What's New?- Noteworthy happenings in the Hudson Valley

The curtain is up at the Railroad Playhouse

Author: Pauline Liu
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011

The restored West Shore Railroad Station at 27 South Water St. in Newburgh is now on track as a nonprofit playhouse. “The Railroad Playhouse will strive to provide a home for playwrights to workshop and showcase new plays,” says executive director Jennifer Soloway.

The old train station sat vacant for decades. There was much ballyhoo last summer, when Soloway and her husband Seth announced that they were renting the building from developer Ray Yannone and setting the stage to turn it into performance space.

The opening act

The couple uprooted themselves from New York City and moved to Cornwall to pursue their dream of opening a small theater. Jennifer has a background in theater management, while Seth works as an artistic director off-Broadway. The landlord was responsible for the full renovation and restoration of the building. The playhouse officially opened its doors at the end of the year. Among the upcoming events are plays, acting workshops, and art exhibits. Seating capacity is between 100-125, depending on the configuration of the space.

The show must go on

When Hudson Valley Life contacted Jennifer, she was in the middle of booking events. The playhouse is generally open on weekends. She admits, it’s a work in progress. “Since the opening date for our space was a moving target,” she says “we’re sort of scrambling now to get dates booked for the immediate month, and we’re also starting to book further out in the year. The goal is to have a ‘season’ announced for Fall 2011 through Spring 2012, but for now, we’re programming a little ad-hoc. We’re also building up our lighting and sound inventory which limits some of our programming options.” The Soloways say they are dedicated to the revitalization of Newburgh’s waterfront. The next stop for the Railroad Playhouse, includes plans for a summer arts camp for kids. For information about upcoming events, check out the Railroad Playhouse website.

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