For six weeks every summer, the Powerhouse Theater Program comes to life on the Vassar College campus to provide a nurturing environment in which passionate theater lovers from students to professional practitioners and audience members learn from one another. The Powerhouse Theater Training Program provides aspiring theater professionals a chance to immerse themselves in acting, directing, and playwriting. The program’s Training Company also offers free performances throughout the season. The Powerhouse Season brings developmental productions, workshops of plays and musicals, and readings of works-in-progress to the Vassar campus. The Powerhouse Program, along with its partner theater institutions and individual artists, creates a crucial community—one that gives time, space and voice to artists of the American theater.

Broadway and Beyond

To see a show at Powerhouse is to be among the first to see what could be the next big theatrical hit.

Powerhouse is a vital incubator for artists and their work, a catalyst for new stories that go on to theaters across the country. In Fact, the 2016 Tony Award winners for Best Play and Best Musical, Stephen Karam’s The Humans and Lin Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking Hamilton, both trace their roots to Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season. Additionally, the Tony Award-winning plays Tru (Jay Presson Allen) and Side Man (Warren Leight) received premiere productions with Powerhouse Theater, and our audiences have seen nearly all of John Patrick Shanley’s works in development, including the first public reading of his Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning play Doubt. In all, over twenty projects developed at Powerhouse have had, or will soon have, major productions, including:

  • Diana, by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (Broadway)
  • Sanctuary City, Martyna Majok (New York Theatre Workshop)
  • the bandaged place, Harrison David Rivers (Roundabout Theatre Company)
  • Becky Nurse of Salem, Sarah Ruhl (Lincoln Center Theatre)
  • The Best We Could (a Family Tragedy), Emily Feldman (Manhattan Theatre Club)
  • Sweet Chariot, Eric Lockley (The Public Theater)
  • Head Over Heels, The Go Gos, Jeff Whitty and James Magruder (Broadway)
  • India Pale Ale, by Jaclyn Backhaus (Manhattan Theatre Club)
  • The Secret Life of Bees, by Lynn Nottage, Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead (Atlantic Theatre Company)
  • The Great Leap, by Lauren Yee (Atlantic Theatre Company)
  • Alice by Heart, by Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik and Jessie Nelson (MCC Theatre)
  • Junk, by Ayad Akhtar (Broadway - Lincoln Center Theater)
  • The Last Match, by Anna Ziegler (Roundabout Theatre Company)
  • A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, by Taylor Mac (St Ann’s Warehouse)
  • The Wolves, by Sarah Delappe (Broadway - Lincoln Center Theater)
  • The Pain of My Belligerence, by Halley Feiffer (Playwrights Horizons)
  • Bright Star, by Steven Martin and Edie Brickell (Broadway)
  • Amy and the Orphans, by Lindsey Ferrentino (Roundabout Theatre Company)