‘A Wrinkle in Time’ to kick off new TYA program

Lease extended through May for additional TYA spring performance – the last performance at The Playhouse

Mountain Theatre Company is launching its new Theatre for Young Audiences program with “A Wrinkle in Time” set for November 4-12.

Madeleine L’Engle’s Newberry Medal winning children’s novel will come to life on stage in this exciting theatrical adaptation.

This new Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) initiative is aimed directly at providing a professional theatre experience for young people and families in our local community. 

By working with local schools in surrounding counties, more than 800 students will attend educational field trips to The Highlands Playhouse free of charge to the student, the family, and the school Tuesday – Friday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. the week of Nov. 4-12.

There will also be public performances offered on Friday evenings at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. for all to attend with a “pay what you can” ticketing plan.

All money collected for tickets will go directly back into our TYA program with the next performance scheduled for spring 2023 which will be the last production set at the Highlands Playhouse.

While aimed at a young audience, this show is for families and people of ages! Whether 8 or 88, come see this beautiful story brought to life on stage!

Tickets available HERE.

Highlands Town Board Playhouse agenda item

At Thursday’s October Town Board meeting Dave Healy, president of the Mountain Theatre Company board, asked the town to extend the Playhouse lease at $1 per year through May 31, 2023.

The current lease ends at the end of November but with annual holiday shows coming in December and a TYA performance promised the schools in the spring, an extension was requested.

Healy said the Mountain Theatre Company housed at The Playhouse has had a hugely successful season.

In 2020 it was able to get expenses to zero – thanks to not having to pay rent, said Healy. Then when it reopened, the board invested significantly in the hiring of a new executive artistic director, Scott Daniel. This year the board hired two full-time managers, one in marketing and one in operations as well as hiring 87 contract employees who spent the season in Highlands. 

“That investment paid off,” said Healy. “2022 has been a record year for us. Sales were well above anything we have experienced in our 84 years. July through our last show more than 9,000 people came through the Highlands Playhouse to see musical theater. And we have more to go.” 

Healy went on to introduce the company’s Theatre for Young Audiences with the first show “A Wrinkle in Time” set for Nov. 4-12.

“Statistics show that by simply seeing live theater benefits students academically, socially, emotionally,” said Healy. “We decided it’s something we want to invest in. Thanks to a donation from Mountain Findings, between 800 and 1,000 students are coming to see the performance.” 

Healy said a lease extension is needed because the schools asked for next year’s show to be scheduled in the spring because it’s easier curriculum-wise.

“So instead of doing a show in another year, we will be doing another in the spring which is just five months away,” he said.

The Mountain Theatre Company lease with PAC is being hammered out and once that is signed, the company will leave The Playhouse and take up residence in its new digs at PAC.

“Our goal is to get the lease signed, begin the move right after we finish our holiday show Dec. 31, move all our equipment that PAC wants to use over there through January. Move into the building in February and move our offices in March. We would like to do the spring TYA show in April for the students but will vacate Highlands Playhouse permanently and completely by May 31,” he said.

The board voted unanimously to grant the extension.

By Kim Lewicki, Highlands Newspaper

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