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Performing Art 2023 at the Lehman Loeb Gallery

Visual and performing art in collaboration

This performance was our present moment theatrical response to work that was in the Loeb gallery in July of 2023. Created over 16 hours of rehearsal, the ensemble used writing, movement, and improv exercises to explore their relationship to the art. While drawing inspiration from artwork throughout the galleries, we have embraced a line from the Body Matters exhibit as our guiding question, "How do bodies move through art, space, and time?" We invited audiences to ponder this question as they travelled through the performance. More info here:




Performing Art 2023 at the Dorsky Museum

Visual and performing art in collaboration

Performing Art is a highly-collaborative, annual collaboration with the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz that brings together a diverse ensemble of creators to explore the relationship between visual and performing art.  


Our 2023 production was inspired by the exhibit Homespun, curated by Karlyn Benson. Featuring a range of approaches to textile art, Homespun explores how Hudson Valley artists are reinterpreting traditional crafts and “women’s work” in new and surprising ways. More info about the 2023 cast and crew.




Hudson Valley Coffee Hang

Meet us for coffee! Our seasonal "coffee hang" was another way for us to meet our community and for our community to meet us. An unstructured, casual event where Lab staff and friends just hang out at the coffee shop for an hour. We want to meet you! Come by and introduce yourself, tell us what you're up to and meet other local theater makers. '23 locations: Dry Fly in New Paltz (spring) and Crafted Kup in Poughkeepsie (summer)




Hudson Valley Musical Theater Salon

Celebrating new work by local composers

The Hudson Valley houses a rich community of theatre artists and writers. Between these seasoned professionals and the up-and-coming young talent, the area has become a hub for musical theatre creation, development, and performance - but many local artists are not aware of their proximity to potential collaborators and interpreters of their work.


The Lab, in collaboration with composer and music director Katya Stanislavskaya, is excited to produce the First Annual Hudson Valley Music Theatre Writer's Salon:  an opportunity for writers to share and connect with performers, and for audiences to meet the voices of new music theatre in our region.



Writer's Lab

Writer's Lab

Jumpstart or support your writing process

Writer's Lab provides a space for experienced and aspiring writers to set goals, read and workshop their work, and provide support to one another. By attending our playwriting workshops, you have the opportunity to stretch your writing muscles and to share your work with other writers and actors. Working in isolation can be very productive, but getting in the habit of hearing your work read out loud and receiving feedback in a supportive environment is just as important as the writing itself..




36th Annual Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Awards

2022 Honorees

The Dutchess County Executive, in collaboration with Arts Mid-Hudson, annually recognizes outstanding people and organizations that contribute to the artistic quality and vibrancy of Dutchess County. This is the 36th Anniversary of the Awards, originally founded by then Dutchess County Executive Lucille Pattison in 1986. The awardees are selected from public nominations, and this year, we've been chosen!




New Works Showcase

A celebration of new work by local writers

An evening of new writing developed by local playwrights in our Writer's Labs and performed by members of our Actor's Labs, as well as our guest teachers and cast members from this year's productions!

New plays by: Andrew Karl, Andrew Matthews, Deborah Mangrum Price, Stephen Carey-Chan, and Margaret Milan Wright



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Powerhouse Residency: Shakespeare Unplugged

A double bill of two new musicals

In residency with  Powerhouse Theater's 32nd Summer season in 2022 we presented a double bill: Scotty Arnold’s musical adaptations of Shakespeare's All’s Well That Ends Well and Twelfth Night. Arnold, a musical theater writer and five-time Powerhouse alum, dusts off these classic plays and boils them down to their essence, enlivening them with contemporary songs and music. A small cast of Hudson Valley professionals tell both of these stories in 45 minutes each, creating a fun evening that will appeal to both Shakespeare fans and first-timers of all ages. Directed by Elizabeth Audley.




Performing Art 2022 @ the Samuel Dorsky Museum

(back in person) Visual and performing art in collaboration

In our first year back fully in person and performing live, the show had a strong focus on celebrating being together and sheer joy and exhilaration of making art in real time. We focused on making the beautiful and primal art by Mary Frank come alive through movement, sound, and story.

"I’m so thrilled that the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Lab was inspired by my retrospective at the Dorsky and created this event in the museum. What an honor!."





Shakespeare Unplugged @ The Garrison

A 2-week development workshop of a new musical

In November of 2021, the Lab collaborated with composer and writer Scotty Arnold on a two-week development workshop of his new musical adaptation of Twelfth Night. Under the direction of Liz Dahmen and movement direction of Mandy Work Wetzel, a group of 6 actors dove headfirst into the world of Twelfth Night as reimagined by Scotty Arnold. 

The two-week intensive workshop was followed by a one-night community event where participants enjoyed live performances of excerpts from the adaptation followed by discussions and interactive exercises that highlighted the Lab’s process of developing new work. See images from these events here.




Community Monlogue and Song Jam

With New York Stage and Film at Marist College

Participants from our monologue and song writing workshop share their words and music inspired by summer in the Hudson Valley. Our first live performance since March of 2020.  New York Stage and Film at Marist College generously offered to share their outdoor stage with us for this one-night-only event.




5 Year Anniversary Gala

Honoring 5 years of programming in the Hudson Valley

A party as well as an opportunity to hear from our community. Saying thank you to everyone who has built the Lab into the vibrant organization it is today.

We are excited to celebrate 5 years of uplifting and connecting the vibrant Hudson Valley performing arts community through educational and collaborative programming.




Performing Art 2021 @ the Samuel Dorsky Museum

A series of devised short films

During the early months of 2021, the Lab collaborated with the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY for a second exploration of the intersection between visual and performing arts. Despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we created a series of short films that could be accessed in the museum while the 2021 Spring Exhibition was live, as well as virtually. Nine short films were produced that responded to 8 exhibits throughout the museum.


While the Spring 2021 exhibits have now closed, you can still experience the films right here.




Wind Chill Fundraiser @ Hudson River Housing

A devised performance piece in support of Hudson River Housing


In November 2020, The Lab joined Hudson River Housing in support of their annual Wind Chill Fundraiser, devising a short play and film rooted in real experiences of homelessness, to raise funds and awareness to support those in our community who are confronting homelessness as we face the long winter ahead.

Learn more about Hudson River Housing and the important work they're doing here.



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Hawk's Landing

A soap opera; devised, rehearsed, and shot entirely in quarantine

The pizza guy always showing up at the wrong house may seem like a simple small-town problem, but like most things in Hawk’s Landing, it masks something deeper. A motley cast of seemingly average people assemble to scheme, trick, blackmail, and connive their way in and out of trouble. Who is lying and who is telling the truth? Is anyone who they seem to be? ​The everyday life of a not-so-ordinary town reveals the answers--and raises even more questions.




Performing Art 2020 @ the Samuel Dorsky Museum

A devised performance piece in response to the Dorsky's 2020 Spring Exhibitions


What if the experiences of previous museum visitors lingered in the space after they left? What if the songs that ran through their head, the conversations they had with their friends, the images that popped into their minds while they looked at the artwork were suspended in the air? And most importantly, what might it be like to walk through that? This production snakes through the museum inviting the audience to have their own experience while simultaneously being confronted with the images and conversations of patrons who came before them.




Medea @ Arts Society of Kingston

We take Medea on the road for a residency in Kingston


The Lab continued their exploration of storytelling, devised theater, and experimentation with this second incarnation of Medea. Initially developed with a cast of twelve, the Lab narrows the players down to five to examine the question of what actually happened from Medea's point of view. Using devised theater techniques and written collaboratively, this production invited the audience to experience a classic Greek tragedy from a new perspective. 




Living Closely 2

Jumping off with the script of Living Closely, we take old stories in new directions with Blind Tiger Improv @ Howland Cultural Center

Our first fully devised piece, Living Closely, followed the lives of 15 characters as their daily routines took them in and out of each other's circles. For this production, we started with that script and then revisited old characters and added completely new ones to tell new stories where the old ones left off.  




Medea (by Medea)

Euripides' famous tragedy, reimagined through the eyes of Medea


A culmination of our Spring season, this production will take place at the Theater Building at the Cunneen Hackett Arts Center. This devised piece was developed by the cast and is based on the classic tragedy. Our production explores what might happen if Medea got to be the writer and director of her own play. 




Potluck & Plays

an evening of eating and reading plays


This event series acted as a community gathering where we could come together for food, conversation, and to read and discuss a play. Since many of us find it hard to make time to read plays, this event incentivized play reading by making it social. Our kick off event was a reading of Ibsen's A Doll's House, and since then we have read Sarah Ruhl's Euridice, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and more! 




The Industry Today

a panel discussion

This was an informative panel that touched all aspects of working within and without the performing arts industry. Panelists included James Calleri (Casting Director), Bernard Bunye (Talent Manager), Patrick Mulrany (Actor, Director), Rebecca Harris (Actor, Acting Coach) and Scotty Arnold (Musical Theater Writer & Director).



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Living Closely 

our first fully devised play

Living Closely was our first performance that was completely written by the company. Our rehearsal process involved writing and improvisation exercises to develop the world in which all of these characters meet and interact. Through a series of short scenes, the audience followed the story as one after another character's lives crisscrossed and became more and more intertwined. "Living Closely" examines how closely knit we all are, even if we are perfect strangers.

Directed by Elizabeth Dahmen




New Works Readings

staged readings of plays developed at The Lab

Our writing group meets every other Tuesday during the Spring and Fall Season. In conjunction with our writer's group, we host and produce an evening where we share these plays with an audience for further feedback and development. These readings allow our writers to hear their work read out loud and experience how it is received by an audience.




Antigone Unbound

our first production

This play was our first foray into our radical casting technique. Every actor played every role at some point during the play. Using simple costume changes and minimal props Antigone's struggle was slowly revealed through multiple characterizations. We also created a contrasting series of scenes that put Antigone's world into stark relief against the backdrop of a modern world obsessed with her story. This piece was based on Sophocles' Antigone but was devised and developed by the company. 

Directed by Elizabeth Dahmen


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