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SUSANNA GELLERT ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL SEASON AS EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF WESTON PLAYHOUSE THEATRE COMPANY

WESTON, VT (February 22, 2019) – Susanna Gellert, the new Executive Artistic Director of Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, has unveiled her inaugural season at the helm of Vermont’s award-winning professional theater.

The 2019 season includes the world’s longest running musical, THE FANTASTICKS; an ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness, I AND YOU; a fresh take on the inimitable masterpiece, OKLAHOMA; an evening with one of country music’s most celebrated stars, ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE;Edward Albee’s famed, thought-provoking drama, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?; and Paula Vogel’s Tony-award winning play about a group of actors who risked everything for theater, INDECENT. In addition, the Weston Playhouse Theatre’s Young Company presents an adventurous tale based on the beloved children’s book, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH.

Opening Night of WEST SIDE STORY. Photo byHubert Schriebl
[Says Gellert], “I’m thrilled to announce our 2019 summer season, my first as Executive Artistic Director of Weston Playhouse Theatre Company. This is a season of great American classics and powerful contemporary writing from some of the country’s most exciting playwrights. It is full of the kind of smart, entertaining, and joyous work you have come to expect from Weston. It’s a season of laughter and joy, of intimate storytelling, of rousing music, and thrilling theatricality.”

The Playhouse season kicks off with THE FANTASTICKS (June 20 – July 13 | Weston Playhouse). The longest-running musical in history, The Fantasticks invites the audience to use their imagination to create a world of moonlight, magic, and memory. This charming and funny fable 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.

Andrea Prestinario and Caitlin Kinnunen in FUN HOME. Photo by Tim Fort

Independence Day weekend at Walker Farm brings the opening of I AND YOU (July 4 – July 21 | Walker Farm), a smart and inspiring story of youth, love, and connection written by America’s most produced playwright, Lauren Gunderson. Caroline has been ill and stuck inside her home for weeks, months, years, an eternity. One afternoon, her classmate Anthony arrives bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and an urgent assignment from their English teacher. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, a seemingly mundane poetry project unlocks the much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I and You is an ode to youth and the strange beauty of human connectedness.

Executive Artistic Director, Susanna Gellert, introducing the season.

Come mid-summer, Weston Playhouse launches a fresh take on the inimitable masterpiece, OKLAHOMA! (July 18 – August 10 | Weston Playhouse). On a beautiful morning in 1906 in Oklahoma Territory, a group of intrepid pioneers are setting out to forge a new community and young women and men are setting out to chart their futures. When Oklahoma! opened on Broadway 75 years ago it promptly revolutionized the American musical. Its stunning music, heartfelt storytelling, and richly poetic lyrics awakened audiences to a revelatory vision of America. This production celebrates Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, a musical written for America today.

Next, spend an evening with one of country music’s biggest stars as Walker Farm presents ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE (August 1 – August 25 | Walker Farm). When an unlikely encounter in a Texas honky-tonk lands Patsy Cline at her biggest fan’s kitchen table, the rising star finds a fast friend and a savvy business partner. Late night conversations between Patsy and Louise, a Southern housewife, create a bond that lasts a lifetime. Listen in and hum along as Patsy and Louise belt their way through hits such as “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Crazy,” and “Back in Baby’s Arms.”

Bernard Gilbert and Eboni Flowers as Sterling and Risa, from August Wilson’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

Next at the Weston Playhouse is the famed and thought-provoking drama, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? by Edward Albee (August 15 – September 1 | Weston Playhouse). It’s two o’clock in the morning when George and Martha return home from a college faculty party, but the night has only just begun. An evening of fun and games takes a dark turn as the line between reality and illusion blurs. As stirring and provocative today as it was when it premiered, this classic asks what we are willing to do to, and for, the people we love.

Wrapping up the season, Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm will present Paula Vogel’s Tony-award winning play about a group of actors who risked everything for theater, INDECENT (September 26 – October 20 | Walker Farm). This deeply moving work charts the true story of a group of artists who risked their lives to put on a Broadway play and were arrested on opening night. Indecent follows the writer, his play, and the people who fought to perform it against all odds. This Tony-award winner by the author of How I Learned to Drive and The Long Christmas Ride Home is Weston’s 5th American Masters production.

Opening Night of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. Photo byHubert Schriebl

The 2019 season of Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm also features the Weston Playhouse Theatre’s Young Company performing THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH (June 13 – June 30 | Walker Farm), an adventurous tale based on the beloved children’s novel. Protagonist Milo is completely, terribly, and persistently bored. Not even his favorite toys can capture his attention for more than a moment. All hope seems lost until a mysterious tollbooth appears in his bedroom. Suddenly, he is transported to the Land of Wisdom, where life is anything but boring.

In addition to announcing the seven shows from the summer season, Weston Playhouse is excited to present the NEW WORKS FESTIVAL (September 13 – 15 and 20 – 22 | Walker Farm), which nurtures up to four emerging artists through a residency in which they will develop a new theatrical work and be given a platform for a public viewing at the end of the residency.

Megumi Nakamuri as “Diana” and Grace Martini as “Anne” ~ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Hubert Schriebl

Audiences are encouraged to enjoy pre-show dinner at the theatre’s popular restaurant on the lower level of the Playhouse. Subscribers save 10% (not including alcohol or guests who are not subscribers) on pre-theatre meals. Through late August, audiences step out of the theatre and into the licensed lounge for, as Yankee magazine calls it, the “best spot for a nightcap”, while joining in on the wild fun of Weston’s legendaryCABARET, an hour-long music and comedy revue presented by Main Stage talent and Young Company actors.

Subscription sales will be available online starting in March 2019, and single ticket sales will be available online and by calling the Weston Box Office at 802-824-5288 beginning May 1st. Gift certificates for the Weston 2019 season can be purchased online at westonplayhouse.org.

Season subscriptions (3,4, and 5 shows) are available for $121.50 – $304.54 and offer incredible savings, exclusive benefits, restaurant discounts, and personalized customer service. Children and students save 50%, and a limited quantity of Vermonter tickets are available for $25 with a Vermont ID.

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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