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Vermont's Summer Theater Companies Prep for the Season

State of the Arts


From "Law and Disorder," St. Mike’s Playhouse, 2012
  • From "Law and Disorder," St. Mike’s Playhouse, 2012

We’re conditioned to think of the performing-arts “season” as fall through spring, but summer is when many of the state’s stages come alive. (Indeed, some of them are unheated and don’t thaw out until June.) Professional thespians from urban areas flock to Vermont for summer-stock theater, while plenty of locals forgo hot-weather indolence for a chance to act out under bright lights.

The rest of us, meanwhile, just like to watch. Frothy musicals, Shakespearean drama, edgy contemporary fare — bring it all on. On a warm summer night, there’s nothing quite like a cool, darkened theater and the thrill of live performance. Or a picnic before the show in a rennovated barn.

What follows is a synopsis of Vermont theater productions scheduled for the next few months of which we’re currently aware. (Apologies to anyone we’ve missed.) Other shows will surely crop up, so keep an eye on the Seven Days events calendar.

Dorset Theatre Festival

WHERE: Dorset Playhouse

WHEN: June 19 to August 31

WORKS: The Scene; The Whipping Man; Barefoot in the Park; Clybourne Park (2011 Pulitzer Prize winner)

OF INTEREST: Television star (“Private Practice”) Tim Daly headlines The Scene; New Play Development Program presents three readings; family and children’s programming

INFO/TICKETS: 867-2223, dorsettheatrefestival.org

Lamoille County Players

WHERE: Hyde Park Opera House

WHEN: July 18-21, 25-28 (more shows in fall and winter)

WORK: Guys & Dolls

OF INTEREST: 61-year-old community theater; based in a historic opera house

INFO/TICKETS: 888-4507, lcplayers.com

Lost Nation Theater

WHERE: Montpelier City Hall Auditorium Arts Center

WHEN: June 6 to September 22 (and year-round)

WORKS: The Mystery of Irma Vep; The Cemetery Club; My Buddy Bill; Robert Frost: This Verse Business

OF INTEREST: In 25th year; named one of the best regional theater companies by NYC Drama League; theater camps for kids; production of Annie Jr. August 16 and 17

INFO/TICKETS: 229-0492, lostnationtheater.org

Middlebury Actors Workshop

WHERE: Town Hall Theater

WHEN: June 27 to 30 (one more in fall)

WORK: God of Carnage

OF INTEREST: Resident company; Carnage by Yasmina Reza was a 2009 Tony winner

INFO/TICKETS: 382-9222, middleburyactors.org

Middsummer Nights Theater Festival

WHERE: Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

WHEN: June 27 to July 28

WORKS: God of Carnage (Middlebury Actors Workshop); D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks (Sandglass Theater, Putney); Dirty Blonde (Pendragon Theatre, Saranac, N.Y.); The Fantasticks (the Skinner Barn)

OF INTEREST: Four area theater companies were invited to THT for three to five shows.

INFO/TICKETS: 382-9222, townhalltheater.org

Off Center/No Walls

WHERE: Off Center for the Dramatic Arts, Burlington

WHEN: June 6 to 8, 12 to 15

WORK: Waiting for Angels

OF INTEREST: An original work conceived by Stephen Goldberg, staged by Allan Nicholls; billed as “not a play, more like a happening”

INFO/TICKETS: brownpapertickets.com/event/385985, offcentervt.org

Phantom Theater

WHERE: Edgcomb Barn, Warren


WORKS: NA (website promises info coming soon)

OF INTEREST: 30-year-old company hosts theater, music and dance in historic barn-cum-theater; theater camps for kids

INFO/TICKETS: 496-5997, phantomtheater.info

Saint Michael’s Playhouse

WHERE: McCarthy Arts Center, Saint Michael’s College, Colchester

WHEN: June 18 to August 10

WORKS: Fiddler on the Roof; Tuesdays With Morrie; Rumors; Shout: the mod musical

OF INTEREST: Actors’ Equity theater; named one of the best regional theater companies in America by NYC Drama League; features Junior Theater Season: How I Became a Pirate (July 19 to 21) and Freckleface Strawberry (August 2 to 4)

INFO/TICKETS: 654-2281, academics.smcvt.edu/playhouse

The Skinner Barn/The Commons Group Theater

WHERE: Waitsfield

WHEN: August 1 to 18 (also July 25 to 28 in Middlebury; see Midsummer Nights Theater Festival)

WORK: The Fantasticks

OF INTEREST: Operated by former Broadway and TV performer Peter Boynton; historic-barn-turned-theater in pristine Mad River Valley setting; also cabaret series, musical camp for kids

INFO/TICKETS: 496-4422, theskinnerbarn.com

Stowe Theatre Guild

WHERE: Stowe

WHEN: June 19 to October 12

WORKS: Nine; Hair; The Drowsy Chaperone; The Pirates of Penzance

OF INTEREST: Volunteer community theater organization offering mostly musicals for nearly 60 years; adult tickets only for Hair

INFO/TICKETS: 253-3961 or tickets@stowetheatre.com; stowetheatre.com

Vermont Shakespeare Company

WHERE: Burlington and North Hero

WHEN: August 8 to 11, 16 to 18 (Oakledge Park); August 15 (Knight Point State Park)

WORK: The Winter’s Tale

OF INTEREST: Outdoor performances; workshop with founders John Nagle and Jena Necrason at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts: “Underneath the Mask” (August 13)

INFO/TICKETS: flynntix.org, vermontshakespeare.org

Vermont Stage Company

WHERE: FlynnSpace, Burlington

WHEN: June 11-16

WORK: The Bake Off: The 39 Steps

OF INTEREST: One play, three directors and three casts add up to VSC’s second annual dissection of directors’ methods. (In residence at the Flynn, VSC’s season is fall through spring; the Bake Off is its only summer production.)

INFO/TICKETS: flynntix.org, vtstage.org

Vermont Theatre Festival/Unadilla Theatre

WHERE: Marshfield

WHEN: June 27 to August 31

WORKS: Princess Ida; The Abduction From the Seraglio; The Merchant of Venice; Heartbreak House; Present Laughter; Juno and the Paycock; The Birthday Party; Don Juan in Hell

OF INTEREST: Two adjacent theater buildings run simultaneous series in rotation; charming rural setting — bring a picnic!

INFO/TICKETS: 456-8968 or unadilla@pshift.com, unadilla.org

Very Merry Theatre

WHERE: 333 Stage, Burlington

WHEN: May 22 to June 8 (and more year-round)

WORKS: The Hobbit; Seussical; 13

OF INTEREST: 16-year-old children’s theater company; 13 summer camps, with performances, for kids ages 7 to 19 at three venues; six are already full

INFO/TICKETS: 355-1461, verymerrytheatre.org

Weston Playhouse Theatre Company

WHERE: Weston Playhouse; Weston Rod and Gun Club (Otherstages series)

WHEN: June 20 to September 27

WORKS: Educating Rita; Next to Normal; 42nd Street; To Kill a Mockingbird; Otherstages: Loving Leo; This Blessed Plot; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

OF INTEREST: Vermont’s oldest professional theater company; damages from Tropical Storm Irene now repaired; student ambassador program; theater for young audiences

INFO/TICKETS: 824-5288, westonplayhouse.org