Gig&Tell: Millbrook Playhouse

  • Love this place!    
    11/09/2015  4:57pm

    I had an absolutely wonderful time here. They are very upfront that they don't have a huge budget, but everything they do have they pour into putting on very high quality shows. I just came in for one show, got to play an amazing role, good housing not far from the theatre, and close to everything we needed. They feel like family and the audiences are loving and appreciative. It felt like a month long vacation! I would come back here in a heartbeat for the right show or role. Love you Millbrook!

    I worked there this past summer and really did have a such good experience. I worked with some absolutely phenomenal directors and actors, truly. So talented and creative and working on each show together you do become a family. It is a lot of hard work, you are in a barn, you will strike each show and it can be exhausting like any summer stock season. So if you accept a contract be prepared to work. However they do have a gym you can use, provide dinner, the townspeople LOVE us, and will host parties and dinners all the time, everyone there really does try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. You will work hard for not much money but for a role, or the right show for your resume it is absolutely worth it. Plus the people I worked with there this are now some of my best friends and have become my millbrook family.

    03/28/2016  6:56pm

    LOVED MILLBROOK! Any bad review must have been from someone working under the old artistic director. The new artistic director, David, is so kind and amazing!

    Again, you're not going to find yourself rolling in the Benjamins, but you're going to have such a fun summer, work with some seriously talented people, and get some great roles on your resume. It's definitely worth it for the experience.

    Housing at LHU is pretty nice - some singles available, but no matter what you get a private bedroom, plus kitchen and bathroom. Amenities like the gym, lobby area/free wifi, campus laundry were great. Nothing to complain about here!

    Free dinners were a plus as well.

    The summer stock rehearsal schedule honestly wasn't as hard as some of the others I've been subjected to, but each show bleeds into the next so overlapping a couple days can be difficult. Either way, all of the staff came together to handle a tough, but great season so gracefully, with a smile on their faces.

    If you get a chance to work here, DO IT!

    08/18/2016  9:59pm
  • Pretty bad experience.    
    03/05/2013  6:45am

    As someone who worked there last year, the experience was as bad as any theatre treats non-eq. However, this is pretty bad. You live in a dorm room with no air conditioning and communal bathrooms. Reliving the college freshman years. Also there are barley any days off, especially if you are booked for the season. And forget the food. It's just the worst. Your forced to buy things at Walmart, or go across the street to Sheetz, which is very unhealthy.?The shows are pretty bad due to the set. The set fell (a la Peter pan fail YouTube video) in the middle of the show. Also, there are 2 poles; one in the middle of the stage, and one in front of the audience. However, they hire great talent and pretty good directors, who make due.?The artistic director is a pushover. When I worked there this past summer, it was her first year as artistic director, and that was clear as ever. She honestly does not know how to run a theatre.?Mill Hall is pretty boring. The only thing to do is go to the local bar, which seemed to be our only sanity. And on top of everything, horrible pay.

    I worked at Millbrook Playhouse many years ago. This is a community that loves their theatre and the actors that come out to play on their stage. It's true they don't have a lot of money to throw around, but they do love and respect the work you put in and it's a great chance to get out of the city, work on an excellent role or two and do what you love. I stayed in the dorm in question and experienced a wicked heat wave...we all jumped in the fountain to cool off and it was an unforgettable evening of forming some long lasting relationships.

    I know they are currently working hard to change some of the issues you speak of...they shifted the performance schedule to make sure that everyone has a full day off this year. They will, most likely, not hire actors for more than 2 shows this season. They are in negotiations for better housing options (fingers crossed it comes through). Although, I don't remember any cast members complaining when I was there... They have upped their budget for set design this season to alleviate some of the issues they ran into with design last year. (Sad to me that this might mean less NY contracts)...

    My two summers at Millbrook were magical. I wasn't,t living in the lap of luxury...I was sweating, singing, working hard and loving every minute on the stage. I was learning how to make things work in situations that weren't ideal. I was forming bonds with cast mates and directors - relationships that I maintain today...relationships that have lead me to more work!

    And on my one day off, after reviewing my material, I grabbed a tube and jumped in the river with my cast mates.

    I think Summer stock is what you make of it, but Millbrook is a wonderful place to make it at all....

    03/11/2013  1:01am

    I worked there two summers; once under the old Artistic Director and sadly last summer under the new Artistic Director.

    Not sure about why there was a change in AD but it was certainly a negative one. Mary Kate (old artistic director)was great to work for and while the theatre certainly had its flaws, bad pay, poor housing, small town drama and such the experience was fantastic and she was a great employer. She made you work hard but love doing it, and was always lending a hand or a joke. Under the old management team the technical aspects of the shows were excellent and the overall quality was far better.

    It was the new Artistic Director, Teresa's, first year last year and it was all in all a disaster. The talent and directors were good but it felt like management was running around like a chicken with its head cut off the entire summer. The new AD is passive aggressive and does not have any real leadership skills or take charge qualities. I felt under appreciated; it was a wasted summer. The technical elements were all very poor, a set literally fell down during a show. My high school out west in the middle of nowhere was better. It was an embarrassment.

    Under this new team I would never go back, under the old team I would go back in a heart beat.

    03/12/2013  4:34pm

    I spent two glorious summers working at Millbrook Playhouse. I sang, danced, acted my heart out, and met many life-long friends in the process. I had the opportunity to play some dream roles and work with incredible directors. I will never forget Millbrook opening nights (and parties!) and the super fun weekend late-night cabarets. Looking back on my acting career, so many things I've done since have, in some way, stemmed from the connections I made at Millbrook. I would love to go back to that beautiful, bucolic town and fabulous community that truly loves and nurtures theater!

    03/12/2013  8:16pm

    I would have to agree with the first post. I know that it can be expected that some summerstock theaters experiences are going to be pretty shitty but this one was like the one from hell. It was it the middle of nowhere pennsylvania and it was just unpleasant to live there for the duration of the summer. I think pretty much the cause of most of the problems was the artistic director just or the fact that she seemed to undermine her employees. Yes, it is hard to get work as a performer but working in a shithole where sets fall down and you're fed unhealthy food and you're not one single day off, while working past the scheduled hours in our contracts is not what anyone would sign up for. She literally makes you feel like your needs are not important and that you're really not worth anything.
    Besides her, other things that weren't great about working there is that the dorming situation is pretty disgusting and the pay is honestly not even worth it. You might even leave there with a deficit. The only good thing that can be said is that the community really loves to come out and really appreciates the shows and the volunteers that work at the theater are wonderful. Would not recommend anyone to work at this place unless maybe under new direction.

    03/27/2013  8:10am

    I will say that I have heard about what happened last year. This year, however, is a COMPLETELY different story.
    Housing: We were housed at Campus Village at LHU, which is pretty much individual apartments that featured private bathrooms and full kitchens. There is also gym access, internet, a lounge with a pool table, and a fully functional laundry room within a minute walking distance.
    Shows: Typical rehearsal schedule and it is a grueling process at times, so be aware of Summer Stock procedures ahead of time. Sure, production values could be higher, but no one complained and the shows were very well-received and produced.
    Company Members: We all got along and enjoyed ourselves, intermingling between mainstage/cabaret shows and tech crew.
    Admin. Staff: The board members treated us like royalty and Teresa, the Artistic Director, was very accommodating to any questions/concerns we had.
    Food: This was an issue last year, I heard. This year they organized it so that we were fed by 10 different local restaurants at different points, alternating cuisine and restaurant. This kept things fresh and interesting, as well as healthy-ish (Iceberg lettuce central). They don't provide meals on Monday, still, but there is a Subway and a few other local restaurants.

    Lock Haven, where we were housed, was a fun little town. There is a movie theater, bars, restaurants, Etc...

    OVERALL, I wasn't at Millbrook last year, but this year is one of the best experiences I have had thus far in my career. True, the pay isn't grand, but it's solid acting in a great atmosphere.

    07/02/2013  12:23pm

    The best decision I made this year was to ignore the negative reviews on this thread and do a show at Millbrook. The above post spells it all out in detail so I'll just say, amen! The locals are amazing, Teresa was incredibly welcoming and supportive, the staff was professional and so much fun, the town was small and beautiful. If you're looking to have a great time with fun people surrounded by some ridiculously gorgeous hills and rivers in a relatively low pressure environment...work here.

    07/03/2013  10:16pm

    The best choice I've made all year was to go to Millbrook. Apparently last year was the artistic directors first year. I heard a lot of negative things. She is completely different this year. She took care of us in every way possible. She held her authority while also holding a friendship with us. The housing doesn't have air conditioning but the theatre supplied fans. The food was very good. A different restaurant supplied dinner every night. So we always had a nice variety. (There was always a vegetarian option). Here's the thing, remember why you started to do theatre? It's because you loved every moment on stage. You started cause it was fun! At Millbrook you have fun. You enjoy the moments on and off stage. I have nothing but respect for this theatre. I will go back in a heart beat if they offer me a contract. I didn't just make friends with my cast. At the end of the day...we were family. Millbrook reminded me why I started theatre and why I continue to do so. I loved my experience and I hope every actor has an experience like I had at Millbrook.

    07/04/2013  12:47pm

    Working at Millbrook is definitely one of the best and most fun experiences I've had in the professional world.

    It's very exciting to put up quality theatre with great people in such a limited amount of time. They always have two shows performing and at least one more rehearsing, so being at the Playhouse feels like you've stepped into a community of people who love what they're doing. Teresa sets an attitude of positivity and support which trickles down through the rest of the company.

    There's also weekly opening celebrations, cabarets on Saturdays, communal dinners 6 nights a week - and an awesome gym facility!

    I made a ton of friends, was able to save money (get a subletter in NYC, and enjoy the ridiculously cheap drinks in Lock Haven!), and create work I was proud of with people I loved. I would go back in a heart beat!

    08/03/2013  12:12pm

    obviously someone is on here writing the same bs over and over... sad

    01/06/2014  6:04pm

    I worked here the summer of 2013 and had a lovely experience from beginning to end. I was given everything I was promised and then some. Granted, the pay wasn't great, but what I received in return more than made up for it. I had my own apartment on the campus of Lock Haven University, which was very convenient to the theater, downtown, shopping, and restaurants, especially if you have a car. (It wasn't air-conditioned, but definitely bearable with a fan.) Even for those who didn't have a car, transportation was always arranged in advance. We were also given dinner 6 nights a week, with access to leftovers any time of the day in the communal refrigerator. The production values were first rate - excellent performers and directors. The administrative staff was also very kind and helpful, always checking in to make sure we had what we needed. The downtown area of Lock Haven is charming and there is a beautiful river walk nearby. If you have the opportunity to work here, I would definitely recommend it!

    04/02/2014  12:25pm

    Had the most wonderful time at Millbrook this past summer. Honestly, it was the best first professional gig I could have asked for. Just remember that it is good ole fashioned summer theatre in a barn at its core. If you are okay with somewhat limited production values but a stellar cast, talented directors and some great roles to work on, then you will love every second you spend here. Rehearsals are all day and night, but run very professionally and efficiently. David, the new artistic director, has a wonderful vision for the theatre and treated the company so well. The theatre really takes care of you. I know for a fact that this summer I have not only created some very valuable relationships in the business, but lifelong friends that I will continue to work with for life. If you get an offer here, TAKE IT.

    07/14/2014  6:21pm

    8/2014.

    I had the immense pleasure of working on 3 shows (1 kid, 2 mainstage) this past summer at Millbrook. It was such an amazing experience. The theatre company as a whole, from the new Artistic Director David to the board members who literally take part in everything (and I mean everything as in they were painting walls of the courtyard when I got there). They really value their actors that come in and try to provide whatever they can...and if they can't they figure out a suitable alternative. They house you on the campus of Lock Haven University in the campus apartments so you have your own space with or without a roommate with a kitchen and living room. I had the nice surprise of getting my own studio apartment there (just make sure you bring cooking supplies if you like to cook). To work here...you have to know how to WORK because the days do get long but the end result is completely worth it. I know I have made some lifelong connections and friends because of this place!! If you ever get the opportunity to work here...DO IT!

    08/11/2014  12:50pm