A Message from Artistic Director John SaundersNovember 26, 2020
Mac-Haydn Gives Thanks
A Message from Artistic Director John Saunders.
Above and beyond all, I hope this message finds you in good health both physically and spiritually. To say I missed seeing each and every one of you this past summer would be an understatement. I believe we all felt a void not being able to gather and celebrate live theatre together at the Mac.
In March, when this began, the team here at Mac-Haydn began aggressively doing everything we could to ensure our survival during this troubling time. From the establishment of our Bright Future Fund to our new digital content, we remained very busy all summer long bringing as much entertainment as we could muster to all of you. Behind those scenes we also took many crucial “unseen” steps to ensure our future. This included federal assistance, real estate planning, and a real tightening of our operating budget. In many ways, this crisis led us to discover new programs and maintain a strong financial footing after the last few successful seasons. Our goal is to take every action we can to make sure we are here to welcome you all back to the theatre when this pandemic is resolved.
Mac Announces Halloween Week of EventsOctober 27, 2020
Mac-Haydn Online presents Mac-Halloween 2020
A Week of Fiendish Fear, running October 27 – November 2, 2020.
We are excited to present our first ever Mac-Halloween, a celebration of fright.
Halloween enthusiast Erin Spears, Mac-Haydn legend Gabe Belyeu and set designer Erin Kiernan, all make amazing contributions. We hope you will join us for a week of terrific terror!
Artist Workshop SeriesJuly 24, 2020
Mac-Haydn Artist Workshop Series
The Mac-Haydn Artist Workshop Series continues this Friday!
This series will showcase our incredible alumni and artists from our community who will lead a wide variety of virtual workshops. Each workshop will serve as a fundraiser for the Bright Future Fund as we work toward our 2021 reopening here at the Mac-Haydn.
Our next workshop will be led by Mac-Haydn alumna and certified personal trainer Jesse Lynn Harte, who will lead a no-equipment fitness class via Zoom on Friday, September 25 at 5pm.
Access With Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94635291243
A donation of $20 is suggested to attend the workshop. All donations generated from this event will go directly to the Bright Future Fund.
Artist and Activist Madi Cupp-Enyard Joined UsJune 3, 2020
This week our 2019 Dance Captain Madi Cupp-Enyard talks to James Rodgers about her commitment to promote Black art and activism on social media by highlighting the work of Black creators.
We hope you will watch this essential conversation with this impressive and active young woman as we try to gain understanding of the current events specific to the Black Lives Matter movement.
As part of her activism, Madi has asked that people donate to Reclaim the Block an organization which began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. They organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.
Lizzie McGuire and Rob Brinkmann On In The MeantimeMay 29, 2020
In The Meantime Episode 2
The Mac-Haydn Theatre has released the second episode of In The Meantime, a weekly webcast series hosted by Producing Artistic Director John Saunders, as part of the Mac-Haydn Online virtual programming initiative. The Episode Premieres On YouTube at 12pm on Friday, May 29th.
Episode 2 features Elizabeth McGuire, choreographer for the 2019 production of Camelot, and Rob Brinkmann, last seen on the Mac-Haydn stage as Jud Fry in the 2019 production of Oklahoma!, for which he won a Berkshire Theatre Award. The two talk with Saunders about their artistic projects during quarantine, recent wedding, and experiences working at the Mac-Haydn Theatre.
Tune in on the Mac-Haydn YouTube Channel. Also hit subscribe below to receive updates about upcoming episodes as as well reminders to tune in.
Following the premiere, each episode will become available to stream
John Saunders Hosts New Web SeriesMay 22, 2020
In The Meantime Premieres
We are so excited to announce the launch of “In the Meantime,” our new weekly webcast hosted by Producing Artistic Director John Saunders!
The series will premiere Friday, May 22 at 12pm and continue each week throughout the summer. Episodes will premiere on the Mac-Haydn YouTube Channel. Channel subcribers will be sent updates about upcoming episodes as as well reminders to tune in.
Following the premiere, each episode will become available on all our online platforms as well as right here on our website.
During each episode John will host notable Mac-Haydn alumni, discussing and showcasing their artistic endeavors during quarantine as well as learning more about their past experiences working at the theatre.
Episode 1 will feature Mac-Haydn favorite Emily Kron, last seen as Audrey in the 2019 production of Little Shop of Horrors. Kron’s past roles at the Mac-Haydn also include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Geneviève in The Baker’s Wife, and her Berkshire Theatre Award-winning performance as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.
Head over to YouTube to watch our premiere episode!
Bright Future Fund Gets A Lift On Giving TuesdayMay 5, 2020
Board Member Pledges $10,000
Today is Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement aimed at unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
In solidarity with that mission, Mac-Haydn Theatre board member Meg Dooley and her husband Peter LaVigne have made a generous commitment of $10,000 to the Bright Future Fund, which they will give in monthly installments of $1,000 for the next 10 months.
Meg spoke about her motivations for giving: “For more than 25 years, the Mac-Haydn Theatre has been such an important and joyful part of our lives, it’s hard to imagine a summer in Chatham without it. But we will get through it – just this once! Peter and I are committed to doing everything we can to make sure the Mac-Haydn Theatre is back and stronger than ever in 2021.”
Meg and Peter’s commitment highlights the benefit of making a monthly donation both for the theatre and for the donor. “Knowing that this recurring gift will be coming in for the next 10 months is hugely beneficial in helping us determine our plans as we navigate through this crisis.” said Mac-Haydn managing director James Rodgers.
Meg also offered an especially unique incentive to others who follow her lead: “Join us in supporting the Bright Future Fund. In recognition of your generous gift, I promise that in a future season, I will return to the MHT stage for my FOURTH appearance as Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady – right, John Saunders???…”.
A huge thank you to Meg and Peter for their generous support!
Mac-Haydn Cancels 2020 SeasonApril 23, 2020
Postpones 2020 Season Lineup Until 2021
As time marches on during this crisis, it has become obvious that our only responsible decision is to cancel the 2020 season. This decision did not come lightly and has weighed heavily upon me since this crisis began. I am nothing if not an optimist, but I have realized that the most important thing is the health and safety of our audience, artists, volunteers, and staff. Second to that is my commitment to see the Mac-Haydn Theatre survive through this historical moment. Cancelling this season is the only way to see our incredible organization move forward into the summer of 2021.
Currently, the plan is to present this season’s line-up of shows in 2021. The buzz and excitement that was already building makes this an easy decision. The enthusiastic response from our audiences about the shows planned has been extraordinary and we will work tirelessly through this coming year to bring these shows to life when we reopen the theatre next spring.
So what happens next? I am thrilled to tell you that plans are underway for some exciting events that could potentially take place later this summer if we are able to gather together. We are also exploring several exciting virtual possibilities that can keep us connected both now and into the future. Rest assured, we will keep you posted every step of the way so you can still be a part of Mac-Haydn’s audience, or as so many like to call it… the Mac Family.
Many of you may not realize how significantly this crisis has impacted us. 85% of our annual budget comes directly from ticket sales generated through both subscriptions and individual sales throughout the summer. Needless to say, this puts the future of the theatre in very serious jeopardy.
Now, more-than-ever before in our history, we need your help. I know this is such a difficult time for so many of us and the uncertainty of what lies ahead is overwhelming to say the least. Your contributions to us at this time are so critical to our survival. More than anything, I want the Mac-Haydn to weather this difficult time so we can be here for you and your family and share in the joy that flows so heartily every summer.
If you have purchased tickets for the 2020 season, please go to our Postponement Ticket Information page to fill out a form letting us know how you would like us to handle your tickets.
I will miss seeing you all terribly this summer and pray that time flies by quickly. Please stay safe, healthy, and surrounded by love. We will be sure to stay in touch with each and every one of you as we work diligently to keep the Mac-Haydn moving towards a bolder and brighter future.
My best wishes,
John Saunders | Producing Artistic Director
Mac-Haydn Encore PerformancesApril 3, 2020
Mac-Haydn Alums Take Us Down Memory Lane
As we work to determine what our 2020 Season will look like at the Mac-Haydn, we wanted to take a trip down memory lane with some of our favorite artists by asking them to perform, from the safety of their self isolation, songs which they have brought to our stage in the past. We hope you will enjoy a little trip down memory lane with us during this uncertain time.
Monday, April 6th
Elizabeth Ward land – “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard.
Who could forget Elizabeth Ward Land’s tour de force as the iconic Norma Desmond in 2019’s Sunset Boulevard? It was a triumphant show in many respects but nothing compared to her remarkable performance.
Just in case you did forget it, she has recreated one of the most famous moments from the show as only Liz could.
Saturday, April 4th
Emily Kron – “By The Sea” from Sweeney Todd.
In 2017 we presented an inspired production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece Sweeney Todd.
Emily Kron was spellbinding and hilarious in the pivotal role of the grotesque and vicious Mrs. Lovett. Her portrayal gave us such empathy for this corrupted soul that we could not help but love her.
Here she gives us a glimpse of the amazing detail that she incorporated into that performance.
In this difficult time, sometimes you just need to have a good laugh. Here it is.
Friday, April 3rd
Kelly Gabrielle Murphy and David Maglione – “Wonderful Thought” from Wendy’s Shadow.
2018 saw the world premiere of this magical musical by our music supervisor David Maglione. A story of fear, hope and discovery, it moved audiences of all ages and set a new standard in our Children’s Theatre productions. Kelly was delightful in the title role and those who saw this performance will never forget it.
We see in this amazing performance from their family’s home just how joyous the act of making music together is.
Think wonderful thoughts everyone. And please stay safe.
Wednesday, April 1st
Rachel Rhodes-Devey – “It Only Takes A Moment” from Hello Dolly.
In 2017 Rachel created the perfect Irene Molloy in our remarkable production of Hello Dolly.
Words cannot describe her beautiful artistry in this performance from her living room, reminding us how many people we wish we could hug today.
Stay safe and strong everyone. These magical moments of human connection will return.
Tuesday, March 31st
George Dvorsky – “NYC” from Annie.
George gave a Berkshire Award winning performance as Daddy Warbucks in our 2018 production of Annie.
As New York City goes through this unprecedented time, George Reminds us of why we love this incredible place. Let’s hope we can enjoy all its wonders, and eccentricities again in the coming months.
Stay safe New York. We love you and all the amazing people who call you home.
During this time of isolation, it becomes very clear to us all just how important the sentiments of this song are.
Monday, March 30th
Lauren Palmeri – “People” from Funny Girl.
Lauren performed Fanny Bryce with us in 2018 as part of our 50th Anniversary season to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. J. Peter Bergman of The Berkshire Edge said of Lauren. “She embraces the uniqueness of the Fanny Brice persona… she is as good as it gets!”. We think you get a marvelous impression of that in this heartfelt rendition of the song, performed from her bedroom.
During this time of isolation, it becomes very clear to us all just how important the sentiments of this song are.
We Are Thinking Of YouApril 2, 2020
Dear Mac-Haydn Family,
We wanted to reach out to let you know that our thoughts and best wishes are with you during this unprecedented time. We hope you are doing well and we wish we could do more right now to ease the emotional burden of life’s daily challenges, just as we strive to do each and every summer.
We are especially conscious of all our essential workers. This encompasses a wide range of fields from manufacturers to law enforcement, sanitation workers to retailers, safety service providers to our incredibly courageous medical professionals. We are eternally grateful for their hard work and sacrifice in protecting us, caring for us, feeding us, keeping our lights on and guiding us through this crisis. Without them we would be lost.
As events continue to unfold it becomes increasingly clear that the Mac-Haydn 2020 season will need to be altered in some way. Once those changes become clear, we will reach out to you. However, we believe that when this time of social distancing ends, and when it is safe for people to gather in large groups once again, it is our work that will become essential—providing the vital thread that will bring our community back together. It is because of that conviction that the Mac-Haydn team continues to examine what our 2020 season can be. This will depend on both what is financially possible, and what is safe.
We are immensely grateful to have a remarkable team of artists, technicians, administrators and volunteers, all of whom will answer the call when the time comes to get back to creating the vital experience of live theatre.
For now we must support the essential workers of today by staying at home and remaining safe. When their work is done, ours will begin.
On behalf of the Mac-Haydn Board and team, stay safe and be kind to one another.