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Please join hostess Jacqui Hubbard in downtown Essex at J. McLaughlin on Thursday, May 23rd to shop for a cause in support of Ivoryton Playhouse. At J. McLaughlin you will find styles that’ll take you everywhere from work, weekend, to adventure.

On this day 15% of sales at J. McLaughlin will benefit Ivoryton Playhouse in support of It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Beach Party and Annual fundraiser taking place in September.

If you are unable to attend, please consider calling in your order (959-265-3048) and we will provide complimentary shipping for your items.

Sip and Shop from 4pm – 6pm
J. McLaughlin

3 Main Street
Essex, CT 06426
T: 959-265-3048

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Swinging into Spring with an All-Female Big Band on a Journey to the ‘40s!
Look out, Rosie the Riveter, these ladies can Swing!

Get ready to swing back in time as Ivoryton Playhouse has proudly opened Swingtime Canteen, the second show in its exciting 2024 season. From May 16th to June 9th, audiences will be transported to the iconic era of the Second World War for an unforgettable journey filled with toe-tapping tunes, heartwarming moments, and a lot of swing!

Performance Schedule:

  • First Previews: May 16th, 2024
  • Opening Night: May 17th, 2024
  • Show Dates: May 16th through June 19th, 2024
  • Performance Times: Wednesdays—2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays—7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays—8 p.m., Sundays—2 p.m.
  • Added 2 pm Matinee: Tuesday, June 4th.

Set in 1944, Swingtime Canteen takes theatergoers on a nostalgic trip to a USO canteen, where soldiers and civilians alike gather to find solace, laughter, and the joy of music amidst the chaos of war. Packed with beloved hits from the era, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You,” this musical extravaganza promises to have audiences singing along and dancing in their seats.

“We are thrilled to bring the timeless charm and infectious energy of Swingtime Canteen to the Ivoryton stage,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse. “This production is a celebration of resilience, camaraderie, and the power of music to uplift spirits even in the darkest of times. Audiences can expect an evening filled with laughter, tears, and incredibly talented ladies!”

The show is directed by Amy Jones, a renowned New York-based theatre artist who has a long-standing pedigree with the show, having performed in the original Off-Broadway production. Swingtime Canteen promises to be a heartwarming and entertaining experience for theater lovers of all ages, featuring a talented, all-female cast of actor-musicians.

Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce Marcia McGuigan’s return to the Ivoryton stage as Grande Dame ‘Marian Ames’. The show also features Playhouse favorite Katie Barton as ‘Jo Sterling,’ as well as new-comers Caitlin Witty as ‘Katie Gammersflugel,’ Claire Marie Spencer as ‘Topeka Abotelli,’ and Claire-Frances Sullivan as ‘Lilly McBain.’ Rounding out the band are Mallory Kokus on reeds, Kim Bonsanti on trumpet, and Jordan Brint on the bass.

Not only is the cast filled with powerhouse females, but the design team is rounded out by amazing female-identifying artisans who lend their skills and creativity to Amy Jones’ vision. Starlet Jacobs is the Scenic Designer, with Kaylin Gess on the Lighting Design, Melissa Titus on the Props Design, and Liz Saylor on the Costume Design. Alan Piotrowitz is the loan male on the design team with Sound Design.

Tickets for Swingtime Canteen are now on sale and are $60 for adults, $55 for seniors, and $25 for students. Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at 860.767.7318. (For information on group rates, please contact the box office.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton. 

About Ivoryton Playhouse: Ivoryton Playhouse is a renowned small professional theatre in South Central Connecticut. For many years, it has been a beacon of creativity, culture, and intimate theatrical engagement. The theatre is committed to presenting exceptional productions and creating unforgettable experiences for audiences of all ages.

For more information, interviews, and press inquiries, please contact:
Ben Hope, Executive Producer – 321.303.0110

For press tickets, please contact:
Susan McCann –

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103 Main Street
Ivoryton, CT 06442

2024 Season – Alabama Story Auditions

EPA auditions by appointment in NY City
Ivoryton Playhouse – Ivoryton, CT
SPT 6 – Minimum Salary – $650

Executive/Artistic Director: Jacqueline Hubbard
Director/Associate Artistic Director: Todd Underwood
Executive Producer: Ben Hope

First Rehearsal: September 17, 2024
First Performance: October 3, 2024
Close: October 20, 2024

Performance schedule: Wednesdays 2 pm and 7:30 pm, Thursdays 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm, and Sundays 2 pm

NYC auditions:
Monday, May 20, 2024
10-6 pm (Break 1 pm – 2 pm)
Location: Pearl Studios
500 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10019
Holding Room: 411
Audition Studio: 410

In attendance:
Jacqueline Hubbard, Todd Underwood

Scheduling an appointment:
All interested performers must sign up for an appointment online at

*Please do not email appointment requests; sign up online through the AEA website.

**Please bring a picture and resume stapled together

Questions may be directed by email to

Sides are available here:

Character Breakdown:

GARTH WILLIAMS and OTHERS—50ish or older, a white writer and illustrator from the East Coast. Frisky, sardonic, dry, funny, deadly serious, and omnipresent when practical. He also assumes the roles of aged, sickly Alabama State Representative BOBBY CRONE; sincere Montgomery newspaper reporter HERSCHEL WEBB; fiery segregationist columnist HENRY BRANCH; a folky RADIO ANNOUNCER; and two silent WHITE PASSERSBY. Requires a charismatic chameleon actor with range and gravitas.

LILY WHITFIELD—32, a white woman from small-town Alabama privilege. Genteel Alabama accent. Politically unversed, she is the product of (and enjoys the benefits of) a racist system and has not questioned it. Sheltered, ashamed, loyal, religious, garrulous, charming, unhappily married, sentimental, all façade, ready to blossom.

JOSHUA MOORE—32, an upwardly mobile middle-class African American man who left Alabama years ago, settling in the north after serving in the Army. Purposely subtle and suppressed Alabama accent, which becomes pronounced when agitated. He is politically active, aspirational, loyal, kind, worldly, happily married, slow to boil, susceptible to nostalgia without getting lost in it, a disciple of Dr. King.

SENATOR E.W. HIGGINS—50ish or more, a white Alabama State Senator. Pronounced Alabama accent. He is an active racist, a charmer, a bully, a bull, a poisoner, and a politician. Most of what he says is rhetorical or performative. He’s not as smart as he thinks he is, but he’s influential. He is never sorry—an extrovert.

EMILY WHEELOCK REED— 50ish or more, a white female librarian, the State Librarian of Alabama, born in North Carolina and raised in Indiana. No Southern accent. She has no sense of humor, she does not suffer fools, and she is all business. When cornered, fallible. When her vulnerability is accessed and her heart unlocked, a person of good character is revealed—an introvert. THIS ROLE IS CAST

THOMAS FRANKLIN—28, a white male reference librarian, Emily’s assistant. Pronounced Alabama accent. Buttoned-up, genteel, educated, officious, efficient, slightly uncomfortable in his own skin. Neutral and objective when conveying information. The kind of man you want as your colleague or your son.

**Ivoryton Playhouse is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Ivoryton Playhouse’s goal is to ensure that our productions and production teams reflect a multi-racial society that includes actors and stage managers with disabilities. Our casting process includes a flexible and imaginative casting policy for the purpose of increasing employment for actors and stage managers of color, women, seniors, and actors and stage managers with disabilities.

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White Birch Blog – Reviews by Kiersten Bjork

Review by Bonnie Goldberg – CT Critics Circle member

EVERLY: The Music of The Everly Brothers      

Open now is the much-anticipated two-person theatrical concert Everly: The Music of the Everly Brothers! Step into the world of timeless melodies and unforgettable harmonies as Ivoryton Playhouse pays homage to the legendary Everly Brothers. Mark your calendars because this musical extravaganza is not to be missed!  

Performance Schedule:   Show Dates: On stage now through April 28th, 2024
Performance Times: Wednesdays – 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays – 7:30 p.m.,
Fridays and Saturdays – 8:00 p.m., Sundays – 2:00 p.m.  
Tickets for matinee performances are already limited. Additional Saturday matinee added April 20th at 2pm.

Ivoryton Playhouse is the perfect intimate setting to enjoy this musical journey. Everly features tons of unforgettable songs: “All I Have to Do is Dream,” “Bye Bye, Love, “Wake Up Little Susie,” and dozens more. From the Everly Brothers’ most recognizable hits to some of their deepest tracks, audiences will be thrilled by this celebration of iconic music that has stood the test of time. 

Eric Anthony and Ben Hope, the talented duo who created and star in the show, capture the essence of the Everly Brothers like never before. With their pitch-perfect vocals and undeniable chemistry, they’ll have you singing along from start to finish.   Hope, who also directs the show, says, “We’ve tried to create more than just a concert; something richer than a tribute show or playlist. We want to explore the lives and careers of these two icons of American music and the cultural landscape in which their music thrived. We hope the audience experience includes falling in love with this music again, but we also hope they walk away feeling a deeper connection to Don and Phil.”  

Already extended by popular demand, Everly: The Music of the Everly Brothers is the perfect way to start the season! Tickets continue to sell fast, so don’t wait. Head to the Ivoryton Playhouse website or call the box office to secure your seats. Make new memories while celebrating the nostalgia of the timeless music of the Everly Brothers.
Tickets are $60 for adults, $55 for seniors, and $25 for students. Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at 860.767.7318. (For information on group rates, please contact the box office.)  

For more information, interviews, and press inquiries, please contact: Ben Hope, Executive Producer – 321.303.0110

Photos by Jonathan Steele

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For information on buying a 6 play or 3 play subscription please follow this link to view and download forms.

Please click, call or drop by to get your tickets:

Order online by following this link

Call the box office at 860.767.7318

Visit our new Box Office location at 22 Main Street, Centerbrook any weekend from 11am – 4pm.

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A NOTE FROM JACQUI HUBBARD: Another year is winding down and I am looking out of my window at the glorious reds and golds of autumn. How lucky are we to live here!

Inside our theatre, we have had a veritable rainbow of colors this year – from the sparkles and sequins of GEORGIA MCBRIDE to the cabin colored beauty of ON GOLDEN POND. We climbed the snow-white Alps in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and then slipped out of an alley, under a shadowy streetlight in New Jersey to celebrate the music of the Four Seasons in JERSEY BOYS. Currently, our stage is ablaze with the magnificent passion of THE COLOR PURPLE and we will wind up 2023 with tinsel and mistletoe and a rockin’ rollin’ Christmas celebration with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET CHRISTMAS.

I can’t wait to share with you our line-up for next year but you can count on the fact that it will be just as colorful and tuneful as this year, plus a little something more!

We hope you will support Ivoryton Playhouse this year with an annual contribution.  Your membership allows us to maintain this beautiful building, provide subsidized tickets for schools and for those that struggle with serious illness, and breath light and life into this little community.

On behalf of the board of trustees, staff, volunteers, and the thousands of theatregoers like you who enjoy the treasure that is Ivoryton Playhouse, thank you for supporting our work with a membership donation. Thank you for being an important part of the magic and helping us bring a little more joy, a little more music and a little more color into our world. 


Jacqui Hubbard
Artistic / Executive Director

Make a donation online by clicking on this link

Or download and fill in the membership form here and return to Ivoryton Playhouse with a check:

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Congratulations to Jacqueline K-D from Newington who won first prize in our Glory Days raffle! She won two tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Mohegan Sun (rescheduled date to be announced).
Also congratulations to Theresa D from Essex who won second prize – two 3-play subscriptions for our 2024 season.
That was fun! Watch this space for info on a raffle next year!
First Prize is two (2) tickets – floor seats – for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for Saturday, September 16th – Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena).
E Street Lounge passes have been included so you’ll have a place to go relax and have a drink before the show. The Lounge has a cash bar and opens when the doors open to the venue and will close at showtime.
Second Prize is two x 3-play subscriptions for Playhouse 2024 Season
Ivoryton Playhouse is having an amazing 2023 Season. Our 2024 line-up has not been released yet but – you can be sure – it will be another block buster season. This prize is for two people to come and see three of your favorite main stage productions.
Scan this QR code to purchase raffle tickets to have a chance to win!

OR CLICK THROUGH HERE to purchase raffle tickets to have a chance to win!

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20.00. When “Jersey Boys” at Ivoryton Playhouse closes so does this raffle. Entries close September 10, 2023 at 5:00pm. VIP tickets are only valid for performance at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, September 16th.
This is an exceptional opportunity to see one of the final concerts of this tour. Good luck and thank you for supporting Ivoryton Playhouse!!

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