In celebration of a successful 2021 season and post-pandemic comeback to live theater, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) hosted a celebratory gala on October 10 to showcase the plans for its new, permanent home at The Garrison as well as to honor and recognize extraordinary actors Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson for their 20 plus years of performances under the HVSF theater tent. The evening also commemorated HVSF’s farewell season at Boscobel House and Gardens, where the festival had a 34-year tenure.

“HVSF has always been about people and place, and we will be doubling down on those two things in a permanent home,” said Davis McCallum, art director at HVSF. “This place and this community have been so important to us and it’s fitting that our honorees, Boscobel House and Gardens and Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson, share our deep relationship to this place and to the people that call it home.”

Honorees from left: Nance Williamson, Kurt Rhoads, and Jennifer Carlquist, Executive Director of Boscobel House and Gardens

The evening featured walking tours of the grounds at The Garrison, performances by Britney Simpson and the Alex Donner Orchestra, cocktails, dinner, and a live auction to benefit the nonprofit theater company. The auction raised just over $50,000. All event proceeds will directly support the organization’s onstage productions, digital programs, arts education programming and community engagement initiatives.

In bidding farewell to Boscobel House and Gardens, there was no shortage of gratitude and appreciation for the site’s generous tenancy of HVSF over the past 34 years. As the theater organization sets its sights on new aspirations in its move to The Garrison, the celebration of the success it found at Boscobel only heightens the excitement, as did the reveal of a 3-D model of the Festival’s new home at The Garrison. The model will tour through the community this fall.

“This project has the opportunity to define our community in the best possible way,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. “An extraordinary magic happens with Shakespeare when you combine the extraordinary works that are performed with this extraordinary place. And to build off that legacy – 500,000 people have come to HVSF shows in 35 years – and to look forward to the next 35 years, to an even more brilliant and spectacular setting for this company, is so exciting.”

Founded in 1987, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) is a critically acclaimed (The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal), professional, non-profit theater company. The festival has established a reputation for lucid, engaging, and highly inventive productions staged in rotating repertory under an iconic, open-air theater tent overlooking the Hudson River. In recent years, the festival has also ventured beyond the tent, touring its work to other venues throughout the Hudson Valley as part of its HVSF On the Road series, transferring productions to other theaters, engaging its community through radically participatory art-making, and reaching over 50,000 students and educators annually through its year-round education programs.

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