Groundbreaking expected in 2024

The curtain opened Tuesday (Nov. 28) on the open-air theater that an architecture firm is designing for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s new home at the former Garrison Golf Course.

Studio Gang released designs for the curved-roof, timber-framed structure, which will replace the fabric tent that HVSF used during its run of more than 30 years at Boscobel in Garrison and for the last two seasons at the former golf course.

The 13,850-square-foot structure will be the first purpose-built theater in the country with platinum certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), according to HVSF. Its plans include solar panels, rainwater capture, reduced embedded carbon, and other elements. It will sit amid vegetative screening.

“Studio Gang and the team have met the moment with a design that is not only visually stunning, but also supremely functional and sustainable in every sense,” said Davis McCallum, HVSF’s artistic director.

The stage’s proscenium arch will face Breakneck Ridge, the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain, and the theater will include an outdoor space where the audience can mingle with performers.

The design also includes a back-of-house facility for actors and technicians, and concessions and bathroom pavilions.

HVSF Announces 2024 Shows

For the first time in its 37-year history, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival schedule will not include a play by the Bard, although Kholoud Sawaf will direct a touring production of Much Ado About Nothing.

However, one of the three plays under the tent will be By the Queen, an adaptation by Whitney White of the Henry VI trilogy, which HVSF has never produced. It will be directed by Shana Cooper.

“It includes speeches and scenes from the Henry VI plays and Richard III and weaves them together with original writing from the point of view of Queen Margaret,” explained Davis McCallum, HVSF’s artistic director. “Shakespeare fans will love it, as I did when I saw the world premiere at Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island” in 2022.

McCallum noted that HVSF “did two major Shakespeare titles last season [Henry V and Love’s Labor’s Lost], and Shakespeare will always remain a cornerstone of our programming” but that 2024 will be “a season curated around the theme of adaptation.”

In addition to By the Queen, HVSF will present two world premieres:

• The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, an adaptation by Heidi Armbruster of Agatha Christie’s 1926 novel starring detective Hercule Poirot. It will be directed by Ryan Quinn.

• Medea: Re-Versed, an adaptation of Euripides by Luis Quintero co-produced with Red Bull Theater and Bedlam. It will be directed by Nathan Winkelstein.

Groundbreaking is expected in 2024 for this phase of HVSF’s larger project, which calls for, within five to 15 years, the addition of 26 units of housing for visiting artists, rehearsal and administrative space, and a welcome center.

The Philipstown Planning Board completed its environmental review of the project on Nov. 16 when it approved a “findings statement” that details how HVSF will minimize traffic, noise and other impacts from the development.

HVSF still must secure site-plan approval from the Planning Board, zoning amendments from the Town Board and permits from various agencies.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

The Peekskill resident is a former reporter for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, where he covered Sullivan County and later Newburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.

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