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Gig&Tell: Red House Arts Center

  • OMG RUN    
    09/17/2017  8:23pm

    This place is HORRIBLE to work at.

    If you're an actor who is desperate for work or to get a role on your resume that will help you in the future, just think twice. This place means NOTHING in the industry. It is currently being run by a woman who has never performed anywhere else except this theater (oh yeah, she also owns it so that kinda makes sense). The other woman running the theater isn't an artist in any way and didn't even come see the show I was in. The housing "looks" nice but we twice didn't have hot water and so I had to shower at the gym. Their last season got changed so much and a lot of my friends had already signed contracts for the shows they canceled and all they got was a phone call saying sorry. This place has no idea what it wants to be unfortunately.

    Honestly, if you want to perform in the area keep trying for Syracuse Stage, Merry-Go-Round, or Cortland Rep, because they would actually hold some weight on your resume. Or you can always perform with CNY Playhouse - community theater but at least everyone has a great time doing a show there.

  • Rep Series 2017 was Great!    
    04/18/2017  11:07pm

    I just finished my contract at Red House Arts Center doing there 2017 Rep Series of "Complete Works of William Shakes Abridged" and "Bom-Bitty Of Errors" in Rep.

    Our director was shopped in from NYC but was fantastic, as was our cast and stage management team. The housing and pay were far above average as well for a non union regional gig. I know they are going through upper management changes but I would gladly go back to work there in a heart beat. Great Gym membership as well.

  • Housing    
    05/14/2012  10:02pm

    Unbelievably nice artist housing. Right above the theater, huge bedrooms, beautiful kitchen. Very open and trendy. They take care of you well.

    What about the quality of the productions? And is it good pay?

    03/13/2013  7:13am

    Does anyone have anything to offer on pay or quality of shows? Non-eq or Eq house?

    03/18/2013  7:14pm

    My summer at the Red House was a complete and udder nightmare. Hands down the most unprofessional theater Iv ever worked for. Yes the housing is great but thats about were it stops. There were so many problems all summer long. We didn't complete a single show all contract were someone didn't quit or get fired. I don't recommend working for this company, the $300 dollars a week is not worth the stress and lack of respect you are given. I will say that they are a new theater and things may improve in the future. But for right now things are a mess.

    10/11/2013  3:57pm

    Just got an offer for $400/wk and opportunities to help with their outreach programs for the same pay during the "off weeks", but allowed to take those weeks off if I want. Their website shows the seemingly amazing housing and fun shows - looks good to me, I'm curious why it was so bad. Do you have more info?

    03/20/2014  3:56pm

    From Gemini81: For what it's worth, I had an amazing experience working here. Decent pay, great amenities, and work I was proud to share.

    03/28/2014  1:53am

    I've done three contracts with The Redhouse so far, and would consider myself blessed to be offered more. Great facilities, high quality production values and most importantly, an Artistic Director who is teaching 24/7. Learned more there in 3 shows than I did in college.

    04/02/2014  3:47pm

    Do NOT "work" here!!

    04/08/2014  2:39am

    Horrible. It was the worst experience of my friend's life.

    05/24/2014  1:41pm

    For those of you who did not like it there...can you please provide some more info? Worst experience of your life/do not work here but no details?

    12/09/2014  12:48am

    I did a show with them past summer and had an amazing time.
    They take great care of their artists. Housing is spacious and clean in a fun area of town.
    They care a lot about the quality of their productions and it definitely shows. Would absolutely go back.

    01/21/2015  4:54pm

    To the poster asking about details... I've heard about this place and apparently it's like sketchy to the extreme, to the point where they were scared of their safety (not the area, but the staff). It's not first-hand experience (thankfully), but I've heard rumors of some horrible stuff that goes on behind closed doors

    03/05/2015  1:59pm

    Pretty much community theatre with a decent design budget that hires New York actors.

    03/11/2015  1:44am

    Does anyone have any updated information for this past season/year with Red House?

    Have they gone equity?

    What is the pay like?

    How long are their runs?

    Thank you!

    03/28/2015  5:19pm

    Not sure if things have changed in the past couple months or not, but I'm here now and things are great. Great housing, helpful staff, efficient rehearsal processes. I'm someone who asks a ton of questions in and out of rehearsal, and I've always received a helpful answer.

    I don't think they've gone equity, at least nobody here is equity now.

    Pay is $400 a week for me. Plus travel reimbursement.

    Each show has a different run - I'm here on 3 contracts, one runs for 2 weeks, another for 3, and another for 2 weekends only.

    04/22/2015  4:30pm

    Do they have an EMC program? Or could they give someone their card?

    04/05/2016  3:46pm
  • Good experience!    
    02/09/2016  6:59pm

    RH is a little theatre with aspirations for bigger and better things.

    They are in the process of moving into a new arts space a few blocks away, which will undoubtedly provide more opportunities for actors and artists, both locally and out of town folks.

    I was one of the AEA actors for their rep series most recent (They have a special agreement contract with the union, for those who are interested in knowing. I believe they can have upwards of 3 union actors per show). I have to say that my time here at the Redhouse has been nothing short of magical. If you do your work, and invest your time wisely, this will be a pleasant experience.

    The housing is on the 3rd floor literally above the theatre, and rehearsal space is on the 2nd floor, so most of the work that happens before opening is all pretty self contained.

    Just a few blocks down from the theatre is a long street full of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. I think once the new Redhouse space opens, it will encourage even more businesses to come.

    The only thing that will be important to note (which will still probably be the case when they move into the new space) is that local grocery stores are not walkable. You will have to hitch a ride with someone that has a car in the cast, or the lovely company manager will make a run, as long as you give them a heads up. Wegmans though… totes worth the schlep.

    There was no “bad energy” or divas in the cast… to my knowledge. The contracts stipulate 5 shows per week, so really, you have a lot of down time.

    There is also another part of their programming that is really interesting: community outreach. They have members of the community who may be special needs and different abled that participate alongside the professionals. Not all the shows do it, but the diversity is really pretty cool. They also do a lot of multi-ethnic productions, which, really, in 2016 shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but kudos to the RH for making it vital to their casting and programming.

    Lastly, some of their artists are involved in the fellowship program, which is essentially a component of the school system in the Syracuse district. These artists make a living wage — teach arts based programming to under served and heavily ethnic groups — and if they so desire, have an opportunity to perform (or direct, or do behind the scenes work) at night too. To be clear, this is not an internship program. They aren’t scrubbing toilets. They are essentially arts enrichment teachers that also have a passion for performing too.

    I would be happy to come back for another contract if asked.

  • Please update a review! 04/01/2015  1:52pm

    Please, please will more people expand on these 'experiences'?? We are all people of opinions and differing ideas of what constitutes good and bad experiences...if anyone would be wiling to explain more, your time would be exceptionally appreciated! Thanks!

    This is a scathing review.

    First, I'll give them one pass: the housing and pay are both very nice, considering they are provided by what amounts to a high budget community theater.

    Now, stick with me: their shows don't make profits even when they have full houses, because their budgets are higher than what capacity could yield during a run; they knowingly do not recoup their budgets. But, for whatever reason, they are always able to continue producing shows, and do so at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, in regards to the productions themselves, the Redhouse is only committed to spending money, usually on sets and props, and don't seem very interested on investing time in dramaturgy, table-work, scene-work, or any kind of valuable work, with the exception of blocking, which I would think constitutes the bare minimum a director should do. Yes, I concede they are very good at something (spending), but that's not all: their talent for spending is nearly matched by their talent for endless self-aggrandizing, constant bitching, casual racism and sexism, and a fondness for inside jokes that wouldn't be funny if you HAD "been there". If you miss the days of 8th grade, return to Redhouse immediately to reclaim some of the ignorance you lost post-adolescence.

    The moral of all this is: you have to wonder how and why these people would put on shows that don't make profits, spending lots of money to produce what are ultimately half-baked, sloppy productions that fail to utilize any of that money to actually ensure QUALITY theater. Unfortunately, as you may expect, they are utterly delusional about the quality of their productions; prospects for growth seem very grim.

    After my time at Redhouse, I find myself asking: if as a producer and a director you're going to commit to spending and losing money, why not get your money's worth artistically? Why deprive your expensive out-of-town actors of a valuable creative experience? Weren't they an investment or something? Why treat them like the enemy? It does not make sense in the least. This place is not so much a theater than it is the theatrical equivalent of the car wash Walt and Skyler open on "Breaking Bad" to launder their drug money (except Walt and Skyler pulled off the ruse well). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Redhouse is literally a drug front - the people who run it are too inept to handle any business at all, much less two at the same time - I'm just saying it's basically the facade of a theater company, kind of like those pristine, fake food markets they show on state-sponsored TV in North Korea to trick people into believing the state doesn't ignore the starvation of its people.

    So in conclusion it will be a painful process if you're an adult who cares about art and respect, in the most general, all-encompassing forms of the words. If you don't know if you care about those things, then all I can say is that it's a job, and you have to decide whether being a working actor in an environment bereft of maturity and imagination is better than just staying in New York, auditioning, and waiting tables.

    04/10/2015  3:12am

    I wish this wasn't true but it is. Crappy theatre doing mediocre work with a big budget. If you have a lot of opinions you won't fit in well here. If you like being told to exactly what to do without any artistic input and enjoy decent housing, you might have a good time.

    04/12/2015  9:40pm