ANCRAM OPERA HOUSE ANNOUNCES 2019 SEASON

Ancram Opera House (AOH), the award-winning theatre in southern Columbia County, today announced its 2019 summer season, which opens June 28 with the world premiere of Staged Dives: An Evening with Stew & Heidi by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, creators of the Tony, Drama Desk and Obie award-winning musical Passing Strange. The lineup continues withWelcome to the Jungle, a TimeOut NY Critic’s Pick by cabaret artist, playwright and actor Salty Brine; Obie award-winning The Tricky Part by Martin Moran; and The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Choir Boy, Moonlight). Also back will be AOH’s popular storytelling series, Real People Real Stories.

 “We’re excited for audiences to engage up close with this season’s theatre artists,” said AOH co-director Paul Ricciardi. “These artists are unquestionably at the top of their field, yet are rarely seen in our region.”

“The performances this season share a theme,” said AOH co-director Jeff Mousseau. “Each piece, in its own idiosyncratic way, contemplates how the past reverberates in the present.”

            Staged Dives: An Evening with Stew & Heidi (June 28 & 29, 8:30pm, tickets $35) is a musical world premiere devised for the Ancram Opera House that will move later this summer to Joe’s Pub at The Public (NYC). Creators Stew and Heidi Rodewald will sing intimate versions of the songs they wrote for their critically acclaimed musical Passing Strange, while telling never-before-heard stories about the wild and unlikely road they took from the dive bars of LA to the bright lights of Broadway.

            Welcome to the Jungle (July 6, 8:30pm, tickets $30), written and performed by award-winning New York-based actor, playwright and cabaret artist Salty Brine, is inspired by both the iconic album Nilsson Schmilsson and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Salty Brine, who has been called “the love child of Paul Lynde, Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, in a cabaret three-way,” is the creative force behind The Living Record Collection, a series of cabaret performances built around popular albums that deftly weave together major cultural touchstones from classic literature to opera and beyond.

            Obie award-winning The Tricky Part (July 12 & 13, 8pm; July 14, 3pm, tickets $35) is one of the most heralded solo plays in recent memory and tells a riveting, often funny and always surprising story of one man’s journey through the complexities of Catholicism, desire and human trespass. Written and performed by Martin Moran and directed by Seth Barrish.

Real People, Real Stories: Summer Edition (July 27, 8pm, $20) features storytelling by local residents and is a much-anticipated audience favorite. The stories, curated by AOH co-director Paul Ricciardi, can be hilarious, uplifting and – often — profoundly moving.

            The Brothers Size (Aug. 8-11,15-18, 22-25; Thurs, Fri., Sat.@ 8pm; Sun. @ 3pm; Tickets $30) is a tough and tender drama about the unbreakable bond between two brothers, one hardworking and steady, one just out of prison and aimless. It has been called “the greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more” (Chicago Tribune). Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney when he was a third-year student at Yale School of Drama (he is now chair of Yale’s playwriting program), the play is set in the Louisiana bayou and explores the tenuousness of freedom and the need to belong. McCraney’s play Choir Boy received an acclaimed 2019 Broadway production at the Manhattan Theatre Club. McCraney, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, co-wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Moonlight. Directed by Martine Green-Rogers.

The Ancram Opera House, located in southern Columbia County, is an intimate rural performance hall showcasing fresh, contemporary work by visionary theater and musical artists. For tickets and information visit www.ancramoperahouse.org.