New York Stage and Film and Vassar College have postponed the 2020 Powerhouse Theater Season to 2021 as a result of the ongoing global crisis. Each year, the Powerhouse Season runs in June and July and serves more than 400 professional artists, 50 student writers, directors and actors in the Training Program, 25 interns and 10,000 audience members. New York Stage and Film will continue to serve artists throughout the course of the full calendar year with workshops, readings and residencies, and to support artists at every stage of the life cycle of a project.
“New York Stage and Film and Vassar College have made the very difficult decision to pause the Powerhouse Season for this summer. Our collaboration has been a staple of the Hudson Valley for 35 years and will continue for many more after this unprecedented global crisis recedes. A large part of what makes the summer special is the intensive, residential community on the Vassar campus, and we cannot wait to return next summer,” said Artistic Director Chris Burney.
Powerhouse Producing Director Ed Cheetham said, "We know it was the right decision to make but it’s still heartbreaking that we won't be able to gather as a community this season, to celebrate the work of hundreds of artists whether they be established, emerging or just starting out.”
Vassar College President Elizabeth H. Bradley added, “Powerhouse is an annual tradition for many in the Hudson Valley community, and we will dearly miss welcoming them to the Vassar campus.”
“The Powerhouse Theater Training Program will also be postponed until the summer of 2021,” noted Powerhouse Producing Director and Education Director Michael Sheehan. “After receiving so many wonderfully creative and personal applications, it’s disheartening to know that 50 eager writers, directors and actors won’t be able to develop themselves as artists this summer at Powerhouse. But after channeling their energies elsewhere this year, we sincerely hope they’ll consider applying for the program in 2021.”
Burney continued, “I am saddened thinking of the over 20 new projects and hundreds of artists that won’t experience the rich and rigorous process of the summer season in the way that we’ve all come to know and value. But I have made a commitment to all that they can be part of the summer of ’21, and I have received countless enthusiastic responses from artists who can’t wait to return to Vassar. Until then, New York Stage and Film will continue to meet the needs of storytellers and to help them overcome obstacles wherever they are in their creative journey. I have been inspired by the creativity, flexibility, and hope of our community. And I have been energized by the new ways we are learning to support the artistic process.”
“New York Stage and Film’s work is year-round and having just completed a successful Winter Season in the city, I look forward to continuing our work with virtual initiatives and once we are able, being back together in rehearsal rooms and performance spaces and inviting the public to join us in our support of artists,” concluded Burney.
Variety calls New York Stage and Film “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” and The New York Times notes the Powerhouse Season is a “formidable breeding ground for new work.” Dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to Powerhouse and NYSAF, including the Tony Award winners Hamilton, Hadestown, Side Man and The Humans; Broadway productions such as American Idiot, Head Over Heels, Junk, Bright Star and Diana; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as Doubt, The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.