Ancram Opera House presents

Ancram Opera House

ANCRAM — Ancram Opera House’s 2021 summer season will combine free virtual events with live performances in parks, barns and gardens set against the backdrop of the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Beginning in June and running through late August, programming will range from solo concerts to original commissioned plays to the storytelling series REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES and the culminating theatre event of the summer, THE PLEIN AIR PLAYS, celebrating new performances in situ.

“We are grateful for the community’s generous support that helped to ensure AOH could return this summer with both virtual and in-person performances. We can’t wait to see everyone again at a show this season,” said AOH Co-Director Paul Ricciardi.

From June 5 through June 25, AOH presents its 2nd annual SUMMER PLAY LAB, featuring artist-lead virtual community workshops and online performances of two commissioned small ensemble pieces, Perennials by Emergence Collective (Kate Douglas, Matthew Dean Marsh, Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez, and Sylver Wallace) and Sunwatcher composed by Tidtaya Sinutoke with book and lyrics by Isabella Dawis, directed by Nana Dakin and produced by Ikumi Kuronaga.

CRYSTAL RADIO SESSIONS UPSTATE returns on July 10 with a reading of Dave King’s The Stamp Collector. Similar to the NPR radio program Selected Shorts, CRYSTAL RADIO SESSIONS UPSTATE showcases the work of established and emerging regional authors as read by some of the AOH audience’s favorite actors. The event will be presented LIVE at The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park located at 116 Old Route 22 in Hillsdale.

JOSEPH KECKLER is a singular artist, performer, and creator known for his expressive and powerful voice, sharp prose and stirring songs, and absurdist, bizarrely heroic operatic monologues, which dance between, “comedy, commentary and communion.” AOH presents JOSEPH KECKLER IN CONCERT on July 24th at The Circa 1799 Barn located at 105 Simons Road in Ancramdale.

On Aug. 7 REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES, an audience favorite featuring narratives told by local residents, returns LIVE, presented at The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park located at 116 Old Route 22 in Hillsdale.

From Aug. 12 through Aug. 15, AOH premieres THE PLEIN AIR PLAYS, a series of three short original theatre pieces to be performed at three secret outdoor locations near the Opera House. For this special production, AOH is commissioning FRANK BOYD, seen as part of AOH’s 2020 SUMMER PLAY LAB and The Holler Sessions in 2017; author, actor and activist CELESTE LECESNE, creator of award-winning solo performances including The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, Word of Mouth and co-founder of The Trevor Project; and playwright-director GEORGINA ESCOBAR whose work has been produced in NYC at INTAR, Clubbed Thumb, Lincoln Center and Bushwick Starr. The site-specific works are to be staged as a progressive performance with audiences traveling by car to experience three self-contained plays presented in environments relevant to their content.

“AOH is located in one of the most beautiful regions of the Hudson Valley,” said AOH’s co-director Jeffrey Mousseau, “and we couldn’t think of a better way to resume safe in-person performances than to go outside and commission three exceptional artists to make site-specific new work that draws upon the natural world.”

Ancram Opera House in southern Columbia County is an intimate showcase for fresh, contemporary work by visionary theater and musical artists where audiences can connect with performers in immersive, immediate ways. Additional programming will be announced in the coming months. For more information and the latest details, visit


SUMMER PLAY LAB: 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, June 17 and 18; June 24 and 25. Free (with specified streaming dates and not be available for later viewing)

CRYSTAL RADIO SESSIONS UPSTATE: 7 p.m. July 10. Tickets are $25. The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park, 116 Old Route 22, Hillsdale.

JOSEPH KECKLER IN CONCERT: 8 p.m. July 24. Tickets are $35. The Circa 1799 Barn, 105 Simons Road, Ancramdale.

REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES: 7 p.m. Aug. 7. Tickets are $25. The Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park.

THE PLEIN AIR PLAYS: Aug. 12 through Aug. 15. Tickets and performance times are TBA.

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