ELLENVILLE – The Shadowland Theater in Ellenville is gearing up once more for its summer season, which will kick off on June 2 with Michael Frayn's hit play "Noises Off" and continue, as it has in recent years, well into autumn.
The Shadowland also welcomes a new managing director, who steps into the slot that was emptied with Jon Wojciechowski's untimely death a year ago. Bradley Diuguid is the new man, and as he says, he's "a lifer in this area."
"I've been involved in theater my whole life," says Diuguid. "I grew up in Sullivan County, went to SUNY New Paltz, and I met Brendan Burke while I was a student there. I've been to many Shadowland shows and love this theater. I went to graduate school at Harvard for education and I have taught in public schools and after school programs and with non-profit theaters."
Diuguid is also well schooled in fundraising, a big part of the job.
"I have done fundraising work for several other institutions, such as the Juilliard in New York City, and it was a big part of my job as executive director at Catskill Art Society," he adds.
As for this year's play season, which will run to October 22 this year, it features six plays that, as Shadowland's longstanding artistic director Brendan Burke put it, plays to the fact that, "We all could use a laugh, and this season provides it without compromising content."
After "Noises Off," a fast-paced comedy about a play within the play, comes "The Jag," a new play about a father and son attempting to rehabilitate their relationship while an odd female savante of Jaguars (cars not cats) attempts to rebuild a vintage 1966 vehicle in the father's garage. Burke directed this one at its world premiere at the New Jersey repertory this past winter and will reprise that function after convincing The Jag's playwrite to move her work to Ellenville.
Following will be "The Foreigner" by Larry Shue, "another great American comedy whose first act sets up the jokes that land in the second act," according to Burke. "It's a real pleasure of a play to see."
Starting August 18 will be "Murder for Two," which the artistic director describes as, "a murder mystery musical where two actors play all the roles, and the piano."
September brings "Ripcord" by David Lindsay Abaire.
"This is his new play, he's most famous for "The Rabbit Hole," said Burke. "This one is an interesting comedy about two mismatched roommates in a senior living facility. They take a wager against each other, and what begins lightheartedly turns into something more serious.
The season finale will be "Disgraced" running from October 6 to October 22, a play by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar.
"This is one of the most produced shows in the US in the last couple of years," explains Burke. "It's about an attorney of Pakistani descent who is at odds with his heritage, and a dinner party that gets very heated."
For more on Shadowland Stages, including this week's final installment of its winter Saturday Matinees series and upcoming youth productions, visit www.shadowlandtheatre.org.