Co-Directors Jeff Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi are proud to announce the 2023 spring/summer season at the Ancram Opera House in Ancram, NY.
“Through bold, inventive theater productions and vibrant community storytelling, we create opportunities for our rural region to connect through the performing arts,” Ricciardi said. “For our 2023 season, we are taking inspiration from our community’s bountiful farms by nurturing the creation and growth of new innovative performances being made by visionary artists.”
“This year, many of our presentations are more accessible than ever with tiered ticket pricing. When ordering, choose between student, sponsored, general, and pay-it-forward rates. For die-hard fans, our season pass means you catch all the action and save, too,” Mousseau explained.
Our beloved storytelling series, REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES returns on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30pm at the Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park in Hillsdale. Everyone has a story to tell. With each edition of Real People, local residents share their stories with the community. Tickets $25 general, $15 students.
CRYSTAL RADIO SESSIONS, curated by Ashley Mayne, showcases fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and personal essays by established and emerging writers from the Hudson Valley. This summer’s edition The Yellow, by Samantha Hunt, and Sugar Bath, by Harris Lahti, will be read by professional actors at the Hilltop Barn on July 15 at 7:30pm. Tickets $25 general, $15 students.
Our SUMMER PLAY LAB (SPL) returns for a fourth year. AOH’s annual residency to support the creation of bold new performance features public work-in-progress showings, free community workshops, and discussions.
On Sunday, May 14 at 4 pm AOH patrons will be the first to see You Don’t Know the Lonely
One, a work-in-progress created by David Cale, Dael Orlandersmith, and Matthew Dean Marsh and directed by Robert Falls. This non-narrative, multidisciplinary work draws influence from paintings and albums to create a collaborative portrait of aloneness in an ever-shifting world. You Don’t Know the Lonely One uses monologues, poems, stories and songs to explore what it means to be alone.
The second showing of the Play Lab series, scheduled for Sunday, July 9 at 4 pm, will feature work by a selected artist from our region, to be announced soon.
On Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 pm join songwriters and performers TODD ALMOND and KATE DOUGLAS for a special concert celebration of their new musical THE LUCKY FEW at the Circa 1799 Barn in Ancramdale.
In The Lucky Few it’s New Year’s Eve, 1959, an explosive moment in American history. The U.S. has entered the space race; Lenny Bruce appeared on NBC for the first time; Miles Davis began recording Kind of Blue; and somewhere in South Dakota, Jane is making music nobody has ever heard before. Tickets are available in four tiers: Pay-It-Forward $60, General $40, Sponsored $20, and Student $15
For two weekends in August AOH presents an all new edition of our outdoor theatrical triptych launched: THE PLEIN AIR PLAYS. Three site-specific new works will be presented as a roving performance with audiences traveling by car to each secret location to experience these self-contained plays in environments that enhance their stories.
For this special theatrical event, AOH is commissioning two new works: one written by Mukta Phatak, featuring ABUZZAR FARRUKH, seen as part of AOH’s Crystal Radio Sessions and award-winning INVASION! in 2022; and another by New York-based cabaret artist, writer, and actor SALTY BRINE. The event will also premier Summer, a new work by playwright and poet BARBARA WIECHMANN, previously at AOH as the author of Snow Queen in 2019.
The Plein Air Plays will be presented on August 10-13 and 17-20. Performances 5 & 6 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and at 4, 5 & 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.. Tickets are available in four tiers: Pay-It-Forward $60, General $40, Sponsored $20, and Student $15.
For tickets and more information on the 2023 Season visit www.ancramoperahouse.org. Don’t miss your chance to be among the first to experience a flourishing season of new work. Get your season pass or individual tickets now.
2023 SEASON AT-A-GLANCE
Summer Play Lab Showings
at AOH, 1330 County Route 7, Ancram 12502
You Don’t Know the Lonely One created by David Cale, Dael Orlandersmith, and Matthew Dean Marsh. Directed by Robert Falls.
Sun, May 14 at 4p
Local Artist(s) TBA
Sun, July 9 at 4p
Tickets: $20 general, $15 students
Real People Real Stories
Sat, June 24 at 7:30pm
at Hilltop Barn / Roeliff Jansen Park, 9140 NY State Route 22, Hillsdale 12529 Tickets: $25 general, $15 students.
Crystal Radio Sessions
The Yellow by Samantha HuntSugar Bath by Harris Lahti
Sat, July 15 at 7:30pm
at Hilltop Barn / Roeliff Jansen Park, 9140 NY State Route 22, Hillsdale 12529 Tickets: $25 general, $15 students
Todd Almond and Kate Douglas in Concert: The Lucky Few
Saturday, July 22 at 7:30pm
at Circa 1799 Barn, 105 Simons Road, Ancramdale 12503
Tickets: Pay-It-Forward $60, General $40, Sponsored $20, and Student $15
The Plein Air Plays 2.0
August 10-13 and 17-20
5 & 6 pm on Thursdays & Fridays
4, 5 & 6 pm on Saturdays & Sundays.
at locations TBA in Ancram, NY
Tickets: Pay-It-Forward $60, General $40, Sponsored $20, and Student $15
Jeffrey Mousseau is co-director of the Ancram Opera House and an award-winning director With AOH, he has directed Invasion! (Berkshire Theatre Awards, Outstanding Ensemble); An Iliad, which he re-staging at Shakespeare & Co. last June (Berkshire Theatre Awards, Outstanding Solo Performance); The Snow Queen; Aunt Leaf, subsequently presented in Aguascalientes, Mexico; Homebody (Berkshire Theatre Awards, Outstanding Solo Performance); We’re Gonna Die; and In Praise of Elephants. His directing credits include a residency at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His work has been seen at HERE in NYC; Olana, where he conceived and directed a site-specific new work; Hudson Opera House; and Stageworks/Hudson. As Artistic Director of the Elliot Norton and IRNE award-winning Coyote Theater in Boston, he directed many productions over the course of his ten-year tenure. Guest artist/lecturer: Brandeis University, Emerson College, The University at Albany, Siena College.
Paul Ricciardi is co-director of the Ancram Opera House and is the creator and Director of Ancram Opera House’s Real People Real Stories. He is an accomplished Voice and Text coach and is the resident Vocal Coach at Ancram Opera House, and has coached productions with local, regional and NYC theaters including WAM, Stageworks, America-in-Play, Playhouse Creatures, and countless university theater productions. Paul is a Designated Linklater Voice teacher and trained extensively with Kristin Linklater. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Martha Boshen Porter Artist Grant, the Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Award, and the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion. Paul is Professor of Theatre Arts at the City University of New York-Kingsborough Community College, and earned his MFA in Acting at Trinity Repertory Company.
Todd Almond is an acclaimed performer, songwriter, and playwright. His recent performance on Broadway in Girl from the North Country was called “stunning” by The Washington Post, and “roof-raising, uplifting, and invigorating” by Hollywood Reporter. His musical The Odyssey was hailed as “brash, funny and heart-stirring” by The New York Times. His theater piece Kansas City Choir Boy was called “awesome, slyly punk rock” by Rolling Stone. Todd Almond is known for his singular songwriting in addition to his work as an accomplished performer. He recently toured the U.S. in his original musical Kansas City Choir Boy starring alongside rock icon Courtney Love, and starred in three of his original musicals at the famed Delacorte Theater in Central Park (The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and The Odyssey). His musical Girlfriend – based on the Matthew Sweet album of the same title – is a perennial favorite for theater companies around the country, and he is currently collaborating with producer David Foster on a new, original musical. He has previously collaborated with Sarah Ruhl (Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical), Jenny Schwartz (Iowa), Laura Benanti (In Constant Search for the Right Kind of Attention), Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz (“Twohander”), Kelli O’Hara (“Live at Carnegie Hall”), and Andrew Rannells (“Live from Lincoln Center”). As a composer and orchestrator, Almond has written and arranged music for Noises Off! on Broadway, Iowa at Playwrights Horizons, Fucking A at Signature Theatre, and How to Transcend a Happy Marriage at Lincoln Center Theater, Kelli O’Hara Live at Carnegie Hall, and the recent film adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again. Other New York acting credits include Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl at Playwrights Horizons, People are Wrong at the Vineyard, Piece of Meat opposite Sherie Rene Scott, and Law and Order: SVU. Currently, Todd can also be seen starring in Gossip Girl on HBO Max. As a musical director, Almond tours with Laura Benanti and Judy Kuhn, and recently made his PBS debut with Andrew Rannells, Live From Lincoln Center.
Salty Brine is a New York-based cabaret artist, writer, and actor. He is the creative force behind The Living Record Collection, a series of cabaret performances which weave together iconic, popular albums with major cultural touchstones from classic literature to opera and beyond. Additional performance credits: The Elementary Spacetime Show (Are Nova, FringeArts); Clown Bar (Pipeline Theatre Company, The Box); Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge (Here). www.thesaltiestbrine.com
David Cale is the writer and performer of ten solo works, most recently his solo musical memoir We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, for which he wrote the book, lyrics, co-composed the music with Matthew Dean Marsh, and starred. The show premiered at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago, under the direction of Robert Falls, opened in NYC at The Public Theater and was the recipient of a NY Times Critic’s Pick, a 2020 Obie Award, 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2020 Lucille Lortel Award Nomination, 2020 Drama Desk Award Nomination, and David and Matthew received the 2019 Jeff Award for New Musical. David’s solo play Harry Clarke, starring Billy Crudup, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and transferred to the Minetta Lane Theatre in a production produced and recorded by Audible, receiving a NY Times Critic’s Pick and a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award. Earlier works for which he was both writer and performer include The History of Kisses, Palomino, A Likely Story, Lillian (Obie Award), Deep in a Dream of You (Bessie Award). He composed the songs for 600 Highwaymen’s Employee of the Year (Bessie Award nomination) and for his collaboration with Dael Orlandersmith, The Blue Album. He has written many songs with Matthew, some of which they performed at Ancram Opera House in 2018 under the title Songs for Charming Strangers. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous feature films, TV shows and plays, most recently off-Broadway at The New Group in Thomas Bradshaw’s adaptation of the Chekhov, The Seagull/Woodstock, NY opposite Nat Wolff. David’s latest solo play, Sandra, starring Marjan Neshat, with music by Matthew Dean Marsh, premiered at The Vineyard Theatre, NYC.
Kate Douglas is a writer, composer, performer, and gardener. Recent work includes The Apiary (2023 Second Stage New Voices Series, 2022 O’Neill Playwrights Conference),
Against Women & Music! with Grace McLean (The Civilians), and The Ninth Hour with Shayfer James (The Met Cloisters). Her work has been developed at the SPACE on Ryder Farm, New York Stage & Film, Millay Arts, Rhinebeck Musicals, and the New Musicals Lab at Ferguson Center, among others. She has been a finalist for Jonathan Larson Grant, the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, and the Jane Chambers Excellence in Feminist Playwriting Award. She is an alum of the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, GTG Speakers’ Corner Writers Group, The Orchard Project Greenhouse and BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshops. Most recently, Kate signed with Kobalt Music Publishing. Performance credits include Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (where she also held the title of Associate Artist), Third Rail’s The Grand Paradise, The Ninth Hour, and Kansas City Choir Boy starring Todd Almond and Courtney Love (Premiere & Tour). She is currently a Colt Coeur Resident Artist and is on faculty at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. This year, she will complete her certificate in Sustainable Garden Design with the New York Botanical Garden. For more, visit www.katedouglasprojects.com
Robert Falls most recently directed his own adaptation of The Cherry Orchard, and Rebecca Gilman’s Swing State at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre where he just stepped down as Artistic Director after 35 years of acclaimed leadership. He also directed The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp for the Live series—productions live-streamed from the Goodman’s Owen Theatre to audiences at home in real time. He recently directed David Cale and Matthew Dean Marsh’s We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Musical and was subsequently seen at the Public Theatre in NYC. Most recent Goodman credits include The Winters Tale, Pamplona and An Enemy of the People. Other notable productions include Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian, and with co-writer/director Seth Bockley, the stage adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s epic novel 2666. His many Broadway productions include Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Talk Radio, Shining City, The Rose Tattoo, Night of the Iguana, and the Pulitzer Prize winning The Young Man from Atlanta. His Broadway musical Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida continues to be performed around the world. His Goodman production of The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and the late Brian Dennehy was recently presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As Artistic Director of Goodman Theatre from 1986 to 2022, notable productions include The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Measure for Measure, King Lear Desire Under the Elms, Galileo, The Misanthrope, Pal Joey, and Arthur Miller’s final play, Finishing the Picture. His many honors for his work include a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day’s Journey into Night), an OBIE Award (suburbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear), and multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards. He has been recognized with the O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society), and the Sava Morozov Diamond Award ((Moscow Art Theatre) for his contributions to Stanislavsky performance and study, He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015.
Abuzzar Farrukh is an actor, born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. This is Abuzar’s third project with Ancram Opera House, having performed in Invasion! and the Crystal Radio Sessions in 2022 . Select credits: Disgraced (Chester Theatre Company), The Night Diary (Children’s Theatre Of Charlotte), Refugee (Joakim Interfest, Serbia), Mitigating Damages (Castillo Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Brown Box Theatre Project). He holds a BA in Theatre from UMass Amherst, where he was the recipient of the Ed Golden Acting Award.
Matthew Dean Marsh is a composer, performer, and writer based in New York City. Marsh’s collaboration with David Cale, We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time, made its debut at The Goodman and Public Theaters, winning Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best New Musical. He also worked as an associate musical director on Broadway’s Beetlejuice while it was in development. He has collaborated with and/or accompanied artists such as Todd Almond, Sandra Bernhard, Ato Blankson-Wood, Salty Brine, David Cale, Billy Crudup, Kate Douglas, Ana Gasteyer, Ryan Haddad, Joseph Keckler, Jo Lampert, Nio Levon, Carol Lipnik, Barrie Lobo McLain, Taylor Mac, Erin Markey, Grace McLean, Michael Musto, Denis O’Hare, Ronald Peet, Rachel Pegram, Sherie Rene Scott, Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez, Shaina Taub, Chloe Temtchine, Kuhoo Verma, and Sylver Wallace. Marsh has traveled the world as a vocalist, composer, and musician. His compositions have sounded at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, MassMOCA, The Goodman Theater in Chicago, and the White House in Washington DC. His film score for Linda Mill’s short documentary Better to Live premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Matthew has been lucky to perform at Ancram Opera House since its inception. He was a member of their Summer Play Lab in 2021 with Emergence Collective, where they conceived Perennials.
Dael Orlandersmith’s plays include Stoop Stories, Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men, Horsedreams, Bones, The Blue Album, Yellowman, The Gimmick, Monster, and Forever. Ms. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Yellowman and the winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick. Dael is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim, along with several other awards and honors. Her play, Forever, was commissioned and performed at the Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theatre Fall of 2014, followed by performances at the Long Wharf Theatre Winter 2014/15, New York Theatre Workshop Spring 2015, and ran at Portland Center Stage Winter 2016. Her play Until the Flood was done at St. Louis Repertory fall of 2016. She is currently working on two commissions for Artists Repertory Theatre In Portland and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Until the Flood was done at Rattlestick Theatre in 2018 and Milwaukee rep in 2019. It was done at Portland center stage / ACT Seattle/ the Arcola Theatre in London/ The Galway Arts festival at the Druid Theatre and at the Traverse at Edinburgh Festival…the play was performed in Berlin at the Schaubuhne Theatre in April of 2022 and at the Spoleto festival in Charleston SC in June 2022. Ms. Orlandersmith is working on a Commission for Rattlestick Theatre called Watching the Watcher, and had two plays opening at Milwaukee repertory Theatre in 2022 – New Age directed by Jade King Carroll and Antonio’s Song/ I Was Dreaming of a Son directed by Mark Clements, which will open at the Goodman Theatre Spring 2023. Ms. Orlandersmith’s new play Spiritus/Virgil’s Dance commissioned by Merrimack theater in Massachusetts will be done at CATF Theatre in West Virginia summer 2023 and Rattlestick and Merrimack Theaters 2024.
Mukta Phatak is a multi-hyphenate artist living in NYC. She graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Theatre. Her play adaptation of the Newbery Award winning book The Night Diary was commissioned by the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and premiered there in March of 2023. It centers two children during the Partition of 1947 – a violent historic act that split Colonial India into Pakistan and India – displacing around 20 million people and killing several million. A proud member of Actors Equity Association, she has worked on several projects as an actor – from fringe devised plays, to indie plays, to large scale musicals, to TYA shows. She has taught playwriting and theater to youth writers through her work with TWUSA, Colt Coeur and the Bushwick Starr. She also teaches early childhood music through Mind Body Music NYC. Her poetry has appeared in collaborations via film, dance, music and social media. A proud daughter of Indian immigrants, her intersectional identities are at the core of her artistry. In her writing, acting and everyday life she works to elevate the unheard stories of her ancestors, as well as make space for others to do the same. Through her projects she strives to be a force for justice, learning, and play.
Barbara Wiechmann’s work has been produced in New York City at P.S. 122, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, BACA Downtown, HERE, the Ohio Theatre, The Samuel Beckett Theatre, at the Edinburgh, Seattle, Toronto, and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals, and at colleges and universities around the country. A long- time collaborator with Jeff Mousseau, their productions of Aunt Leaf, were seen at HERE, Hudson Stage Works (co- produced with AOH) as a one woman show at AOH featuring the Mexican theatre Artist Indira Pensado, and in both Spanish and English in a co- production with Plan B Estudio Teatro in Torreon, Mexico. The Snow Queen developed with and directed by Jeff was workshopped at the Kennedy Center, HERE Arts Center, and Sienna College and produced by the Ancram Opera House in 2019. Her plays Feeding the Moonfish and 36 Rumson Road are included in Telling Tales, and Shorter, Faster Funnier two anthologies of short plays by Viking Penguin. Aunt Leaf and Feeding the Moonfish are published by Dramatic Publishing. Her work is also represented in New Monologues for Women by Women, an anthology published by Heineman Press. A two time New York State Council on the Arts grant recipient and a Jane Chambers award finalist she is also the creator of the television sitcom Naturally Sadie, a show for kids about a girl naturalist that aired on the Disney Channel for three seasons. She is a Hamilton College graduate.
The 2023 season at the Ancram Opera House is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
ABOUT THE ANCRAM OPERA HOUSE
The Ancram Opera House in southern Columbia County, NY, is an intimate showcase for fresh, contemporary work by visionary theater and musical artists where audiences can connect with performers in immersive, immediate ways.
The Opera House was erected in 1927 as Ancram Grange #955, a chapter of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, to address the social, educational and economic concerns of the region’s farmers. In 1972, the building was repurposed and renamed the Ancram Opera House as an arts venue focusing on light operatic fare.
Today, Ancram Opera House rededicates itself to aspects of its origins, producing and presenting inventive contemporary theatrical performances to be shared by a rural community.
For more information visit www.ancramoperahouse.org.