more memorable with the Weston stage debut of Tony winner Elizabeth Franz in the central role of Grandma Kurnitz. Next up on the MainStage was the great American musical The Music Man. The multi-talented cast was led by two names very familiar in Weston, David Bonanno and Marissa McGowan. The critically acclaimed Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Tony nominee Kathryn Meisle closed the season. Ethan McSweeny’s superb direction of Eugene O’Neill’s greatest work was the third of Weston’s American Masters offerings.
The Young Company launched Weston’s OtherStages season with the sassy Really Rosie!, directed by Weston Founding Director, Tim Fort. Two Vermont Premieres followed: Tenderly, featuring Weston favorites Susan Haefner and Samuel Lloyd Jr., and the outrageously fun, one-man tour-de-force, Buyer & Cellar.
Acting on its mission to offer education and outreach programs for students of all ages, the Weston Playhouse welcomed 12 middle and high school students into the summer-long TheatreLab program, 15 dedicated high school students in Broadway Theatre Camp, a 3 week musical theater intensive, and introduced the joy of live, professional theater to more than a dozen local high schools and home schools at the annual School Matinee Series. Weston 101, Weston’s online series of educational videos about each show in the season, has been viewed over 1500 times.
The 2017 season was capped by the first-ever production at the Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm, a ten show run of Joe Iconis and Family, a concert by the prominent New York based composer/performer and his most frequent collaborators. The final performances, to sold-out crowds, launched the state-of-the-art performance space, making a 10-year dream a reality.
Weston Playhouse Theatre Company Founding Directors Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort, and Steve Stettler, announced that the company’s 2018 season will be their last. The Founding Directors will remain in place for another year. The board will appointing a search committee and selecting a national search firm to find a new Artistic Director.
Weston plans to announce its 2018 MainStage offerings in late November.