Susanna Gellert announces season of Weston Playhouse Theatre Co.

WESTON, Vt. – 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.

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 through July 13 at 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.

Independence Day weekend at Walker Farm brings the opening of “I and You,” July 4 through July 21, 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.

Come mid-summer, Weston Playhouse launches a fresh take on the inimitable masterpiece, “Oklahoma!” July 18 through Aug. 10 at the 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.

Next, spend an evening with one of country music’s biggest stars as Walker Farm presents “Always…Patsy Cline,” Aug. 1-25 at 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.”

Next at the Weston Playhouse is the famed and thought-provoking drama, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” by Edward Albee, Aug. 15 through Sept. 1. 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,” Sept. 26 through Oct. 20. 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.

The 2019 season of Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm also features the Weston Playhouse Theatre’s Young Company performing “The Phantom Tollbooth,” June 13-30, 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, Sept. 13-15 and 20-22 at 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.

Audiences are encouraged to enjoy preshow dinner at the theater’s popular restaurant on the lower level of the Playhouse. Subscription sales are now available online, and single ticket sales will be available online and by calling the Weston Box Office at 802-824-5288 beginning May 1. Gift certificates for the Weston 2019 season can be purchased online at www.westonplayhouse.org.

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