The world of the arts is notoriously fickle. Fortunes are made and lost at the whim of the public and its changing tastes. It is particularly difficult to maintain community theater, which derives much of its financial viability from donors and volunteers who share a passion for the performance arts.
This year the Sharon Playhouse will celebrate 60 years of tenacity and talent as it marks the end of its sixth decade and looks forward to many more years of providing quality musical theatre.
The Playhouse has seen a number of incarnations since it was formally established by Walter Winburn, a stage-struck young man, Helen Kingstead and Gerald Cornell, both Broadway actors who summered in Sharon. It was because of Kingstead that the Sharon Playhouse was conceived, piggybacking on the Pitchfork Playhouse, an adjunct of the former Sharon Inn. In 1950, mystery writer Judson Phillips created a small regional Equity theater and took the name of the Sharon Playhouse.
In the intervening decades the Playhouse has grown despite its financial strictures, gaining a reputation for first-rate summer theatre even as it enlarged and modernized its facilities.
This Saturday, June 8th, at 5:30PM, it will celebrate its triumph with a Season Preview Show in the Playhouse and Patio Cabaret ($20) and at 6:30 a Season Preview Show, Patio Cabaret and Cocktail Party with open bar and hors d’oeuvres ($50).
Cast members from each of the summer’s productions will be present to sing songs from Crazy for You; Michael Berkeley’s Divas; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Nunsense.
Those with a flair for the dramatic are invited to participate in a costume contest by coming dressed as their favorite musical theatre character. Alternatively, attendees can bring sheet music to sing during the Patio Caberet. Participants will get a free drink.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office, 49 Amenia Road, or by calling 860-364-7469, ext. 200 or 201 Tuesday-Saturday, 2-6PM and Sunday, 1-5PM.
Tickets can be purchased online at the link below.