Gig&Tell: Woodstock Playhouse

  • question 04/09/2012  3:40pm

    has anyone ever worked here? does anyone know if it's a union theatre?

    I know a few people who have worked here. It was just reopened last year and is non-union. I don't think it pays a lot but brings in a lot of enthusiastic young talent who are excited to get roles on their resumes. Good for a first summer stock job!

    04/09/2012  4:26pm

    I worked there last summer! The above post is correct. It is non-union. And pays a stipend for the summer, that we get in bi-weekly pay checks. However, they house you and give you three meals a day (at the specific times they offer it. 7:30am-830, 12:30ishpm, and 5pm-6pmish) We ate out a few times a week because we just needed different food, and rehearsals made us hungry.

    Beautiful pool to lay out by and swim laps in on your time off. Your housing is in the middle of nowhere ish; Reminiscent of Dirty Dancing. Feels like a theatre summer camp!

    Rehearse all day. Perform at night. The people you work with become your family. They are some of my best friends to this day.

    The town of Woodstock is gorgeous. Mara's has the best coffee around. Applebee's is sure to be your hang out after rehearsals and performances.

    If you are able to spend a summer building your resume for a stipend, and experiencing a non-union summer stock experience, I highly suggest it! :)

    04/15/2012  12:21pm

    I worked with the above person and totally agree. 2013 will be their 3rd season and the theatre is building itself. The producers want to become an equity house, so they're trying to do everything right. The housing and food are good, though they do run out of creativity after a bit for the meals. But if you're able to work for a stipend I'd say take it!

    01/22/2013  11:17am

    for those of you who have worked for them before, how did you find out about auditions?

    01/28/2013  1:32pm

    They attend Strawhats every year. They tend to do rehires if you have a solid work ethic.

    01/31/2013  12:45am

    Worked there for the 2013 season. There were a few people who were catty but you see that at every summerstock. The producer and directors are AMAZING and so helpful. Not as much direction as I was hoping to get all around, however.
    They do 3 musicals and 1 play. The first musical I believe we had 8 days to put up, the next one we had more - perhaps 20 (we rehearse during the day for the next show, and perform the other show at night). If you are not cast in the play, you get a lot of time off when they are rehearsing and performing.
    The town where you live there is literally no where to go - if you have a car, you can drive 10 minutes into the town of Woodstock which is beautiful and very hippie-sh. 15-20 minutes away is the town of Kingston, which is where are the chain restaurants and stores are - Walmart, Applebees, Planet Fitness, the mall, Olive Garden, etc. etc.
    For the most part, I would say they are extremely organized and everything runs on a tight schedule. The food they cook for you is great, it may get a little boring sometimes, but who can pass up free food?
    All in all, a wonderful place to work, with wonderful and talented people.

    08/20/2013  11:17am

    Basically everything said above is true and very thorough. I will say the cast turnaround is great, the people they bring back really set a nice tone for the work they do and it's nice to have people who know what to do for fun in the middle of nowhere.

    definitely a newer place, still trying to find its footing. It was my favorite work experience thus far and I'm actually going back. The person who compared it to dirty dancing was right on the money! It really does feel like summer camp.

    03/25/2014  5:44pm


    Basic info and Summary: Woodstock Playhouse is a summerstock theater in upstate New York. Actors live and rehearse in Hurley and perform at the playhouse in Woodstock (a 15 minute drive from the rehearsal/living area.) The theatre is run by a couple, Randy Conti (who directs many of the shows) and Doug Farrell (who does more administrative work). This is my full and honest review of my experience. I’ll summarize quickly in this paragraph and then go into detail below. I don’t know how else to begin except to say… the THEATER IS MANAGED COMPLETELY UNPROFESSIONALLY. There is no true stage manager, no technical director, no run crew, no set designer, no schedule, and no consideration for the actors’ time or safety. Safety is probably the most important concern as the producers frequently put ours at risk with unsafe set pieces, props, etc. In addition to all of this, the producers create an emotionally unsafe environment to work and live in by pitting the cast against each other and creating an atmosphere of fear where the cast is always afraid of getting in trouble.

    Safety: We have a running joke among the cast that the motto at Woodstock is “safety third,” but unfortunately the joke is too rooted in reality. Tech is almost always a disaster because Randy doesn’t hire enough technicians to get the sets done soon enough, and set pieces or props that he’s “tested successfully a bunch of times” always break. For example, in tech for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, an outhouse set piece was rigged to fly and come offstage. They didn’t get to work this shift until an hour before opening, which made actors nervous, but Randy laughed at their concern and assured them it was safe. When they were practicing it, the outhouse literally came off of the rigging and shattered- it could have SERIOUSLY hurt someone if they didn’t all jump out of the way before it fell (or god forbid if it happened during an actual show). In tech for Sweeney Todd, when actors were practicing sliding down the chute (basically a piece of wood angled 75 degrees) an actress voiced her concern for the safety of her castmates. She was told “If you’re going to do that then just go outside.” This is an example of the “safety third” mentality. Actors expressing their concern about safety are mocked, shut down, and generally frowned upon. If you speak out about feeling unsafe, you will be dismissed as being negative or not being a “team player.” I could go on and on. Fight choreography for a murder mystery play was taught ON THE DRESS REHEARSAL (despite the cast asking Randy to do it earlier multiple times) and involved a sharp letter opener in one of the fights. Live guns with blanks were used in Oklahoma and we were never given a talk about stage gun etiquette/safety. In Spring Awakening, Melchior and Wendla had to balance on a lift that tipped over unless they were in the exact right places during their sex scene. On opening night of Sweeney, a step broke when Tobias was walking out of Pirelli’s cart. Something has broken (sets, props, etc.) during EVERY tech for all 5 shows this season because they do not know how to safely construct sets. I have seen people nearly miss getting seriously hurt a few times; and I’m frankly surprised no one has been seriously hurt while working here. I honestly hope someone who regulates safety conditions in Non-Equity theatres (is there such a thing?) reads this and checks them out, because IT IS NOT SAFE.

    Work Schedule and Process: Working in any summer stock is basically signing up to have your time abused, but Woodstock Playhouse takes it to a new level. You work 6 days a week; the day off is usually Monday. The hours change from day to day, ranging from 10 hour days to (more common) 14 hour days and even the occasional 15 or 16 hour. This excludes hour-long breaks for lunch and dinner. If there’s a show the dinner break is typically an hour and a half from dismissal from rehearsal to call. The day begins with an 8:30 company dance class taught by Randy (alternating jazz and ballet) every day except for the day off. The jazz class is basically a warm-up that closely resembles jazzercise and then the same across the floor nearly every class, followed by ab exercises and stretches. The ballet is only barre and then ab exercises and stretches. As a trained dancer, I worry about the class. Randy gives people “corrections” that are incorrect and asks us to go into deep stretches and difficult balances before we are warm enough to do them. There were no injuries at the beginning of the summer, but five injuries by the end. After dancing in the dance studio, you move to the rehearsal room, which is used as a cabaret room throughout the year. During EVERY rehearsal, bright stage lights are shining on you so that you can barely see the director. There is sometimes a “stage manager” in rehearsal, but he is an 18 year old who mostly works as a personal assistant to the director and is rarely on book, never makes rehearsal reports, or really does any stage management duties. Most importantly, there is no schedule given in out advance. I repeat. THERE IS NO SCHEDULE GIVEN OUT IN ADVANCE. The schedule improves with the guest directors, but when Randy holds rehearsals, he pretty much expects the full company to be there through the staging of the whole show (including uncomfortable scenes, ie. Melchior beating Wendla in Spring Awakening). At the beginning of the summer, one of the producers literally said something along the lines of “We like to take advantage of the fact that you live next to our rehearsal space.” This makes your life very complicated. Going to the gym is nearly impossible, as is making a doctor’s appointment or even exploring town during off time. But when it most drastically affects you is planning for days off. If you live nearby and want to go home, or if you plan to travel to NYC by bus or train to go to auditions, etc, you may not be able to leave Sunday night because you won’t find out when you’re done for the day until you get dismissed. The earliest you’ll get a schedule if any is in the morning, but that happened more with the guest directors. There is very little respect for the actors’ time.

    Management: The producers, Randy and Doug, are a middle-aged couple. In addition to running the theater, they run an afterschool theater program, summer camp, and troupe called New York Center for the Arts. They teach kids (from very young all the way through high school) dance, singing, and acting. This informs a lot of their philosophy about running a theater. They treated their actors like children. They didn’t trust us to do our own warm-ups before the show so they make us do their own antiquated ones together as a cast. They wanted to know where we are at all times. They didn’t like us leaving the property to go to the gym or out to dinner. They liked to have full control over our lives. They eavesdropped on our conversations. They picked favorites and least favorites based on almost nothing. If they had e a problem with someone in the cast, they rarely addressed it directly, but they often talked negatively about cast members to other cast members. Moreover, they pitted competition among the cast. For example, they didn’t cast 5 large roles in Sweeney Todd until the first day of rehearsals (which was a week before the show went up), despite asking us to audition for these roles two weeks earlier. In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, they kept subbing out two boys from a difficult dance and didn’t decide who would do it in the show until TECH. More than anything else, they intimidated the cast by implying that some of us weren’t “team players.” To the producers, being a team player is essentially going above and beyond your job as an actor- you must help build, paint, and move sets to compensate for the fact that they don’t hire a technical director or a run crew in addition to working your standard 14 hours acting to be in the their good graces.

    Show Quality: The show quality is usually pretty good, with nice lighting and decent sets. Shows with more difficult tech look worse, ie. the effects in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and platforms in Sweeney Todd. The cast is full of talent. The direction is poor. It’s basically just Randy sitting back as actors “explore” and essentially self-direct, which he thinks is artistic but most of us recognize as lazy. Luckily, the cast usually works it out themselves. The guest directors are much stronger.

    Living quarters: The rooms are typical for a summerstock- motel like rooms with two twin beds. There is no internet in the lower rooms where most of the boys live and very spotty internet up where the girls live. There is internet access in the rehearsal space (about 200 feet from the rooms), but it’s locked at night. Living in the area can be tough without a car (gyms, food, Target, etc. are miles away), but they hire many actors with cars.

    Pay: Actors are paid through a biweekly stipend, and given housing and 3 meals a day (except on the off days). Pay has been late many weeks but always has arrived eventually. The pay is pretty small, but considering that you are housed and fed, it’s not too different from many summerstocks. People with cars were told they would receive a gas stipend. They did not. People who were part of a smaller cast for the season’s play were told they would receive extra money for doing it. They did not.

    So that’s what I have to say. I would never tell anyone to not work somewhere; we’re all young actors who need experience, but I feel that working here is not something I could EVER do again, and I’m pretty sure the vast majority of my cast feels the same way. Please keep what I’ve written in mind before accepting this contract.

    09/12/2015  7:33am

    Pros:
    -VERY decent housing. You will share a very clean room with one person, as well as a clean and functional bathroom.
    -The theater is brand new and is absolutely beautiful.
    -Pretty high production quality for summer stock. They pour a lot of money into the sets and it overall looks very professional.
    -It's a good way to get some great roles on your resume. You'll sign the contract for one role, but most likely be involved in another show in a supporting/featured role.
    -Talent among the resident company is so high. These are some of the most talented people I have ever worked with.
    -I made so many incredible friends this summer, friends I know I will carry with me both professionally and through life.
    -The surrounding area is gorgeous with tons of hiking, kayaking, rivers, wildlife to explore etc.
    -The town of Woodstock is ADORABLE. Go to nana's for coffee and amazing baked goods. Catskill Pizza is a fun place to hang out after rehearsal. Kingston, a 15 minute drive, has your standard chipotle, panera etc. as well as some fun and quirky bars.

    Cons:
    -You will have only 24 hours to accept or decline the contract. This in itself is ridiculous, and not realistic in terms of how things work in the business.
    -Dance class every single morning, usually at at 8 am.
    -The class itself is not great. It is taught by the AD who I would not want to be my dance teacher. The jazz warm up/barre combinations are the same everyday. Needless to say, this gets monotonous.
    -You will have no control over what you eat. It is nice to be fed everyday, but just know that breakfast and lunch will always be the same, and dinner is entirely up to the person they hire.
    -You live and rehearse on the same property and you won't have much free time because of that. Our artistic director openly stated on the first day of rehearsal "We like to take advantage of the fact that you are always here."
    -You will not know your track for many of the shows until the first day of rehearsal. In fact, they had us audition for Sweeney Todd and didn't cast five large roles (Beggar Woman, the Beadle, the Judge, Pirelli and Anthony) until the first day of music rehearsal.
    -For the shows that the artistic director directs, you will never receive a schedule. Everyone is just expected to be at rehearsal for the entire day, even if your involvement is limited to literally one scene. The outside directors are much more considerate and post schedules every morning. (The AD does direct 3 of the shows however and it's a very frustrating process with no schedule.)
    -You cannot use your cell phone backstage. And this is a rule you must follow strictly. Two boys had their phones taken by the AD. The AD later threatened that he would fire the next person he saw on their phone.
    -Safety is not taken seriously. The AD always claims that the set pieces are safe and have been tested many times. However, we had multiple accidents during tech. Long story short, a set piece almost fell on a girl during Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tech, and a stair broke when Tobias walked out of Pirelli's cart on opening night of Sweeney Todd.
    -If you voice your concern about not feeling safe on a set piece, you are met with a defensive and aggressive response. One girl was told she was a fearful actress for being afraid of standing on an 8 foot tall platform that had no brakes. Another girl said something wasn't safe, and the AD told her to go outside.
    -No functional stage manager. In fact, our stage manager this summer was an immature 18 year old boy who basically acted as a personal assistant to the AD. He never executed his responsibilities as a stage manager, and was very vocal about how much he hated the cast. During the finale of Oklahoma, the curtain is supposed to close on our final refrain of "People Will Say We're in Love." However, on closing night, the SM held the curtain and laughed hysterically offstage while we all stood on stage like idiots. He later bragged about how good it felt because he hated us so much. A slight homophobe and misogynist, he is truly a nasty and horrible person. One of my least favorite aspects of working at Woodstock.

    I would never tell someone to not work somewhere, especially as a young non equity actor trying to break into the industry. However, you need to understand that this is a very abnormal work environment. You are here for the entire summer, 12 weeks. It's a long process and it's a difficult process. I met wonderful friends here and I wouldn't trade the growth I experienced as an actor for anything. However, I don't want to work here again. In fact, it has REALLY inspired me to start my EMC point program and get my equity card as soon as possible. It's a classic example of non equity actors having no protection from exploitation. Read the pros, read the cons, and know that this is a tough experience. You can find the positive in it for sure and if it's your only offer then I would say take it. I'm happy I did it but once more, I do not want to work here again.

    09/14/2015  12:51pm

    The Woodstock Playhouse is a quaint, 200-seat theater positioned in the town of Woodstock, New York. The theater is new, the town is lovely, the rest is not.

    The Woodstock Playhouse (in Woodstock, NY) is a recent extension of a bad dance and theater school by the name of NYCA, or the New York Conservatory for the Arts (in West Hurley, NY). The NYCA compound is comprised of an old German pub turned dance studio and cabaret theater that LITERALLY houses the people who own and operate NYCA and the Woodstock Playhouse year-round, and some motel-like rooms that house the actors for the summer. Besides the bugs, the rooms are fine. Each room houses two company members in twin-sized beds, with air-conditioning, a desk, and a shared bathroom. Company members however, are not given keys in order to lock up their rooms in their absense and this makes company members very uneasy.

    The Woodstock Playhouse is operated by a conniving, middle-aged gay couple. They openly patronize, snoop, play strange heads games, audition company members for uncast roles DURING the season, frequently gossip about other company members to fellow company members, disrespect actor's time, and effectively radiate general misery. They are, in all honestly, the most atrocious humans I have ever encountered. They are sexist and racist; they threaten, disregard, and endanger. Two ethnic company members were told they were, "not allowed to get any darker." Another company member who was otherwise highly qualified to understudy a role was told she was not chosen because she was "blackened." Two company members were told they were not allowed to attend funerals for family members, and when one chose to leave despite their disallowance, he was called "selfish, demanding" and "not a team player." One company member suffered a strained ligament in her coccyx and a herniated disk as a result of a poorly built barber chair slide for our production of Sweeney Todd, and was told, "That's life! Just be glad it isn't worse." Another company member spent a few nights away from the NYCA compound (and who wouldn't want to?!?) with a friend who lived in the area. The directors noticed his vehicle's absense at night and confronted him saying he was "checked out" and "disconnected from the team." These men are monsters.

    Because the directors eat, sleep, and breathe NYCA and the Woodstock Playhouse, they do not understand or have any regard for the separation between professional life and personal life. On several occasions, whether they were family emergencies, important auditions in NYC, or visiting family members, company members were told they were "not allowed to let their outside lives interfere with the Woodstock Playhouse." One director "joked" at the beginning of the season that he was going to "take advantage of the fact that you all live here." And he did. We never received a schedule unless we were working with a guest director, which meant that actors literally had to sit around and wait to see if they were needed. One company member sat around for 7 hours one day, and was never needed for rehearsal. They entirely disrespect actor's time.

    In terms of the crew, things only get worse. They hire two technicians, one sound, one lights. But what they don't tell them, is that they'll also be entirely responsible for designing and building the sets... This leads to unsafe sets and wildly behind schedule building endeavors as you can imagine. The stage manager does not exist. Instead, they hire an 18-year-old boy who spends the summer bragging about having sex with all of the female interns (15-year-olds, by the way. hello sex offender!!), shows up high to performances, eats entire boxes of donuts in the wings, falls asleep in the middle of performances, and call him a "stage manager." You will not feel taken care of; you will feel the exact opposite.

    Don't be fooled:

    The daily dance class sounds great. It's not.
    I am a trained dancer, and even though 8:30 is an ungodly hour of the morning, I can totally get on board with a good class at any hour of the day, no matter how ungodly. But when people are getting injured AS A RESULT of the class, and when the teacher is yelling "TUCK YOUR PELVIS!" and telling people that in a pirouette your head goes BEFORE your body in a spot, I simply cannot stand by such foolishness.

    "We are trying to become an Equity playhouse, so we are trying to do everything right."
    That is an actual quote from my initial phone conversation with the company's managing director when he offered me my contract. At this rate, the sun will burn out before they do anything remotely right, so good luck.

    All of this being said, the shows do turn out well, and the production quality (with the exception of the god awful wigs) is good. They hire remarkably talented young actors that find a way to trudge through the shit, figure it out themselves, and put on a good show.

    I could write a million more pages of treachery, but some of it is inexplicable. The horrors are too great, too strange, too numerous. The greatest good that came from this summer however, are the friendships I made, and perhaps the roles on my resume. The relationships I formed, I will treasure for a lifetime. But, I would not return to this theater if they offered me all of my dream roles in one season plus a million dollars. I do not wish this place on anyone--friend or foe. So, take it from a friend, DON'T ACCEPT THAT WEIRD "REPLY WITHIN 24 HOURS" CONTRACT THEY'RE OFFERING YOU!! You'll be glad you didn't. Trust me.

    09/14/2015  2:36pm

    I second every word in the post above. Couldn't agree more. Do. Not. Work. Here.

    09/14/2015  10:28pm

    I have done two summer stock and two Christmas contracts with the Woodstock Playhouse. My last contract was as recent as December 2014. This is a family-run, non-profit, non-equity company that puts on great shows. After doing 12 shows with this company, I can honestly say I have grown immensely as an actor. Many of my friends and colleagues have returned to the company season after season.

    If you recently graduated from a musical theater program, you are given roles that look great on your resume and more importantly, you are given the freedom to really make that role your own. There are some roles, mostly minor roles, that aren’t cast until the season starts. This is an opportunity to sharpen your acting chops and dive into sometime new. While in a run of a show, you’ll be rehearsing two other shows at the same time. It’s a little challenging but that’s what summer stock is all about. I’m going to be honest, there is not a lot of downtime if that’s what you’re looking for.

    You are expected to join morning dance classes which was a great way to continue dance training while on contract. When I expressed concern regarding a pre-existing shoulder injury, I was told to avoid certain exercises so they wouldn’t cause injury. I was in control of how hard I pushed myself in class, like in any class.

    You are given a nominal stipend but your meals and accommodation are provided. The cook does accommodate allergies and intolerances.

    I have worked for many non-equity companies and they all have their pros and cons (#nonequity). I would certainly work for the Woodstock Playhouse again.

    10/10/2015  4:17am

    I had a nice experience at the Woodstock Playhouse and played some great roles.  The talent of the cast and overall production quality was phenomenal and definitely is one of the nicest living situations a Summerstock can offer!

    10/10/2015  12:17pm

    This past summer was my 3rd summer stock with the Woodstock Playhouse I can honestly say, I have never worked with a group of people who care so much and so passionately about their work. They are not only a professional theater company, they are also a school and they create a family vibe like no other I've experienced. They are not union and they offer a reasonable stipend based on the fact that they also supply housing and 3 meals a day that are catered to any dietary issues you may have. All in all, definitely a good summer stock experience.
    In response to some the above posts, yes, this past summer was a bit rough. The Woodstock Playhouse is a new theater with an historic name and no where near enough support from its community to uphold the grandeur of its name. Because of this, there are great expectations and not enough money to go around. This past summer, the company took its money problems by the horns with a killer season and a new marketing perspective. They took on the challenge of a 5-show season including Spring Awakening, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Oklahoma!, and Sweeney Todd. Then, about 3 weeks into the summer, the Artistic Director fell off a ladder (while he was building sets), fractured and impacted his spine, and fractured his scapula. For the next few weeks, he was pretty much out of commission as he was unable to lift his right arm and he was in constant pain. His are was in a sling for most of the summer and he was still wearing the back brace when we left. This was devastating for the company and the entire season. The AD was not only directing 3 shows during the season, but he usually teaches dance in the morning and does a good deal of set building and tech work. The Playhouse is a family run company with a very small core of leaders all who have irreplaceable roles in keeping the theater afloat. With the AD not functioning, everyone else was under a lot of pressure. In this situation, the reasonable thing to do for a well-respected, self-sufficient theater company would be to hire more help - unfortunately, the funds for such a luxury were not available. What ensued was the entire tech staff being overworked, the dance captain teaching class every morning, and the actors being asked to help pick up the slack. We are all a part of the same community in theater. I would like to hope that any actor who is lucky enough to be working would take a look at this situation and decide that they should lend a helping hand. Many of us did and I don’t think any of our audiences knew that there had been any issues at all. The shows this season were the best the Playhouse has ever produced and countless people said just that. The cast was amazingly talented and everyone rose to the occasion as actors in a difficult situation beautifully, but sometimes we have to be more than actors. If we aren’t all in this together, then what are we doing? Isn’t theater a community endeavor by definition? You can’t have theater without all of the people who make it possible and when one of those people needs help, it is our job to be a team and make it work. Sure it sucks, but so does being unemployed.
    In short, the Woodstock Playhouse has a reputation for choosing casts that will work well together and create beautiful theater while forging life-long friendships. I can attest to this in the three summer stocks and one christmas season that I have worked for them. The friends I made there are still my best friends and my time there has pushed me to grow as an actor more than anywhere else I have worked. I sincerely hope that after this summer’s hiccup, their new marketing campaign takes off in their favor and I would consider it an honor to work with them again in the future.

    10/12/2015  1:55pm

    does anybody know anything about the apprenticeship program? i was offered an apprenticeship and am curious what the tuition goes towards. after reading these posts it sounds like the hired company takes the dance class in the morning so I don't really understand what I would be paying for? and they weren't specific with me at all as to what track i would be covering, they said i would know when i got there. very suspicious and cautious to take the offer because it seems disorganized and i feel like i could possibly be being conned for my money -- paying 1550 to do extra tech work and possibly perform? any information would be greatly appreciated :)

    03/24/2016  12:43am

    So I was just offered a contract here for this summer. I have to choose between a two week tour of Europe and nannying for one month on location with a family (I would make a lot of money). Or take the contact. I have been promised one principle role. I'm very torn from the posts on this page. Any advice?

    03/27/2016  1:02pm

    I have not worked for this theater, though I too have been offered a summer 2016 contract with one guaranteed principle that I am currently weighing out (I was given closer to 48 hours but that may be due to the Easter holiday).

    My advice, to the person above, is to decide what is more important to you: saving money or building your acting resume.
    If you are pursuing theater as a career then I think taking summerstock work (and performing work in general) whenever you can get it is more important than just saving funds for a summer.

    Take all reviews with a grain of salt as there is always much more to any situation than just one or two opinions. I don't doubt that there were many struggles last season and there are some very strongly worded reviews above but there are also some positive remarks. I suspect that the true nature of this particular theater experience is somewhere in the middle of those two, but I do not doubt that it will provide an excellent learning opportunity for any young performer. Acting work should never be turned down lightly and without extensive consideration.

    03/27/2016  5:29pm
  • My Home Away From Home    
    11/14/2015  3:06pm

    I have to step up and say that the majority of negative comments about the Playhouse are entirely incorrect. The producers/directors want nothing but the best for their stock performers and they work their butts off to make all their performers truly shine. This includes the opportunity to perform roles that they probably will not even get to play until they are older or receive their Equity status. At my first Straw Hats, I met Doug and Randy and another one of the guest directors in the callback room. From that moment on, I loved them and their company with all my heart. They have treated me like a son and were always there for me. One summer, they even offered me two dream roles out of the four shows I got to perform in. They have made dreams come true for me and I say that from the bottom of my heart. I am now Equity and they have even been willing to hire me on an Equity contract for the entire season. I do not have anything bad to say about the company. They have done wonders for me. In a couple of the seasons I have fallen pretty hard, physically and emotionally, and they were always there to pick me back up and encourage me to perform to the best of my ability. I was never forced into doing something I felt uncomfortable doing. They encourage you to take risks and they allow you to explore all aspects to the shows and your characters for the summer. I will also say that they cast impeccably. Everyone gets an equal opportunity to perform in every show and everyone can submit for roles that they think they are suitable for. Who gets to do that on a regular basis in this business!? You get to show them your interpretation even if the type might not fit. And who knows! They are open-minded and might even take chances on you playing a role that is outside of your box. It hurts my heart to see some of the comments on this thread, because I know without my summers at the Woodstock Playhouse I would not have gained the experience to be where I am at now. I consistently perform and have received my card. I do not think I could have done that without them. They gave me roles that I needed to go on my resumé so that I could be seen for other roles in a callback setting. And I have never been threatened when it comes to safety. They have never put me in a dangerous setting that had the potential to hurt someone. And hello! It's LIVE theater! Stuff happens all the time. Even on Broadway where safety is an ABSOLUTE must. That is why we are in this business. It is wild and crazy and never a dull moment. So when you think about coming along for the Woodstock Playhouse adventure, do not take it for granted. It is beautiful people, beautiful opportunities, beautiful talent, and a family that will forever be loyal to you if you treat them with the respect they deserve. And in my opinion, they do deserve the best. They have helped us and pushed some of us to be the best that we can be and it has allowed the majority of us to go pretty far in the business. So please do not listen to the nonsense. It is like adult summer camp and doing what you love to do for an entire summer. :)