Bucolic Setting Drew Dozens of Theatre Goers Outdoors to Enjoy the Debut Earnest Performance; three more planned!
Nyack Arts Festival Performances to follow: The Skin of Our Teeth, (Shakespeare’s) Love Labour’s Lost, Special Events, Readings, Tributes, and More!
Discover Nyack, along the way!
Just Between Us: End of summer is always bittersweet, but this year there have been sweet theatre offerings to look forward to in September and October peppered with oh so cool opportunities for some ‘get to really know Nyack’ fun. No, allow me to revise that to sweet, spicy, and spectacular offerings, by way of the acclaimed Phoenix Festival, which lest I forget to remind you, has a robust lineup of blessedly live arts/outdoor professionally executed productions in different Nyack venues, a one man show and compelling key events–each ticket an ez pass to outdoor theater heaven. And there’s still time not to miss out, so just between us again, don’t delay. With the festival’s beautiful posters in practically every shop window, it’s safe to say that this delightful group of civic minded, socially conscious people (they are the real deal–determined to make theater going possible for all), have taken Nyack by storm and added more fun to Rockland County’s jewel of a village than I can remember. I was delighted to discover, for example, as I’ve never visited either venue before, first the elegance of the historic Edward Hopper House for a pre-opening party, and this past Saturday, the long-awaited opening of The Importance of Being Earnest opening at Marydell, a spiritual retreat, as its gorgeous host location. Oscar Wilde’s classic tour de force (“a three-act farce about double lives, clandestine impropriety, and the foibles of the upper crust😊”) took place on the Center’s expansive lawn (situated opposite thick woods with hiking trails–note to self: return for hiking). The 2.5 hour show was lovingly and professionally performed under a bright blue sky and balmy temps with two brief intermissions which offered a chance to talk to other theatregoers, or simply to grab water and a snack. Lots of laughs along the way–good for the heart and soul in these trying times. For an overview and more news of the production plus highlights of ‘what’s next’ courtesy of Craig Smith, Festival Executive Director, Elise Stone, Artistic Director, and Leo Lion, Associate Artistic Director, please read on! And true to the recommendation that visitors combine theater going with village exploring, my friend and I ventured into town post performance for some excellent Thai fare at Thai House, off Main Street. After she had to get going, I continued my stroll solo down Broadway, and treated myself to a raspberry ice cream cone at Piermont Creamery. Sweet and spectacular deserved a sweet and spectacular ending! I’m looking forward to enjoying more Live Arts performances. — Grace Bennett, Publisher & Editor, Inside Press
The first annual Phoenix Festival: Live Arts in Nyack opened on Saturday September 17 to a sold-out audience and critical acclaim.
The performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest was enthusiastically received by a packed audience and hailed by reviewers as a “very very fine production…so well done” (BroadwayRadio) and a “splendid outdoor production” (Theaterscene https://theaterscene.org/)
The performance marked the beginning of five weekends of live theater and special events – continuing through October 16 ─ hosted by the Phoenix Theater Ensemble of New York City fame, now with roots in Nyack.
The playbill includes three more performances of Earnest, set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 23–25 ─ all outdoors at bucolic Marydell Faith and Life Center in Upper Nyack with 2 p.m. show times.
After Earnest, next up on the Marydell stage is Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, opening on Saturday, October 1 for six performances spanning the remaining weekends to the Festival close on October 16.
On the Marydell stage for October 8 and 15, audiences of all ages can enjoy Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost presented by the Children’s Shakespeare Theatre company, performed by kids and for kids ─ and, of course, for adults.
Also along the way to mid-October, the Festival will offer a hilarious Chekov one-man play in the garden at the home (now museum) of Nyack artist Edward Hopper, as well as special events at locations around Nyack village, including a song cycle premiere inspired by Hopper’s paintings, poetry readings by local writers, and film and live performance tributes to Nyack resident and “first lady of the American theater” Helen Hayes.
A detailed calendar of Festival events is here: events page
For visitors interested in combining art and entertainment with an exploration of Hudson Valley culture, the Festival team has created a special program for this event – Nyack Digital Dreaming-AR Adventures, an exciting multimedia, family- and phone-friendly introduction to the village, its history, lore and legends
Digital Dreaming incorporates walking tour narratives, documentary video and augmented reality. It’s free, available every day, all day, online at Digital Dreaming: AR Adventures.
In addition to Festival activities, Nyack village offers a wealth of attractions ─ one-of-a-kind shops, world class dining, pubs, live music and a vibrant nightlife. Local businesses are inviting Festival-goers to explore the village ─ and enter their raffle for prizes valued at over $3,500.
“A big bonus for Festival goers is Nyack village itself,” said Craig Smith, Phoenix Festival Executive Director. “Nyack is the perfect anchor for this unique festival that blends classic theater, music and local history with breathtaking natural beauty in a jazzy, upbeat river town setting.”
TICKETS: Call 833-681-4800. Go to NyackArtsFestival.com
Or go to the “At a Glance” page on the Festival events page