News

Gabe Belyeu Awarded Berkshire Theatre Award for “A Call to Places”

November 21, 2022

“A CALL TO PLACES” TAKES HOME A BERKIE

Our very own Gabe Belyeu took home the Berkie for “Outstanding Production with Fewer than Six Performances” last week for “A Call to Places!”

The Berkshire Theatre Awards were held on Monday, November 14 in Pittsfield. Nominees from the Mac-Haydn included Elizabeth McGuire, Monica M. Wemitt, Amber Mawande-Spytek, Kylan Ross, John Saunders, Dean Marino, Gabe Belyeu, Meredith Lustig, Andrew Gmoser, Beth Kirkpatrick and the production of “Next to Normal.”

The Mac-Haydn congratulates Gabe Belyeu, Andrew Burton Kelley, Rachel Pantazis, Eric Shorey, John Saunders, and the whole “A Call to Places” team. The Mac-Haydn is so proud to have debuted this incredible production!

Congrats to all nominees and winners from last week’s ceremony – as always, we are honored to be nominated among all of you. For the full list of winners, visit berkshirecritics.org

Mac-Haydn Awarded $10,000 from NYSCA

November 8, 2022

MAC-HAYDN AWARDED $10,000 IN RECOVERY FUNDING FROM NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS

(November 8, 2022–Chatham, NY) The Mac-Haydn Theatre has received a Regrowth and Capacity grant of $10,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts. The grant will go toward the organization’s COVID-19 costs, as the Chatham theatre continues its ongoing recovery from pandemic challenges.

Mac-Haydn’s Managing Director James Rodgers spoke to the significance of this support: “NYSCA’s contribution aided us in providing the resources to maintain a safe environment for our staff and patrons during this extremely challenging period. These resources, combined with the diligent work from our staff, allowed us to maintain an uninterrupted 2022 summer season. This was a remarkable achievement under the circumstances.”

After shuttering for the entirety of its 2020 season, the Mac-Haydn reopened in July of 2021 and recently concluded its first full, 4-month season back since 2019 this past summer. COVID-19-related expenses have ranged from PPE, to company-wide weekly antigen testing, to COVID Compliance Officer Certification Training.

“NYSCA applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their historic investment of $240 million for the nonprofit arts and culture sector,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director of NYSCA, “As we continue rebuilding the arts across our New York, Mac-Haydn Theatre will play a vital role in the renewal of our state’s economy and creative ecosystem. Congratulations on your award from the entire NYSCA team.”

“Council congratulates Mac-Haydn Theatre on their grant award! These grants are from the people of New York State, for the future of New York State,” said Katherine Nicholls, Chair, NYSCA.

For more information on the Mac-Haydn and its current projects, please visit www.machaydntheatre.org.

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About the Mac-Haydn Theatre

Founded in 1969, the Mac-Haydn Theatre strives to present innovative, diverse and professional musical theatre productions to the residents of Columbia County and beyond. We aim to cultivate young talent for careers in theatre and seek to provide a supportive environment for the creation of new musical theatre works.

About the New York State Council on the Arts

The Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, the Council on the Arts will award record funding in FY 2023, providing support across the full breadth of the arts, including dedicated support for arts education and underrepresented Communities.

The Council on the Arts further advances New York’s creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the Council is an agency that is part of the Executive Branch. For more information on NYSCA, please visit http://www.arts.ny.gov, and follow NYSCA’s Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.

2022 Berkshire Theatre Award Nominations

October 18, 2022

We’re Nominated for 12 “Berkies!”

This week, The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association announced the nominees for the 6th Berkshire Theatre Awards, known colloquially as “The Berkies”. This year’s awards recognize shows that opened in the greater Berkshire region between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022.

Nominations for the Mac-Haydn are as follows:

Outstanding Choreography

Elizabeth McGuire, The Full Monty, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

John Saunders, Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play or Musical

Andrew Gmoser, Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

Monica M. Wemitt, The Full Monty, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Amber Mawande-Spytek, Next to Normal, Mac Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

Gabe Belyeu, Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Dean Marino, The Full Monty, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Kylan Ross, Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical

Beth Kirkpatrick, Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Production With Fewer Than Six Performances

A Call to Places, starring Gabe Belyeu, Mac-Haydn Theatre

To Sondheim, With Love, starring Meredith Lustig, Mac-Haydn Theatre

Outstanding Production of a Musical

Next to Normal, Mac-Haydn Theatre

The purpose of the BTCA and the Berkshire Theatre Awards is to promote and celebrate the quality and diversity of theatre in the region. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the evening of November 14 at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield.

more …

An update on our COVID-19 Protocols for the 2023 Season

September 24, 2022

An update on our COVID-19 Protocols for the 2023 Season

After examining statewide, nationwide, and industry-wide policies, as well as recommendations from the CDC and local health departments, we are planning to lift our vaccination requirement for the 2023 season.

We are so excited to have reached the point where we can welcome each and every member of our community back into the theater again next year. We have greatly appreciated your compliance with our protocols for the past two years; we know the requirement has been challenging, restrictive and frustrating. Believe us when we say, we wish we didn’t have to do it. However, it is worth noting that we have managed to navigate the past two seasons with no cancellations or call-outs due to cases of COVID-19 within our company and crew in both 2021 and 2022. That’s right, zero.

At a time when it seemed impossible, your support and commitment to these protocols has allowed us to confidently and safely produce live theater during a pandemic – which is pretty incredible. We are so proud of our community and truly cannot thank you enough.

All that being said, we do not know what the future will bring and if there were to be an extreme change in the course of the virus leading to worsening conditions, we reserve the right to reimplement this policy if necessary. However, if our policies on vaccinations change and you are no longer able to attend, any tickets you purchase will be fully refunded.

As for our mask requirement, we are continuing to examine this policy and will make a determination closer to the beginning of next season. We will keep you updated on any changes, and will publish our final 2023 COVID-19 Protocols by June 1st, 2023.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and consider getting your early bird tickets for 2023!

With Gratitude,
The Mac-Haydn Theatre COVID-19 Compliance Team

Forever Plaid is “90 minutes of vocal liquid gold”

September 14, 2022

Bill Kellert calls “Forever Plaid” “90 minutes of vocal liquid gold” in his review for Nippertown

“Together, they are a compilation of sweet, insecure, somewhat neurotic, and incredibly talented young men who have been given the opportunity to live out their one last dream.”

“Together, The Plaids give us 90 minutes of vocal liquid gold.”

“Smooth, silky, and joyful. Cody Edwards sets up most of the numbers. His strong lead voice carries the group through “Three Coins in The Fountain”, “Moments to Remember”, “Perfidia”, and “Catch a Falling Star” to name but a few.”

“John Hannigan’s deep rich bass offers depth to all the numbers and takes center stage with the “Sixteen Tons”/“Chain Gang” medley.”

“Kylan Ross’s soaring, crystal clear, pristine tenor shines in “Cry”, and Miles Yokom’s baritone continually rounds out the group’s sound throughout the show.”

“What makes this production work so well is a combination of Eric Shorey’s musical direction and Ashley Delane Burger’s choreography. Director James Barry has shown his ability as a secure director by allowing the music to be the star of this show.”

Read the full review

J. Peter Bergman says “Forever Plaid” is a “most satisfying” production in his review for The Berkshire Edge

“If you’ve never seen this show before it is one not to miss, and if you’re a fan of the piece, James Barry has directed a smash hit version of it for the Mac.”

“Kylan Ross, by stepping back from lead roles into this ensemble work, has solidified his place as an emerging star of the company”

“Barry’s staging of the play gives all four men that special something that defines musical groups as special people who understand cooperation in the notes, and the choreography by Ashley DeLane Burger of their lives together is as special as their story.”

“costumes, designed by Claire Mezzetta, are delightful and a grand piano centered set design by Kevin Gleason is practically perfect in every way. Andrew Gmoser’s fun lighting gives the quartet everything they need and also provides subtle showcasing of music director Eric Shorey as needed.”

“This light comedy is both entertaining and thought-provoking and ultimately most satisfying. It’s a sweet and sentimental combination of a show and well worth devoting some time to as the summer season wanes and warps into Autumn.”

Read the full review

Andrew Andrews says you will “enjoy every moment” in their review for Opplaud

“Covering more than a dozen songs from the fifties and a retro rendition of at least one from the early sixties, the four young men who have been frozen in time harmonize, croon and synchronize their steps…”

“You can almost smell the Brylcreem as the small but talented cast belts out one vocal harmony after another, with choreography that’s as tight and enjoyable as the singing…”

“anyone who came of age in the 1950s is sure to enjoy every moment of this performance…”

“For those of us who grew up in the era of Happy Days and Sha Na Na, plenty of songs are familiar enough to sing along…”

“the show’s greatest highlight is an amazingly-funny circus parody of The Ed Sullivan Show. Quoting Frankie’s passionate, accidental outburst, “It was good, dammit!””

Read the full review


Go To The Forever Plaid Page


Xanadu a “Gift from the Gods!”

September 10, 2022

J. Peter Bergman says “Xanadu” will leave you “breathless” in his review for The Berkshire Edge

“The company does wonderful work on stage and off. The costumes designed by Angela Carstensen are often as silly as the story. Lighting by Andrew Gmoser highlights each of the
moments perfectly. Kevin Gleason’s sets capture the hilarity of the situation. The company of
nine players, some of them doubling their roles, are excellent.”

“Kelley is a lovely foil for the nonsense surrounding his character and Galorenzo and Pantazis are such delicious villains they should always be given the chance to play the bad guys.”

“Yancey entertains as always. Two of the muses (all sisters, remember) are hysterically played by Ricky Dobbs (Thalia, Muse of Comedy) and Patrick MacLennan (Terpsicore, Muse of Dance).”

“A wonderful choice to cover the difficulties of the transition from Summer to Autumn, I suggest that you get your tickets now, get to Chatham and indulge your entertainment needs with “Xanadu” while you can. It doesn’t play every night, but seeing Robin Campbell’s humorous take on modern-day’s man in relationship to the eternal values of the world is worth the effort.”

Read the full review

Trixie Starr calls the production “A Gift From the Gods” in her review for Trixie’s List

“As a Gen Xer, I knew all the songs – I’m Alive, Suddenly, Magic, Evil Woman – you’ve heard them all before. The colorful costumes and dance routines are fantasmic! There’s an incredible tap dance routine by performer Tezz Yancey – based on the movie’s performance by Gene Kelly.”

“The multi-talented lead actress, Kira/Clio, played by Lucy Rhoades, can belt out a song, dance up a storm, roller-skate around a small stage, and squawk out an Australian accent with gusto!”

“Kudos to the set and costume designers, Kevin Gleason and Angela Carstensen, for a scene filled with life-sized Greek mythical characters, such as a white centaur with gold glittering hooves.”

“Singing, dancing, sets, costumes, and comedy – it’s all there at Xanadu – a gift from the Gods! Sweeter than ambrosia, Xanadu is a delight!”

“Don’t walk – skip jauntily – or better yet, roller-skate to the Mac-Haydn”

Read the full review

Bill Kellert says “Xanadu” “pure comic camp” in his review for Nippertown

“Andrew Burton Kelley returns to the Mac stage, and it appears that this is the role he is clearly having the most fun with this season. Lucy Rhoades joins the Mac-Haydn family and fits right in. Kelley and Rhoades are a dynamic duo on stage.”

“Kira and Sonny are both very lovable characters. The actors filling the shoes, or in Rhoades case, the roller skates, are a delight.”

“Both possess strong voices, have great sense of comic timing and make their time on stage, which is almost nonstop, appear effortless.”

“While the sisters are all excellent, outstanding in the group are Ricky Dobbs and Rachel Pantazis as Thailia and Calliope.”

“Julie Galorenzo, Melpomene (the evil sister), is a joy to watch. She is clearly great at being evil. Her strong singing voice soars in “Evil Women”. It is her asides, mostly visual, to the audience that had the small but very appreciative crowd coming unglued at the show.”

“Tezz Yancey once again dazzles the appreciative crowd with his wonderful tap dancing ability.”

“Director Robin Campbell has elevated this mindless two hours to pure comic camp.”

“Choreographer David Tankersley and Music Director Bobby McCoy have worked together to present the best in eighties music and have us believe that we are all in the world’s first roller disco.”

“Andrew Gmoser’s lighting and Sean McGinley’s sound design fill in the voids beautifully in Kevin Gleason’s somewhat spartan set.”

Read the full review


Go To The Xanadu Page


Showstoppers a “Tremendously Entertaining” Production

September 5, 2022

Andrew Andrews calls “Showstoppers” “tremendously entertaining” in their review for Opplaud

“Regular readers already know the high regard I hold for the Mac-Haydn, so it should come as no surprise that I found this year’s Showstoppers tremendously entertaining.”

“Opening with perfect choreography to “Rhythm of Life” (Sweet Charity) and closing with perfect harmony to “Seasons of Love” (Rent), the ensemble numbers sandwiched an uninterrupted stream of solos, each highlighting the individual talents of the performers…”

“Lucy Rhoades’ impeccable singing, dancing and acting in her delivery of “If I Were a Bell…”

“Showstoppers proves that the Hudson Valley can’t just claim a handful of highly-skilled performers—we’re full of them”

“proof-positive that you don’t need to head into Manhattan and pay twice as much for a showcase this enjoyable from a cast with this much talent.”

Read the full review

J. Peter Bergman says “Showstoppers” lives up to its name in his review for The Berkshire Edge

“It did, indeed, stop the show cold garnering as much applause as it deserved, for the company
chorus sang it like an anthem for this theater’s works of arts.”

“It was followed by “What Do I Need With Love?” from Thoroughly Modern Millie sung handsomely by Cody Edwards and “If I Were a Bell”, a comedy-ballad from Guys and Dolls adorably performed by Lucy Rhoades.”

“After much well-deserved cheers from the audience, Trevor Squiers sang “Forest for the Trees” from The Spitfire Grill, a 2001 off-Broadway musical. He moved us with its sentiments.”

Read the full review

Bill Kellert says “Showstoppers” features “some of the most gifted performers” in his review for Nippertown

“The full cast opened the show with a stunningly choreographed number from Sweet Charity, “The Rhythm of Life”.”

“What Producing Artistic Director John Saunders has sandwiched between the two numbers is a most satisfying 70 or so minutes of some of the most gifted performers the theatre has had the pleasure to present.”

“Music Director and Arranger Eric Shorey has led the house orchestra all season, as well as the productions with a deftness of talent. He has brought out the best in the performers all season and continues in this review.”

“Choreographer Holly Lauren Dayton is a truly amazing talent. Whether she was moving around a cast of 20+ on the stage, or a duo, trio, or quartet of dancers, she has made them all shine brightly.”

“Julia Hajjar’s “Love You Didn’t Do Right By Me” from White Christmas was the torch song highlight of the show.”

“Tezz Yancey, who combined adlib-ed commentary putting together a song from objects the audience held up, to his amazing tap dancing, gave the audience the total package.”

“That being said, the overall company at Mac-Haydn this season has been incomparable to any previous season. It appears every year that John Saunders has assembled a group that, on the whole, has topped the talent showcased previously.”

Read the full review


Go To The Showstoppers Page


Spend Labor Day at the Mac-Haydn!

August 20, 2022

Three Exciting Shows – Two Big Discounts!

While Labor Day is a sign of the end of summer for many, it means that Summer In September is just beginning here at the Mac-Haydn! In fact, we’ve got three big shows running Labor Day weekend – and we want you to join us to celebrate, and take advantage of our Labor Day Deals!

This Labor Day Weekend (Friday 9/2 – Sunday 9/4):

See any two of our productions for just $68 – that’s 25% off our standard ticket price.

See all three productions for $90 – 30% off our standard ticket price.

Call our box office at 518-392-9292 or click below to take advantage of this offer!

Please note, each package purchase will include a $5.00 convenience fee.

Heading to the Columbia County Fair this weekend? Show your ticket to our box office and receive $15 off your walk-up ticket to ANY performance of ANY production starting Wednesday, 8/31 through Sunday, 9/4!

Learn More About the Eligible Productions

The Full Monty

A Call to Places

Showstoppers


Monica Wemitt Is Back On Stage

August 16, 2022

Monica Wemitt Back At The Mac!

That’s right, Monica Wemitt makes her grand return to the Mac-Haydn stage this week for the first time in three years! We caught up with Monica this week to chat about what she’s been up to in the meantime, and what it means to return to our stage.

Q: How excited are you to be back on stage at the Mac-Haydn?

A: Not only is it exciting to be on the stage, but to be able to work in this new configuration is so much fun!

Q: What have you been up to since you were last seen on our stage?

A: Aside from being the Covid Compliance Manager here at the theatre, I pivoted into doing audio books. It’s such a fulfilling job to be able to record, edit and master the tracks I record for these books. I also was the soloist at St. Mary’s in Waterford for period between Thanksgiving and Easter for the past two years.

Q: What was your most memorable role at the Mac?

A: Honestly there are just too many to list, but the ones that come immediately to mind are Miss Hannigan in ANNIE, Frau Blucher in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and Carmen in CURTAINS.

Q: Tell us about your role in “The Full Monty”?

A: That would be the role of Jeanette and she is amazing. Not one to pull her punches, a heart of gold, and quite a saucy way of speaking.

Q: What is the most exciting part of being in the cast of “The Full Monty”?

A: To be in such a fun show. The music is great, the script is really well-written and to be performing with this cast is a real honor, and of course to be working with Todd Underwood (Director) and Lizzie McGuire (Choreographer) who give everyone the liberty to create.


Buy Tickets to The Full Monty


Next to Normal called ‘Phenomenal’

August 5, 2022

J. Peter Bergman calls ‘Next to Normal’ some of the Mac-Haydn’s best work in his review for The Berkshire Edge

“This is the show that director John Saunders has brought to vivid life and it is one of the best shows he has ever presented at this theater. I guarantee you will be moved and motivated by
this six-character extravaganza. I guarantee it.”

“…the stage superbly designed by Emma Cummings.”

Mawande-Spytek is the best she has ever been…”

Kirkpatrick is wonderful as Diana. She sings with fervor over her troubles and her attempts at understanding what has happened to her and her lovely voice makes it difficult to believe she has been so thoroughly under siege.”

Van Tielen makes us understand how hard it is to be kind to someone who takes emotional risks to the cliff’s edge. He also has a fabulous voice…”

“This is (Belyeu)’s finest work at the Mac-Haydn since his Man of LaMancha.”

“The physical production is stunning with some of Andrew Gmoser’s most dynamic and
illuminating lighting design. Bethany Marx’s costumes create their own revelations for these
characters. Caitlin Maxwell’s wigs flesh out characters nicely.”

“Conductor Eric Shorey and his five member music ensemble play the score so well you would think they were born to play it.”

“This is one of my favorite shows, one I never anticipated seeing at this theater. I am so glad they chose to do it. I think everyone should see it, and maybe even twice.”

Read the full review

Bill Kellert calls ‘Next to Normal’ ‘a breath of fresh air’ in his review for Nippertown

“This play is so next to normal from anything you have come to expect from Mac-Haydn, and it is a breath of fresh air.”

“Kirkpatrick’s majestic voice carries with it all the nuance and emotion that Diana is living.”

“Van Tielen’s interpretation beautifully tempers Dan’s otherwise clawing, overly cheerful upbeat character. His vibrant singing voice adds much to his characterization.”

“Belyeu manages to inhabit two completely opposite characters both physically and emotionally, such that when he returns to the stage he is almost unrecognizable until you hear his voice. He does a phenomenal job in the dual roles.”

“Mawande-Spytek shines as she moves through a series of complex emotions, from hate and resentment, to maturity and a realization of what life has put in her path.”

“Kelly struts his stuff as the ever-willing, caring boyfriend longing to simply understand and provide support and compassion for his girlfriend.”

“Kylan Ross brings a maturity and depth of performance to this role, running the gambit of emotions from A to Z, that we have not seen from him until now on the Mac stage.”

“This entire production has been wrapped as a stunning gift presented to the audience inside Emma Cummings scenic design, with Andrew Gmoser’s beautiful lighting design, Bethany Marx’s costumes, Caitlin Maxwell’s wigs, Eric Shorey’s music direction, and the Next To Normal band.”

“This production is flawlessly presented under Saunders’ directorial tutelage.”

Read the full review

Barbara Waldinger says “Next to Normal” us an unforgettable production in her review for Berkshire On Stage

“Director John Saunders has shepherded an exceedingly gifted cast and crew in a moving, sensitive, haunting production that will not soon be forgotten by those who are fortunate enough to see it.”

“The difficult vocal demands of the music are met by the strong, expressive voices of each member of the cast.”

“From the opening number to her dramatic final exit, Beth Kirkpatrick’s Diana commands the stage, taking the audience with her on an emotionally-wrenching journey.”

“Eric Van Tielen is her extraordinarily patient and loving husband Dan, whose sweet tenor voice and demeanor underline his helplessness and vulnerability in the face of Diana’s rage and suffering.”

“This exquisite production should provide an impetus for all the theatres that dream of taking risks but haven’t yet found the courage to do so.”

Read the full review

BroadwayWorld‘s Marc Savitt praises “Next to Normal”

“In their promotional materials for NEXT TO NORMAL, Mac-Haydn, advised it would be “unlike anything you have seen on our stage. Trust us when we tell you, this show is not to be missed.” I am very happy to say they were correct. This production is phenomenal.”

“The cast of six includes Beth Kirkpatrick as Diana, Eric Van Tielen as Dan, Amber Mawande-Spytek as Natalie, Kylan Ross as Gabe, Andrew Burton Kelley as Henry, and Gabe Belyeu as Dr. Madden. Each is highly skilled, well cast, and deliver near flawless performances as does the orchestra, and the creative team.”

“To those who might hesitate and think that a musical centered around mental health might be too far away from “normal”, I suggest that “normal” is a setting on a clothes dryer. I respectfully add: get over it, and see this phenomenal production while you can!”

Read the full review

Jeffrey Borak says “Next to Normal” ‘Raises the Bar’ in his review for The Berkshire Eagle

“powerful, confident, riveting production”

“Director John Saunders’ production comes at its audience with a style, self-assurance and poise that raises an already high bar at the Mac-Haydn.”

“Kirkpatrick delivers a brutally honest portrayal of a woman trying to do her best navigating several worlds that collide into one another.”

“Van Tielen is profoundly affecting as a loving husband doing the best he can to hold his head – as well as those of his daughter and wife – above water.”

“Saunders, his cast and music director Eric Shorey and the other five members of his six-member music ensemble are more than up to the challenges. The limb they all have climbed out upon shows no sign of falling. They do themselves proud.”

Read the full review


Go To The Next to Normal Page