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North Rockland Daily Voice serves Garnerville, Grassy Point, Stony Point, Thiells, Tomkins Cove, Village of Haverstraw & West Haverstraw in Haverstraw Town

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Meet 'Unforgettable' Characters, Sit Comfy At Rockland's Penguin Theatre

Joe Brancato addresses the audience at the world premiere of "Drop Dead Perfect" in 2014 at the Penguin Rep. Theater in Stony Point, N.Y. Photo Credit: Dorice A. Madronero
The Penguin Rep. Theater today at 7 Cricketown Road in Stony Point is an intimate 108-seat theater with comfortable upholstered seats and air conditioning. Photo Credit: Fran Newman-McCarthy
The Penguin Rep. Theater, circa 1950, is located in a converted barn in Stony Point, N.Y Photo Credit: Penguin Rep. Theater

STONY POINT, N.Y. -- Rockland County's Penguin Rep. Theatre in Stony Point has opened its 2016 season under the leadership of founding artistic director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn.

The season kick-off is "Great White American Teeth," written and performed by Fiona Walsh, directed by George Hesling, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1.

This season offers theater goers a chance to "meet unforgettable characters and to experience really great stories about some hot-button topics, including immigration, same sex marriage and disability.”

"The Immigrant," which opens May 20, is a heartfelt play by Mark Harelik about his Jewish grandfather’s emigration from Russia to Texas in 1909.

Then Jonathan Tolin’s Off Broadway comedy success “Buyer and Cellar” comes next. Imagine working for Barbra Streisand herself, imagine being in charge of the private mall located in the basement of her Malibu estate, and imagine a young man who finds his true self thanks to the diva.

Following last season’s presentation of Mark St. Germain’s “Finding Dr. Ruth” comes the award-winning playwright’s “Dancing Lessons.”

This romantic comedy about a young man with autism and an injured dancer will inspire and lift spirits.

What is unique about the 108-seat theatre at 7 Crickettown Road is audiences feel "so close you can feel it," Andrew Horn said.

That is because the theater has "comfy upholstered seats and no seat more than 30 feet from the stage.”

It is situated in a converted 1880s hay barn, is air conditioned, accessible, and has plenty of free parking. The building has undergone extensive renovations.

The secret to a regional theater’s success is primarily due to its artistic vision and Penguin Rep Theatre "has been fortunate to have been guided by its founder, artistic director Joe Brancato, since 1977," Horn related in an interview.

Among challenges, like for most non-profits is always money, Horn said.

"Being in Rockland County poses its own unique challanges. There aren't many private foundations, no corporate base to fund a nonprofit. We're so close to the city an (compete) with institutions there for our funding. We rely on two-thirds of our budget from ticket sales, the rest we need to raise."

"The flip side is we're in a beautiful converted barn on a lovely piece of property and have a tremendously loyal following."

For tickets and complete information about the 2016 season, visit www.penguinrep.org or call (845) 786-2873.

Click here to read about the pre-season show at The Daily Voice.

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