Exit Stage Right | Theater | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Arts + Life » Theater

Exit Stage Right

State of the Arts


Phoenix Theater Group - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Phoenix Theater Group

The brand-new Phoenix Theater Group, scheduled to debut with Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo this week at the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts … isn’t. Founder/director/actor Mike DeSanto contacted Seven Days to say his troupe just isn’t ready. “There was no way we could finish our line-memorization work in time to present the level of professionalism we intended for the play,” he wrote in an email. “I overestimated my capacity to wear multiple hats and, as the producer, grossly underestimated the complexity of the Albee plays.”

DeSanto humbly blames himself, but, in fact, getting a new theater company off the ground is no small matter, especially when one guy has multiple roles both on and off stage. And another of the “hats” he didn’t mention is being co-owner of Phoenix Books in Essex. Never mind that DeSanto and his wife/co-owner Renee Reiner plan to open a second store in downtown Burlington in the spring. Whew.

The theater Phoenix will rise in the future, though; DeSanto says he plans to produce “interesting, challenging and homegrown theater projects … with the lesson learned that I cannot both act and produce.”

Theatergoers will be ready, and will appreciate thespians who are ready for them.