New Leader, Susanna Gellert, Makes Weston Directorial Debut

Cast and Crew, Featured, Plays and Events, Weston News |May 29, 2019

NEW EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SUSANNA GELLERT,  MAKES WESTON DIRECTORIAL DEBUT WITH “THE FANTASTICKS” 

New Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert makes her Weston directorial debut with the world’s longest-running musical, THE FANTASTICKS (June 20 – July 13 | Weston Playhouse), Tues – Sat 7:30pm; Wed & Sat 2:00pm; Sun 3:00pm. 

Gellert brings her successful history of delivering fresh perspectives and contemporary relevance to classic, well-known works (TAMBURLAINE, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, A WINTERS TALE) to her choice of THE FANTASTICKS as her first production at Weston. After premiering off-Broadway in 1960, THE FANTASTICKS continues to be the longest-running musical in history. Alive with characters and stories relevant to today’s audiences, Gellert and her design team are exploring the play’s timeless theatricality to create a production that considers the play as if it had been written in 2019. 

On directing the first Playhouse show in her inaugural season, Gellert says, “THE FANTASTICKS is a stunning collage of the sweetness of love and the pain of loss. It asks that we sit together in a space of shared imagination—the theater—and consider all the possibilities of love and friendship in our world today. I am thrilled to mark my directorial debut at Weston Playhouse Theatre with this musical masterpiece that feels as fresh and new today as it did when it first premiered.”

Prior to assuming her new role at Weston, Gellert was Associate Producer and Director of the Studio at New York’s acclaimed Theatre for a New Audience, producing award-winning productions of Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins‘s AN OCTOROON. Gellert teaches in the MFA Directing program at The New School and holds degrees from Yale University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago.

Gellert has assembled an inspiring and accomplished design team who will invite the audience to use their imagination to create a world of moonlight, magic, and memory. Scenic and Lighting Design is by 2019 Drama Desk nominee and Obie Award winner, Scott Zielinski (Broadway: OKLAHOMA!, Circle in the Square Theater; TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, Ambassador Theater). Costume Design is by Weston alum Grier Coleman (Off-Broadway: THE NATURALISTS, Pond Theater Company; ARCADIA, Yale Repertory Theatre; DISGRACED, Playmakers Repertory Company). Music Direction is by Yan Li (OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR, York Theatre; THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, Hartford Stage & McCarter; SIDE SHOW, Trinity Rep). Sound Design is by Lee Kinney (DADDY, New Group/Vineyard; THOM PAIN, Signature Theater; THE LIGHT YEARS, Playwrights Horizons). Choreography is by Weston alum Felicity Stiverson (WEST SIDE STORY and TENDERLY, Weston Playhouse; TURANDOT, New Orleans Opera; THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, Opera San Antonio). 

A charming and funny fable, THE FANTASTICKS tells the story of a boy, a girl, their two fathers, and the wall that keeps them apart. Reality collides with romance as the young couple falls in love, grows apart, and finds their way back to each other after the September rains.

THE FANTASTICKS plays at The Weston Playhouse (12 Park Street, Weston, VT)Adult tickets range from $45-69. Discounts available for students. Prices do not include taxes or fees. 

Following THE FANTASTICKS, experience an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness, I AND YOU; a fresh take on the inimitable masterpiece, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA!; an evening with one of country music’s most celebrated stars, ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE; the famed, thought-provoking drama, Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?; and Paula Vogel’s Tony-awardwinning play about a group of actors who risked everything for theatre, INDECENT. 

Subscriptions and single tickets are available online and by calling the Weston Box Office at 802-824-5288Gift certificates can be purchased online at westonplayhouse.org.  

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is a non-profit organization supported in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and an ever-growing family of individuals and organizations who believe in the impact that the performing arts makes on its community. 

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