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Monthly Archives: January 2019

On March 20th, 2019 the Ivoryton Playhouse opens its doors for a new season – a year full of exciting, affordable professional theatre. Plays for romantics and plays for cynics; shows for families and shows for sweethearts; music from the movies and Broadway as well as zany comedies and classic dramas – the Ivoryton Playhouse 2019 season has something for everyone and more than you ever expected.

The season opens on March 20th with a new musical, BURT & ME
(Book by Larry McKenna, Lyrics by Hal David, Music by Burt Bacharach).  If you fell in love to the music of Burt Bacharach, then you won’t want to miss this nostalgic romantic musical comedy running through April 7, 2019. Featuring the classics: “What the World Needs Now,” “Walk On By,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” and many more. Runs through April 7th.

A progressive white couple’s proud liberal sensibilities are put to the test when their daughter brings her black fiancé home to meet them in this fresh and relevant stage adaptation of the iconic film, GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER by Todd Kreidler (April 24th – May 12th.) A multi-family clash of racial and generational differences and at the end of the day, will love prevail?

GODSPELL (May 22 – June 16) is the first major musical theater hit from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, and Children of Eden). Loosely based around the Gospel of St. Matthew, GODSPELL features a parade of beloved songs, including ”Day by Day “, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.

July is family musical time and this year is no exception. On June 26th, summer opens with a splash with the blockbuster musical MAMMA MIA, (Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus) Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA the ultimate feel-good show! Set on a Greek island paradise, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Runs through July 28th.

CABARET (Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Book by Joe Masteroff) takes us back to Broadway on August 7th – Sunday, September 1st. The international classic musical and winner of 8 Tony awards, CABARET is as relevant today as when it first opened on Broadway over 50 years ago. Join us at the Kit Kat Club as the Emcee takes us back to those tumultuous times with unforgettable musical numbers including, “Willkommen,” “Cabaret,” and “Two Ladies.”

SHEAR MADNESS (Paul Portner) is one of the most popular productions in the world, delighting audiences with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery. This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the “Shear Madness” hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute humor. A murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the mystery. Voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and “Best Play of the Year” by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer, “Shear Madness” has also received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first play ever to receive that accolade. Runs from September 18th – October 6th.

David Lutken and his trusty band of musicians return to the Playhouse in WOODY SEZ  – THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF WOODY GUTHRIE – a musical celebrating the original folk hero and an iconic American troubadour. Tap your feet and sing along with Woody Sez in this uplifting musical portrait. You will be transported through his fascinating life with moving ballads and energetic foot-stompers like “This Land is Your Land,” “The Ballad of Tom Joad,” “Pastures of Plenty” and “This Train is Bound for Glory” in this incredible, award-winning musical journey. Devised by David Lutken with Nick Corley and Darcie Deaville, Helen J. Russell and Andy Teirstein.  Runs from Wednesday, October 23 – Sunday, November 10, 2019

Don’t miss some of the most exciting, entertaining and affordable theatre on the shoreline!

Subscriptions and gift certificates are on sale now.


Subscriptions can be purchased by downloading the forms below and sending by mail.  We offer 18 possible series during our season. On the form below, please circle the Series that you’d like for Season 2019, complete all of the information and mail to us with payment. Remember that, for a Series, you must stay within the same row of dates.

You will be able to switch any single dates that don’t work for you after February 20, 2019.

Full 7-play subscriptions are $295 (only $42 per ticket)

5-play series subscriptions are $225 (only $45 per ticket)

3-play series subscriptions are $145 (only $48 per ticket)

To view the list of shows for our 2019 season please click here:  2019 Season

To view the 2019 subscription series dates please click here:  2019 series dates

To download the 7 and 5 play subscription form please click here:  7 and 5 play form

To download the 3 play subscription form please click here:  3 play form

Checks payable to Ivoryton Playhouse and mailed to:
Ivoryton Playhouse, PO Box 458, Ivoryton, CT  06442

To discuss seating options please telephone Susan McCann on 860.767.7318 x 203

Individual tickets for 2019

Single ticket prices for 2019 are:  $55 adult / $50 senior / $25 student / $20 children 12 and under.

Individual tickets go on sale February 20, 2019.

Visit or call (860) 767 7318 for the latest ticket information.

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It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news of the death of longtime Ivoryton Playhouse Board member and Essex resident Harvey Hoberman. Harvey joined the Board in 2008 and was an active supporter and advocate for the Playhouse. He was a well known and admired Hartford attorney who often shared his legal expertise with us as a member of the Governance Committee during his time on the Board.

We send our thoughts and prayers to his family. Harvey was predeceased by his wife Joan who died in 1997. He leaves two daughters, Julie Hoberman and Anna Hoberman, son-in-law Greg Lowrey, grandsons Jonah Lowrey and Elias Lowrey. Also his long-time companion Penny Parker, his brother Ed and sister-in-law Lisa, and his mother-in-law Ruth Solomkin.

Al Jaffe
President, Ivoryton Playhouse Board of Trustees

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Third Annual Women Playwrights Initiative:

Our mission is to Inspire, Empower, Validate, and Celebrate women playwrights.

The Women Playwrights Initiative at the Ivoryton Playhouse develops new one-act plays by and about women, and the issues that shape their lives. Friendship, political and economic advocacy, sexual satisfaction, aging, gender equality, racial issues, marriage, singlehood, motherhood, careers, and power. The Initiative provides a safe, nurturing environment for play development, including a week of intensive rehearsal with the playwrights, directors, and actors. The workshopping week culminates in a staged reading festival, featuring interactive talkbacks with the playwrights, directors, actors, and audience.


Performance times are 7:00pm. 

Ticket prices are:
$20 adult; $15 senior; $10 student

Single tickets are available to purchase on line by clicking on this link.

Buy tickets for Friday and Saturday night performances and save:
$30 adult; $25 senior; $10 student.  Please call the box office to purchase these ticket packages – 860.767.7318



Friday March 1: 

by Tori Keenan-Zelt
Directed by:  Susan Einhorn

As the Civil War draws to a close, cholera and Gettysburg have claimed the lives of two husbands. In this wickedly funny play, two young women grapple with the freedom and power of their new widowhood. If they had the chance to have their husbands back, would they take it?


by Waltrudis Buck
Directed by:  Todd Underwood

Two brothers—a school teacher and Shakespearean actor—return to Harlem to persuade their infirm grandma to leave the tenement where they grew up. In this bittersweet drama, yearning, art, rivalry, and hope struggle against the relentless forces of reality.


Saturday March 2:

by Rachael Carnes
Directed by:  Leslie Snow

What can her grandmother and mother teach young Sally about agency, expectation, and the roles society permit women? Through the lens of three enslaved women, the property of Thomas Jefferson, we face what it means to be the “partner of –”


by Kathleen Cahill
Directed by:  Hannah Simms
Roberta’s trip to Ireland becomes a surreal odyssey when the airlines lose her suitcase containing her father’s ashes. The dialogue is sharp, and the tone is magical, in a comedy that explores the universe’s indifference, filial obligation, forgiveness, and the power of love.



Waltrudis Buck  (Water Without Berries) is thrilled to make her playwright’s debut at Ivoryton. She has worked in film, TV, and theatre as an actor, appearing opposite De Niro, Julia Roberts and Woody Allen, among others. She has published poetry and short stories, and her novel The Berlin Girl can be found here: but this is her first foray into playwriting. Thank you so much Ivoryton! She just finished a full-length comedy titled Real Estate inspired by the current political situation, excerpts of which have had readings at “Naked Angels Tuesdays@9.” Any producers out there? It’s a very funny play, if it weren’t so sad (


Kathleen Cahill (The Robertassey) Kathleen’s awards include three Edgerton Foundation Awards, the Jane Chambers Playwrighting Award, two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Playwrighting Awards, a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award, a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts New American Works Grant, and a Drama League Award. Her play Charm (NNPN Showcase) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has been produced around the country, upcoming at the New Hampshire Theatre Project. Her play/dance/romance, Silent Dancer, premieres at the Salt Lake Acting Company in April 2019, and at BStreet Theatre in Sacramento in August, 2019. She is Playwright-in-Residence at the Salt Lake Acting Company, and Dramatists Guild Fund Master Teacher. Her play Henry, Louise and Henri was part of the Women’s Playwrights Initiative at Ivoryton Playhouse in 2018.


Rachael Carnes (Partner of -) as an arts nonprofit founder and educator, Rachael has spent her career developing inclusive performing arts experiences for people of all ages and abilities. She discovered playwriting in 2016 and is humbled by her many productions since, with performances across the country and throughout the U.K. Recent highlights include invitations to the Inge Festival, the Midwest Dramatists Center Conference and the Mid-America Theatre Conference. Rachael’s work has been published by the Coachella Review, she is a Bechdel Group workshop semi-finalist, and her full-length play, Canopy, will receive a staged reading at the WriteON Festival, in Cambridge, U.K. in 2019. A community builder, Rachael founded #CodeRed, a playwrights’ collective dedicated to writing, and sharing, plays in response to gun violence. Rachael is beyond grateful for the opportunity to be in residence at the Ivoryton Playhouse. And she thanks her many playwriting mentors, and her husband and kids, for their continuing support.


Tori Keenan-Zelt (How to be a Widow) Originally and proudly from Pittsburgh, Tori writes curiosity-chasing plays that sniff out in-between spaces in big theatre to change the world. Many of them decide to be comedies. She has developed and presented work around the country and abroad. Recent plays include How the Baby Died (Ingram New Works), Seph (Araca Project, Princess Grace Finalist), Air Space (Kilroys 5 Most Recommended Plays, Ingram New Works Lab, Princess Grace Finalist), Truth/Dare (Project Y Theatre, Best Ensemble Pittsburgh Fringe, Kilroys List, Princess Grace Finalist), Egypt Play (InterAct 20/20 Finalist), Episode #121: Catfight! (Yale Cabaret), and others. Having written for Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy Award-winning PBS education series, Tori has been named an Emmy Nominee, Kilroys Lister, Jerome Finalist, Princess Grace Finalist, Playwrights of New York Nominee, and some other things. She is an affiliated writer with The Lark, The Playwrights’ Center, Ingram New Works Lab, Ensemble Studio Theatre Playwrights’ Unit, Fresh Ground Pepper, & the Dramatists Guild. Several of her short plays are published by Next Stage Press. AB, Harvard. MFA, NYU Tisch Asia (Singapore).

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The Ivoryton Playhouse is an historic, not for profit, 280-seat, professional theatre located on the Connecticut Shoreline. The Playhouse operates a year-round season, which includes eight main stage productions, educational programs, special events and a Summer Children’s Theater Series.

A summer internship at the Ivoryton Playhouse offers students and recent graduates the opportunity to expand and develop technical theatre skills, make professional contacts, and develop the insight and experience necessary to pursue a career in theatre.

This year, the playhouse is very excited to be able to offer two options for internship experiences:

The Production Internship is designed for students aspiring to careers in technical theatre, production or design, including but not limited to the following: Carpentry, Costuming, Lighting, Painting, Run Crew, Scenic Design, Technical Direction, Properties, Production Management and Stage Management.

The Performance Internship is designed for students aspiring to be actors, dancers and/or singers. Performance Interns will work closely with professional directors, actors, stage managers, and staff as the internship takes them from the first day of rehearsal, through the opportunity to perform on stage in a professional production.

Internships run from mid-May to early-September.

Ideal candidates must be at least 18 years of age, enrolled in college or be a recent graduate and should be working towards a career in theatre or performing arts. Please refer to FAQ document for other candidate information.

For FAQ please follow this link:  Ivoryton Playhouse Summer Interns FAQ

For an application form for a Production Internship, please follow this link:
Ivoryton Playhouse Summer Internship Application – Production

For an application form for a Performance Internship, please follow this link:
Ivoryton Playhouse Summer Internship Application – Performance

The application deadline is Friday, March 1, 2019. All applications postmarked by that date will be accepted.

The internship positions will be filled by March 15, 2019.

Contact for more information.

The Ivoryton Playhouse is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

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Auditions for Ivoryton Playhouse Production

“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”

The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for Equity and non Equity actors for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by Todd Kriedler, a fresh and relevant stage adaptation of the iconic film, on Friday, January 25th, 2019 from 10-6pm at the Ivoryton Playhouse Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main Street in Centerbrook, CT

Looking for actors to fill all roles. Directed by Kathryn Markey, the show runs from April 24 – May 12, 2019. First rehearsal – April 9th.

All auditions are by appointment. Bring a picture and resume. Sides are available by following this link and clicking on the character names at the bottom of the page.

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.207 or email

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
by Todd Kreidler
Centerbrook – CT EPA by Appointment
Ivoryton Playhouse, Ivoryton, CT

Audition Date Location
Friday, January 25, 2019
Ivoryton Playhouse Rehearsal Studio
10am – 6pm
22 Main Street,
Centerbrook, CT 06409
Office can be found opposite Pizza Pub (15 Main Street) and Ideal Cleaners (17 Main Street) on the same side of the road as the Essex Steam Train.
Please do not go to the Ivoryton Playhouse theatre for these auditions

Personnel and Other Dates
Executive/Artistic Director: Jacqueline Hubbard
Associate Artistic Director:  Dan Nischan
Director:  Kathryn Markey

First Rehearsal – April 9, 2019
Opening: April 24, 2019
Close: May 12, 2019

$500 minimum/week

Sides will be available at soon.
Please bring a picture and resume, stapled together

Seeking actors for various roles

Matilda Binks – 50s, black; has worked as a maid for the Draytons for the past 27 years. Has a special closeness and protectiveness with the Drayton family.

Hilary St. George– 30s, – 40s white; works as the associate director of the Drayton Gallery. Chic, gossipy.

Christina Drayton 50s – 60s white; Joanna’s mother, runs the Drayton Gallery. Strong and articulate, she is the steady figure her family revolves around.

Matt Drayton. late 60s, white; Joanna’s father and the publisher of San Francisco newspaper The Guardian. An accomplished, hard-working person, sees himself as open-minded and intellectual, but his world view is shaken when Joey announces she is marrying Dr. Prentice.

Joanna Drayton early 20s, white; Matt and Christina’s daughter, a medical researcher, engaged to Dr. John Prentice. Optimistic, forward thinking, willful and filled with love.

Dr. John Prentice – mid 30s, black; a medical research doctor who is renowned in his field. Impressive and assured, he is realistic about the world and willing to challenge the status quo. He has survived the death of his wife and young son, and his relationship with Joanna is beginning to rebuild his faith in the world.

Monsignor Ryan 50s – 70s. longtime family friend of the Draytons, and advisor to Matt.

John Prentice, Sr. – 60s black; John’s father, a schoolteacher Dignified, proud, capable of rage.

Mary Prentice 50s – 60s black; John’s mother who works as a department store clerk. Solid, serious, trustworthy.


Theatre’s mailing address: Ivoryton Playhouse, PO Box 458, Ivoryton CT 06442.

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