For immediate release:
The Putnam Theatre Alliance—a new collaboration among a trio of theaters across Putnam County—has successfully launched a three-part series of filmed performances focused on civil rights, freedom, and democracy.
The third and—for now—final installment, featuring “Above Suspicion”, by Sherwood Anderson and More Beautiful, by Craig Lucas, will stream online June 24-27. Tickets are available at tompkinscorners.org.
Known as the Freedom Project, the series links radio plays written in 1940 by Orson Welles, Maxwell Anderson, and other members of the Free Company, with companion pieces written during the pandemic by some of the leading playwrights of our time: Lucas, John Leonard Pielmeier, and Christine Toy Johnson.
“Amazingly, 80 years later, the issues in these radio plays haven’t changed. Not one iota,” Director Alice Jankell said. “But plays and audiences have, so we’re reviving some of the original Free Company plays and pairing them with brand new plays they have just inspired.”
These performances are highly produced, filmed readings featuring actors recognizable from film and television as well as from local stages around the Hudson Valley. Lasting less than an hour and streamed directly to audience members’ screens, the shows include access to Q&A sessions with the casts and creative teams.
“It has long been a goal to work closely with our colleagues across the county,” Philipstown Depot Theatre Executive Director Amy Dul said. “The Freedom Project, full of great material and brought to life by amazingly talented people, is the perfect way to start.”
The Putnam Theatre Alliance brings together Arts on the Lake, in Kent; the Philipstown Depot Theatre, in Garrison; and Tompkins Corners Cultural Center, in Putnam Valley. The three theaters share resources, talent, and stages to provide the Hudson Valley with relevant, vibrant and original plays, musical performances, and events. The collaboration positions Putnam County as the region’s hub for the development and presentation of top-notch theatre.
“We all want to expand our reach, both locally and further afield, and this collaboration allows us to do that.” Tompkins Corners Cultural Center Theatre Director Judy Allen said. “Putnam County is home to so many creative artists, by working together we can spotlight their work.”
Founded prior to the United States’ entry to World War II, the Free Company convened many of the era’s top writers, directors and actors, including William Saroyan, Maxwell Anderson, and Burgess Meredith, to produce a series of 10 radio plays centered on the meaning of freedom and liberty. The plays were broadcast in 1940 by CBS.
"Voices from the past are often lessons in humility,” Arts on the Lake's founding Executive Director James Shearwood said. “Hearing what The Free Company created in 1940 resonate clearly in our current situation can be both sobering and inspiring." For more information, contact Ned P. Rauch of the Philipstown Depot Theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: