Gig&Tell: Allenberry Playhouse

  • Safety Last?    
    11/24/2015  10:52pm

    Walked into this place mid season as their sound engineer and master electrician. I had told them during the interview that I only wanted to be their sound engineer because i knew nothing about lighting besides plugging it in and turning it on and i told them that. But anyways I get their and there are cables going from everywhere to everywhere that didnt do anything, really messy. Most of the lighting cables and fixtures themselves have no ground on them.

    When i brought that up to the lighting designer he said "it didn't matter that the lights were not ground but as long as the dimmer rack was grounded" Well when a light next to the one i was working on sparks at me then clearly it should be grounded. speaking of the dimmer rack, when i first got there it was sitting on a bucket... Even though i told them i knew nothing about lighting they would throw these things about lighting that i knew nothing about and i would tell them i didnt know how to do it because ive never done it before in my life and they would seem to get upset with me...

    two weeks after being there guess what? OSHA was called, and no i didnt call, one of the interns did who had heard my complaints. I had to fix all their crap that should of been fixed way before i got there. I tried replacing the ends of cables without ground but they wouldnt let me buy anymore plugs so clearly they didnt care about safety. BTW the things OSHA reported on were still not fixed because they wouldn't get the parts

    The company manager thought that if things didn't happen or didn't break etc last year that it shouldn't happen this year and she would say that about everything, well of course they had shitty microphones that cost about $200 per package unit (receiver, transmitter, lav) that being said is nothing for a mic. You should be spending $600, $500 at the least for good quality mics. But she thought they were breaking to quickly then they did last year and i was babying them. made sure they were safe. over time some companies make things for cheaper so you have to keep buying them but her logic was that just because it didnt happen last year it shouldnt happen this year...

    On another note they had me doing pyro which im not %100 sure but i think im supposed to be registered to be a pyro guy and im not so i think it might be illegal.

    On a positive note this place did have a decent sound system despite the shitty microphones. They had a 3 delay system and took the speakers closer to me before i got there and moved them way up front. The theatre is really long and my position was all the way in the back. I moved them back closer to me so i could hear what others hear up front but they were like "no one sits back here, you dont need the speakers here" but my position was back there! I need to hear back there! They didnt give a shit about sound so thats why i was pulling double duty. I felt master electrican took away from being the sound engineer.

    Anyways this place sucks for an engineer if you want to be one or the other because youve got to be both.

    Oh and they totally changed a script of MTIs Aladdin and added current pop music to it which im pretty sure they got no rights to do either way. Also altered another script a little bit and almost got sued by MTI! What fun!

    11/24/2015  10:54pm

    the artistic director was extremely rude to our TD when the TD worked his ass off and did amazing work but anything the artistic director found wrong he was acted terrribly towards the td

    11/24/2015  11:06pm
  • A message from Ryan Gibbs 01/08/2015 01/08/2015  2:42pm

    Hi Friends:

    My name is Ryan Gibbs, I am the new Artistic Director at Allenberry. We have just completed our first season with our new team here at the playhouse

    I am not on here very often. I of course read all of these devastating posts last year when I took over. But really haven't been back since.

    I am an only reaching out now, as we are getting close to auditions. I really feel we had a solid year. I think we have solved many of the issues here, and will continue to work through what we still need to.

    We have an entire new team. In terms of administration, we started with an entirely new team. We have Allenberry's returning Producer from many years ago (before things went off the rails). The operation is more focused under his leadership.

    I feel we had a great first season, with solid productions, great creatives and many happy actors and staff. If our season seems like a fit for you please consider auditioning or applying for a technical or production position. We are not the organization anymore that is described in these threads, Our pay is in line with our contemporaries, our process is still a lot of work, but worthwhile work. Our housing and facilities could use updates for sure- but are certainly manageable. Our hearts are in it and our companies are a priority.

    I try and be forward and honest. Please consider joining our team. I will not be back on here, this is a forum for you to speak your minds. Not for Directors to troll about on. But if you have questions, I can be reached at allenberry2014@gmail.com

    Many thanks and see you at auditions. We will be in NYC and NETC and possibly Straw Hats. And certainly locally. Hiring staff in the next month and casting in late Feb/Early March and interns following that.

    I wanted to reply, but I didn't want to bump Ryan's post down. Last spring I performed the role of Sheree in "The Dixie Swim Club". It was an amazing experience. I worked with 4 of the best ladies in the world and the absolute best SM ever. Ryan was awesome and the show was fantastic. I am from NY so the small town vibe was a bit much at first, but once rehearsal was over we started going on field trips, and let me tell you, those Amish ladies know how to make some pickles. The theatre itself was good. Yes you will have to share a dressing room with several ladies, but where will you not do that? I had great house mates and the Heinze family are very giving and kind. I would definitely work there agian.

    02/18/2015  1:49pm

    Does Allenberry offer a travel stipend if you're sort of local (like an hour away) and are EMC points available?

    02/19/2015  10:07am
  • Great Experience    
    02/18/2015  1:59pm

    My name is Shannon Haddock. I don't want to be anonymous. Last spring I performed the role of Sheree in "The Dixie Swim Club". It was an amazing experience. I worked with 4 of the best ladies in the world and the absolute best SM ever. the director Ryan Gibbs was awesome and the show was fantastic. I am from NY so the small town vibe was a bit much at first, but once rehearsal was over we started going on field trips, and let me tell you, those Amish ladies know how to make some pickles. They got a new company car, so while I enjoyed walking being able to drive was good to. The theatre itself was good. Yes you will have to share a dressing room with several ladies, but where will you not do that? They replaced all of the toilets while I was there. so that was good. I stayed on the gorgeous property and I had great house mates. All of the members of the Heinze family were super nice. Charles is the hardest worker around and Jane made the hell out of some gluten free pancakes. I would definitely work there agian.

  • A Worthy Re-birth    
    04/25/2014  2:20pm

    I worked there a few seasons ago and yes, it was a bit of a cluster-flock. I was invited back for this season and am very glad to have accepted four roles. The new Artistic Director and staff are tackling -- and solving! -- the problems, and there is a good spirit in the air. We actors are being treated well, and we're doing good work. Nothing is perfect, and there is always room for improvement, but Allenberry is moving in a good direction and I have confidence in where management is going. Here's a hint to those who have worked at the 'Berry before: NEW TOILETS IN THE DRESSING ROOMS. Veterans will recognize the significance.

    If the resort and playhouse are still owned by the Heinze's, nothing will change. This is where this theatre and resort fails consistently.

    09/07/2014  2:13pm
  • Employees know how to post too    
    11/07/2013  3:07pm


    The post above is clearly written by a member of this artistic management staff, and if its not then the whole group must have done a total 180 since my time there. The management staff spent more time blaming others for problems that they either caused or were apart of and were more concerned about being know as the people who would turn Allenberry into a great theater than actually making it a great theater. The artistic management felt they were invincible and they caused just as many problems and broke just as many rules as the actors and technicians, and if they were called out on it they would end the meeting or conversation instantly instead of accepting the criticism and doing something about it. For example all of the interns were gathered together by the production stage manager to be yelled at for spreading rumors, during the meeting it was brought up that all the rumors that were being spread were either learned or started with a department head INCLUDING the artistic director! Yet no meeting was held with the department heads and the entire intern company was forced to take the blame.
    Let’s start with the so called managing directors (more likes actors with a part time job in the office). Melissa was quoted as being an “unbiased eye and would tactfully address issues”. Let me tell you about when Melissa tactfully endangered the life of an intern TWICE because she did not like the girl. The first time refusing to take the girl to the hospital when she had something wrong with her leg(which later turned out to be MRSA google it, it’s a very severe infection) and made the girl drive herself(even though one of the other interns offered to take her)to the hospital instead, did I also mention that this was the interns’ first day on the job and had only arrive at 5 pm the previous day. Then later in the season when the same intern got a concussion during work was not allowed to go to the hospital during work hours but had to wait till her own dinner break to go and again was forced to drive herself, something that the doctor himself found very disgusting. All of this is a result of Melissa’s hatred for a girl she had barely known. No matter your personal feelings if someone is hurt as a professional and as a good human being you make sure someone is ok. Melissa was also known to be the managing director with the worst attitude problem and the one that NO ONE wanted to go with if they had an issue. She was overly sensitive and would take every bit of feedback as a personal attack. For example there was a time when the intern housing was losing hot water because the heater was constantly turning off and we were forced to reset it but it took nearly a half hour to get the water back to warm temperature. In addition the front door had lost its knob. All of these things were reported to the house parents numerous times, at the beginning of the season we were told to report everything to the house parents and not the managing directors as they were too busy, a fair enough request. However when two weeks had past and nothing had been done the interns decided to call attention to it in the next house meeting and even met before so that all of our concerns would be addressed through one person as opposed to multiple people with the potential for yelling to occur. When we brought up the issues she immediately shot them down and said that none of the interns had brought the concerns up to her directly and so she was feeling attacked, which is a direct contradiction to what we were told earlier. If the breakdown in communication was with the house parents then that’s where the blame should have been but when we responded with we told the house parents the meeting was almost instantly stopped and we were told to move onto the next subject. This proves the amount of cover ups and lies that they all use. Melissa would not have been able to miss the doorknob not being there as she does weekly housing inspections (looking for reasons to get certain members of the intern staff in trouble). However she stated that when she did her housing inspections she came in and went out the back door which was an outright lie because I was home once during a housing inspection and watched her go straight from the back door to the front and only stopping to look into people’s rooms. This is only a few of the things that Melissa is personally responsible for, so saying that she is tactful and unbiased is a bit far from the truth. Andrew the other managing director who wasn’t as bad as Melissa but would often be influenced by her. It wasn’t until he was production manager when he actively tried to get rid of the very talented resident sound designer because he was afraid that he knew more than him. And it was clearly obvious from a later evening that the artistic director was being forced and manipulated by all of them to get rid of the sound designer.
    Both however had the problem of being cast in shows while at the playhouse and spent more time in rehearsal and performances and so when someone needed something, they either needed to wait or find an alternate solution to their problems even if they were serious issues that needed to be dealt with right then. They also as actors were very difficult to deal with and sometimes would quickly try and pull the managing director card, they also were rude to service staff members and had almost got several staff members banned from parts of the resort as a result of their behavior.
    The above post states that the production stage manager is overworked and is poorly treated. Maybe this is a result of abuse of power on her part. Though Kate is good at her job she has gotten to comfortable in the position and had made herself so invaluable to Roque the artistic director that he really has no choice but to do what she tells him to. Kate has over the course of the last two seasons have had multiple assistants and peers to help her with both stage management and company management. Most of which had quit because of all the work that is put on them while she and Roque go off on vacation or she is out shopping for him and many others that were driven to tears by her treatment. She is better suited to be his personal assistant than the production stage manager of the playhouse. And be sure not to be an ex-girlfriend of Roque and working on a show she is stage managing or you will be treated like absolute shit. She will find any and every reason to get you in trouble or ignore any of your concerns about safety issues on the stage. For example during a production of Chicago the actress constantly asked for the stage to be treated so it would not be slippery and Kate out right refused and even told her assistants to lie to the actors and tell them it was treated. But later in the season when someone else brought up the same problem she was very quick to find an easy solution to the problem. Kate also was known to hold a grudge against employees who may have crossed her and of course used her position to get back at them. Another example was during a show the sound equipment was failing due to it being faulty and so the Artistic director asked to double mic the actors and he was told that it was impossible as there was not enough mics to go around to double mic everyone. Kate use this opportunity to write up the sound designer for not doing the note, a note that was IMPOSSIBLE to do. All of this animosity with the sound designer stemmed from personal feelings that she had for him which he did not return so she declared all out war on him, and the artistic director turned a blind eye to it. Kate was also known among the service staff in the resort as being hard to work with. She would be mean and crass with them and was often unwilling to compromise with them when we as a whole had to work closely with the staff. Kate has also been known to thrown things at other staff members when she becomes angry at them and calls them stupid or other hurtful names that came to her mind. This to is personally insulting and should result in immediately dismissal but these issues were dropped and she was never disciplined for these actions. When you treat people poorly don’t expect to be treated any better.
    Roque was a good artistic director when he was not being manipulated and isolated by the other three. He does seem to care a little bit more for about being known as a great artistic director than doing what is right but I think his intentions have always been good, but like I said before easily manipulated by the other artistic management staff.
    Over all if they have changed great, but no one should deny what they have done and how they have acted. Be sure to ask the right questions and get everything in writing so you can present it to them if they breach contract.

    Thank you for finally bringing all of this to light. This place has gone from bad to worse and it still hasn't recovered.

    11/07/2013  5:55pm

    Thank you. I have been waiting for someone to say all of these things because I myself witnessed every one of the things that was written.

    That place is a mess.

    11/18/2013  9:48pm

    I can't agree more!! All season I watched one young woman in the cast be treated horribly by Kate. She was overly critical, gave her ridiculous notes during the run and would ignore any safety or other concerns she had. Even the stage management interns were shocked that Kate, without reason, seemed to be purposefully vengeful, critical and hateful towards this girl in meetings with the artistic staff going as far as making fun of her during the show via the headset. in the end she got the girl fired. Roque and Kate would cancel rehearsal because of personal trips then blame the actors for being unprepared. Roque also spent countless nights at the bar while the actors had been promised he would get the contracts out for the following two shows. He promosed to get the contracts out in april or early may and they went out in the middle of June. Most of the cast spent weeks stressed out about if they would have a job for the rest of the summer. Roque and Kate seem to pour all their energy in to the crappy childrens camp they put on... leaving the main stage shows to fall apart because they prefer to be worshiped by children who dont know that they are a terrible director and sm than actually put in work with the professional actors they've hired. The only person of the artistic staff who seemed to care about the actors was Chanda the deck chief who thankfully left for a much better position elsewhere. The choreographer was insanely over worked and Kate would change the day of the numbers she was choreographing so she had to go into rehearsal unprepaired. They promised to provide meals but often it would be terrible left over food from the buffet from days before. The guest director and music director gave almost ZERO notes during the rehearsal process. The housing was terrible and some actors were living up to two miles away from the theatre without a car. The place was crap and because of the farms it smelled like it at least a few days a week. Do not work here. Run. The one thing I will say is that they somehow inexplicably hire extremely talented actors and actresses..... and then treat them like garbage.

    11/22/2013  5:35am

    Thank you for posting this! I had witnessed a lot of these things an I forgot to mention them in my own review of the theatre. I thought that Kate and Melissa's treatment of actresses especially were terrible. They didn't come at me (because I'm a grown ass woman and I would've cursed them out), but I witnessed their mistreatment of the apprentices. All because Kate was desperately in love with Roque and she clearly felt threatened by some of the other girls. I worked there almost two years ago and from what I've heard it's only gotten worse.

    12/24/2013  5:03pm

    I worked at Allenberry for many shows in the past year. I agree that they somehow hire incredibly talented actors, but the treatment of them from Roque and Kate at times was often unbearable. They were always kind (to me at least), but they didn't get their jobs done.

    Half of the Hairspray cast was not even lined up by the first rehearsal! They are picky with the actors they hire, and that is redeeming, but the lack of preparedness and responsibility in not "finding good enough people" in time is very frustrating. I truly felt unprepared going into opening performances. The outside directors/choreographers they hire are excellent, especially Dann Dunn. But anytime Roque directed a show, I felt we barely got anything done at rehearsals.

    Pros of working at Allenberry are that your housing and food are covered. If you're housed in the White House... run. But the other housing facilities are not horrible. Just beware of the bed bugs in one of the Green House beds. The buffet food is pretty good, and you get unlimited food there which is awesome. But when a show is not happening and there is no buffet, you're usually eating crappy leftovers (if they remember to put it out for you). When they do forget to put the food out, Kate and Roque always fixed it for us though. Allenberry also has a bar where the workers get half off drinks and food, which is the saving grace of the place. You can also use the pool. I would hardly call the place a "resort" though.

    **Also, I have been informed that Roque and Kate were both fired. So the place will be getting a new Artistic Director and Stage Manager for their 2014 season. Considering most of our problems were with these two (Melissa and Andrew are already gone), hopefully conditions at the theater will improve. I sure hope so.

    01/01/2014  6:43pm

    Thank you so so much. I feel like all of this has been waiting to come out for so long. Allenberry was a hell hole run by a lust addicted man and his 3 able bodied assholes. (AHEM, ROQUE, KATE, MELISSA, ANDREW) I'm so glad to be out of there.

    01/06/2014  7:55pm

    The rumors are true, Melissa and Andrew were both fired back in the summer and Roque and Kate this past winter. The new artistic director is Ryan Gibbs, who is a great guy and will hopefully repair all the damage done by those four and people will actually want to work there. Also on the audition post on playbill it listed a new producer so hopefully that's true too so maybe the bad business decisions will stop.

    Lets hope things get better!

    01/28/2014  7:37pm
  • Woof.    
    11/18/2013  8:54pm

    I saw Chicago here. It was one of the worst shows I've ever seen. Underage girls in lingerie made me feel creepy for sitting there. It's a long, dusty, dank space in an old, dilapidated building on the campus of a Catskills-style vacation resort that looks like it hasn't been dusted in 20 years. Run.

  • On the way up 03/28/2012  5:56pm

    I did a few shows at Allenberry last year. A brief history: Allenberry used to be a big name Equity regional house. The artistic director a few years ago destroyed their reputation in the area and their relationship with Equity. They went through a few rough years as a nonunion house under his direction. Last year Roque Belanga was hired as the new Artistic Director.

    Under Roque's direction, the quality of the productions and life at Allenberry is steadily climbing. Each show I did there was better than the last, and he is bringing in quality designers to work on the shows. The theater itself is out of date, but the team there knows how to make the most of the space and are making improvements to the facility with each production. The stage manager was AMAZING and the casts were all very talented and fun.

    The housing is pretty good, if a little crowded sometimes, but they take good care of you and there are a lot of meals included. The people who run the resort are crazy, but you don't have to deal with their crazy and they're super nice to the actors.

    Overall, if you want to work someplace shiny and fancy and technically impressive, go somewhere else. But if you want to work someplace where what you do is appreciated and noticed, and where everyone you work with loves what they do and works their butt off to make excellent theater possible, go. You'll have a blast!!

    I auditioned for this theatre and it went well. I got a call a few weeks later. They left a voicemail offering a role in Smokey Joes. I was very excited. They gave me the number to call and speak to Rocque. I called. I called again. I left a voicemail. I called again. I called and left a second voicemail. I never got a call back. How does that work? How do you offer a role to someone, change your mind and then just never return their phone calls to let them know? I don't care that they decided not to cast me after all. That I can deal with. I can't deal with the disrespect and disregard. I still have the voicemail saved from a woman named Ashley who originally called, just to share with friends.

    04/18/2012  2:06pm

    This theatre has a lot of goods and bads in my opinion. As posted above, the new artistic director is really trying to bring this theatre to the next level. The artistic staff of the theatre are all very hard-working, but also extremely overworked. While I was working there, a couple of members of the staff quit (the props apprentice, the master electrician), and from what I understand it was mainly from overwork. Tech was horrid. The entire staff (not actors, but the acting apprentices count as staff) were working 18 hour+ days for three days straight. The one thing I will say is that Roque and the rest of upper management worked just as long and hard, if not harder, than everyone else. Regardless, I found it ridiculous to watch people legitimately killing themselves to put each show up.

    Their treatment of the actors was generally good. The hours weren't long or difficult, the stage manager was excellent and the talent they hire there is great. The space is fine, the technical aspects are fine, and we all had a good time doing the shows together.

    The biggest problem with this theatre is the producer. The playhouse is on the property of a resort, so the man who owns the resort is also the producer of the theatre. He is very easily swayed by his emotions, and would often restrict things on a whim with little to no concern about how it affected the theatre staff. Early in the summer, he restricted access to a lounge area that had the resorts only treadmill and some games like pool, he greated our Sound of Music cast with a 5% pay cut to the entire theatre staff, and the biggest incident was when he fired 3 of the staff members because they accidentally broke the gate outside the pool. This part I want to elaborate on: at nights, people would sometimes use the pool on property, even though it was after hours. A large potion of the company enjoyed this privilege at some point, but one night when theatre staff was there, someone else went and legitimately trashed the place. Broke the gate, threw stuff in the pool, etc. The following day we had a company meeting where they asked us to take care of the pool when we use it and keep our eyes out for any sort of vandalism, but they didn't explicitly restrict us from using it after hours. They said they knew it happened and it wasn't a big problem as long as we remained respectful. So the following week, three of the apprentices (the staff members who either don't get paid or get something like 50 dollars a week) went to the pool, and I guess they somehow accidentally broke the gate again, so the next day the producer fired the lot of them, and then called a company meeting. At the meeting he made three rules for the whole company: no swimming at night, no more discount at the bar on property, and he put a lockdown on all the houses owned by the property: ie no one could visit each others houses after the shows. Of course we all lost it and decided to make a petition of grievances, which we presented to him the following day and led to him repealing the rules, but the fact that the man had the gall to treat his employees that way over a broken gate getting inadvertently broken a second time, and that he tried to punish the entire theatre staff for it just demonstrates to me that he has no business running a theatre. I wouldn't go on a tirade about this if it were a singular incident, but from my understanding, this is not atypical of his normal behavior. I just want to warn people that if this theatre sinks, it will be because of the man signing the paychecks, and I unfortunately have no intentions of working there again because of this.

    09/22/2012  11:55am

    Whether you like the producer here or not, the same family has been running the property for over 60 years and it hasn't closed yet.

    I completely agree that the interns and tech staff are completely overworked and underpaid, but they are also mostly very young and inexperienced. Safety hazards abound. Contracts for actors are a joke- rules change arbitrarily (or have vague interpretations), paycuts happen unexpectedly, even seasons change so that shows you were hired for no longer exist. Communication is horrible with management- the artistic director Roque insists that he has an "open door" policy and oozes charm, but unless you are truly in his inner circle of friends, good luck getting him to answer emails, return phone calls, or resolve contract disputes. He is, in fact, one of the most overworked and underexperienced of the entire staff.

    The children's professional program seems to have a much higher priority for the artistic director- which is fine, if he would just run that and have someone else star in, direct, and oversee the mainstage and resort shows.

    There are no understudies, and often no mics while living in a bedbug-infested, constantly flooding cornfield. So unless you have no allergies and have the health, stamina, and patience of a saint, make sure you have health insurance. The people are all very nice, and usually quite talented, but once they're exhausted and run-down, that tends to fall apart.

    Bottom line: there are far better places to work.

    09/25/2012  12:53pm

    My experience with the artistic director, actors, apprentices, and staff was for the most part very good. However, the current "company managers" are possibly some of the worst people I've ever seen in a management position, let alone any position having to deal with human interaction. My entire stay there I was met with rudeness and a condescending attitude despite my constant efforts to remain pleasant and professional. I was met with much hostility when I asserted my contractual needs for my room, and it wasn't until someone had to step in that my contract was upheld. Everything would have been a generally smooth experience if it weren't for the absolutely incredibly difficult time I had with the managers. Besides the blatant disregard to my contract and condescending attitudes I received from the married couple, I was constantly having to deal with "Oh that's Melissa's department, I can't answer that." Or "That's not a question for me."

    First of all. Both Melissa and Andrew (the married management team) have the exact same job title, so if I'm asking a question related to company management... I'm going to assume I can ask either of them. Secondly, um... aren't they married? Can they really only answer specific questions and if that's so... why do they have the same job title? I could spend a great deal of time and detail in regards to how I felt as an employee at Allenberry, and an even greater amount of time detailing what I witnessed the management do to other employees. I would not enjoy working under them again.

    10/01/2012  12:52am

    Anyone have any info about how the pay scale is here? Worth the problems some people seem to have had?

    01/03/2013  2:58pm

    The pay at Allenberry ranges from $50/week - $400/week depending on your contract.

    01/04/2013  4:25pm

    Contrary to the posts above, I had a very positive experience at Allenberry. Yes, the management team is young, and when that met with a young/immature company member, there was drama, as there is at any theatre company, really. If you stay out of said drama, you're fine! I was always paid on time, I felt like I was treated with respect, and if I had a problem, the management team is busy but not impossible to get ahold of - and they all genuinely wanted to help any way they could. The pay scale above is true, but to clarify, the $50/week is for the apprentice company. The production quality isn't glamorous or fancy, but the quality of talent and passion is pretty darn great.

    01/05/2013  12:03pm

    I 100% agree with the previous post. Allenberry is a fantastic place to be particularly if you are just starting your professional career. Allenberry is a wonderful learning environment that really allows you to grow as an artist and a professional. I have done several shows at Allenberry and have always left having had a positive experience.

    The management team is very young which can be a very positive thing because they are full of energy and vision. Artistic Director, Roque Berlanga, is a strong leader and an even stronger director. The management team may be a bit inexperienced, but it is really nice to see them growing and learning along with everyone else.

    There has been some drama here like you will find at any theater. If you are a mature individual and steer clear of the drama, you will find a home and a family at Allenberry.

    01/13/2013  4:48pm

    On the way down...

    Blatant padding to the reviews before auditions should give you a clue...

    There is plenty of truth in the previous posts. So you can't say you weren't warned.

    01/16/2013  3:10am

    I just want to say that I LOVE Roque! He directed me in BBB and I just love that man!

    06/30/2013  10:26pm

    The Allenberry is kind of a mess. While I think the young artistic staff means well, they clearly have no idea how to run a theatre. The theatre could be great with different management. Rocque's "direction" is a joke. You are really on your own and he's usually doing way too much to be directing and sometimes starring in productions. I've heard stories of him casting himself in roles and being the last person off book and just being plain terrible. Kind of hard to take a place seriously when the artistic director casts himself in inappropriate roles for his type and talent level.

    Melissa and Andrew, the company managers/managing directors are a joke. They are terrible at their jobs and they are maybe 25 years old. They know nothing but act like they do and they are incredibly rude.

    The housing is truly terrible. Whether you are in a cabin on property (mold, mold, mold!!!) or in the disgusting and once bed bug infested white house it is not the best situation. I was in a heavy singing show and people developed allergies, asthma, all sorts of problems while working at the Allenberry. I personally made a trip to the ER for extreme allergy issues, so yeah insurance is a must there.

    In conclusion, there are far better non-eq theatres out there. I would never go back there and everyone in my cast felt the same way(and none of us have been back).

    10/05/2013  4:16pm

    I think that all of the above comments have some validity to them. The management staff at Allenberry is young, but unless you as an actor or technician were causing problems or breaking the rules, the management staff was very accommodating. Having worked in numerous theatres, I found the managing directors referenced above to be organized and the only people who really knew what was going on and the main source of communication at Allenberry. They did have two different job titles when I arrived though. If I ever needed anything done I went to them, because I knew it would actually get addressed.

    The Production Stage Manager is overworked and sometimes poorly treated. She was also working as the Company Manager when I was at Allenberry and that is just too much for one person to take on. I personally felt that the only person I could go to on the artistic management side of life was Melissa because she had an unbiased eye and would tactfully address issues. When leaving I had a meeting with her discussing what I thought could be done to better the theatre as a whole. She listened and took notes and made me feel like I was heard.

    I feel like there are issues everywhere you work. Allenberry is a wonderful place for a short contract. Roque cares very dearly about his "young artists" and spreads himself too thin causing a lack of follow through.

    Before working there I would just make sure you ask the right questions about roles, housing, and understand your pay schedule.

    11/04/2013  2:45pm


    The post above is clearly written by a member of this artistic management staff, and if its not then the whole group must have done a total 180 since my time there. The management staff spent more time blaming others for problems that they either caused or were apart of and were more concerned about being know as the people who would turn Allenberry into a great theater than actually making it a great theater. The artistic management felt they were invincible and they caused just as many problems and broke just as many rules as the actors and technicians, and if they were called out on it they would end the meeting or conversation instantly instead of accepting the criticism and doing something about it. For example all of the interns were gathered together by the production stage manager to be yelled at for spreading rumors, during the meeting it was brought up that all the rumors that were being spread were either learned or started with a department head INCLUDING the artistic director! Yet no meeting was held with the department heads and the entire intern company was forced to take the blame.
    Let’s start with the so called managing directors (more likes actors with a part time job in the office). Melissa was quoted as being an “unbiased eye and would tactfully address issues”. Let me tell you about when Melissa tactfully endangered the life of an intern TWICE because she did not like the girl. The first time refusing to take the girl to the hospital when she had something wrong with her leg(which later turned out to be MRSA google it, it’s a very severe infection) and made the girl drive herself(even though one of the other interns offered to take her)to the hospital instead, did I also mention that this was the interns’ first day on the job and had only arrive at 5 pm the previous day. Then later in the season when the same intern got a concussion during work was not allowed to go to the hospital during work hours but had to wait till her own dinner break to go and again was forced to drive herself, something that the doctor himself found very disgusting. All of this is a result of Melissa’s hatred for a girl she had barely known. No matter your personal feelings if someone is hurt as a professional and as a good human being you make sure someone is ok. Melissa was also known to be the managing director with the worst attitude problem and the one that NO ONE wanted to go with if they had an issue. She was overly sensitive and would take every bit of feedback as a personal attack. For example there was a time when the intern housing was losing hot water because the heater was constantly turning off and we were forced to reset it but it took nearly a half hour to get the water back to warm temperature. In addition the front door had lost its knob. All of these things were reported to the house parents numerous times, at the beginning of the season we were told to report everything to the house parents and not the managing directors as they were too busy, a fair enough request. However when two weeks had past and nothing had been done the interns decided to call attention to it in the next house meeting and even met before so that all of our concerns would be addressed through one person as opposed to multiple people with the potential for yelling to occur. When we brought up the issues she immediately shot them down and said that none of the interns had brought the concerns up to her directly and so she was feeling attacked, which is a direct contradiction to what we were told earlier. If the breakdown in communication was with the house parents then that’s where the blame should have been but when we responded with we told the house parents the meeting was almost instantly stopped and we were told to move onto the next subject. This proves the amount of cover ups and lies that they all use. Melissa would not have been able to miss the doorknob not being there as she does weekly housing inspections (looking for reasons to get certain members of the intern staff in trouble). However she stated that when she did her housing inspections she came in and went out the back door which was an outright lie because I was home once during a housing inspection and watched her go straight from the back door to the front and only stopping to look into people’s rooms. This is only a few of the things that Melissa is personally responsible for, so saying that she is tactful and unbiased is a bit far from the truth. Andrew the other managing director who wasn’t as bad as Melissa but would often be influenced by her. It wasn’t until he was production manager when he actively tried to get rid of the very talented resident sound designer because he was afraid that he knew more than him. And it was clearly obvious from a later evening that the artistic director was being forced and manipulated by all of them to get rid of the sound designer.
    Both however had the problem of being cast in shows while at the playhouse and spent more time in rehearsal and performances and so when someone needed something, they either needed to wait or find an alternate solution to their problems even if they were serious issues that needed to be dealt with right then. They also as actors were very difficult to deal with and sometimes would quickly try and pull the managing director card, they also were rude to service staff members and had almost got several staff members banned from parts of the resort as a result of their behavior.
    The above post states that the production stage manager is overworked and is poorly treated. Maybe this is a result of abuse of power on her part. Though Kate is good at her job she has gotten to comfortable in the position and had made herself so invaluable to Roque the artistic director that he really has no choice but to do what she tells him to. Kate has over the course of the last two seasons have had multiple assistants and peers to help her with both stage management and company management. Most of which had quit because of all the work that is put on them while she and Roque go off on vacation or she is out shopping for him and many others that were driven to tears by her treatment. She is better suited to be his personal assistant than the production stage manager of the playhouse. And be sure not to be an ex-girlfriend of Roque and working on a show she is stage managing or you will be treated like absolute shit. She will find any and every reason to get you in trouble or ignore any of your concerns about safety issues on the stage. For example during a production of Chicago the actress constantly asked for the stage to be treated so it would not be slippery and Kate out right refused and even told her assistants to lie to the actors and tell them it was treated. But later in the season when someone else brought up the same problem she was very quick to find an easy solution to the problem. Kate also was known to hold a grudge against employees who may have crossed her and of course used her position to get back at them. Another example was during a show the sound equipment was failing due to it being faulty and so the Artistic director asked to double mic the actors and he was told that it was impossible as there was not enough mics to go around to double mic everyone. Kate use this opportunity to write up the sound designer for not doing the note, a note that was IMPOSSIBLE to do. All of this animosity with the sound designer stemmed from personal feelings that she had for him which he did not return so she declared all out war on him, and the artistic director turned a blind eye to it. Kate was also known among the service staff in the resort as being hard to work with. She would be mean and crass with them and was often unwilling to compromise with them when we as a whole had to work closely with the staff. Kate has also been known to thrown things at other staff members when she becomes angry at them and calls them stupid or other hurtful names that came to her mind. This to is personally insulting and should result in immediately dismissal but these issues were dropped and she was never disciplined for these actions. When you treat people poorly don’t expect to be treated any better.
    Roque was a good artistic director when he was not being manipulated and isolated by the other three. He does seem to care a little bit more for about being known as a great artistic director than doing what is right but I think his intentions have always been good, but like I said before easily manipulated by the other artistic management staff.
    Over all if they have changed great, but no one should deny what they have done and how they have acted. Be sure to ask the right questions and get everything in writing so you can present it to them if they breach contract.

    11/07/2013  3:11pm