What to Catch at Vassar's Powerhouse Theater This Summer

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film have a star-studded schedule of shows.


Adobe Stock / Aerogondo


Lights. Camera. Action! The Powerhouse Theater is back to deliver a summer of award-winning performers, unforgettable shows, and glimpses at the plots that may one day make it to Broadway. It happened for Lin-Manuel and Hamilton, after all.

The 34th Powerhouse Season opens on June 22 and runs until July 29. During that time, the Hudson Valley community and New York City weekenders will flock to Vassar’s campus to watch catchy musicals, dramatic readings, and emotional plays. The line-up of shows is worth a perusal now, since tickets often sell out for in-demand performances. Reservations to see the new works by Spring Awakening creators and two-time Tony winners Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, for instance, probably will not be available for much longer.

Our top picks for the season include an adaptation of a Virginia Woolf classic, a new take on Alice in Wonderland, and a workshop sneak peek. If the success of the 2017 season is any indication (we mean you, Josh Radnor), this year's line-up is one for the books.


Alice By Heart

Musical, July 5 – 7

If you only see one play at the Powerhouse this year, this has to be it. Created by Spring Awakening mastermind Steven Sater in collaboration with Waitress writer Jessie Nelson, the play tells the story of a young Alice Spencer in the aftermath of the London Blitz. As she and her friend Alfred lose themselves in their favorite book, they come face to face with love, loss, and challenges galore. With music by Spring Awakening’s Duncan Sheik, the play has serious Broadway potential.


The Waves

Mainstage, July 19 – 29

Adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, The Waves follows the tale of six childhood friends as they navigate their shifting relationships, ambitions, and struggles. This musical, which originally premiered off-Broadway over 30 years ago, is reimagined to thoroughly captivate the audience.


India Pale Ale

Inside Look Workshop, July 6 – 

As part of the ‘Inside Look’ Workshops at Vassar’s black box Susan Stein Shiva Theater, India Pale Ale recounts a colorful story that brings tradition and rebellion face to face. In a local Punjabi community in Wisconsin, one family must juggle their son’s traditional marriage with their daughter’s plans to move away and open a bar. Expect a lot of laughs and more than a few life lessons from this one.

If you don’t want to splurge on a show, never fear! The Powerhouse Training Company hosts free public performances every year. This summer’s shows include Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, held at the Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns, and the conceptual post-apocalyptic London tale Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Enough Oxygen, held in the Mug in Vassar’s College Center. Seating is first come, first served, so be sure to show up well in advance of the opening scene.

For the full schedule of performances and to purchase tickets, visit the Powerhouse Theater website or call 845.437.5907.

Related: Jam Out at the Hudson Valley's Summer Music Festivals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module