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New York Stage & Film's 2022 Summer Season

Presenting more than 25 public performances in Poughkeepsie

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Last Updated: 05/31/2022 3:16 pm
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Vasser College's  Martel Theater. - COURTESY OF VASSAR COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Vassar College
  • Vasser College's Martel Theater.

Nonprofit incubator New York Stage and Film is returning this summer to the Hudson Valley for another season of groundbreaking theater development. In partnership with Marist College and Vassar College, from July 9 to August 7, NYSAF will present more than 25 public performances in Poughkeepsie. The works-in-progress are by emerging and established playwrights, including well-known names such as Anna Deavere Smith, Josh Radnor and more than 20 other writers and producers.


Historically, NYSAF’s productions have attracted people from all over the Northeast, but artistic director Christopher Burney and NYSAF continue to prioritize their connection to the Hudson Valley. NYSAF’s partnership with Vassar College dates back to the incubator’s inception in 1985, and in recent years, the nonprofit has begun to develop a relationship with Marist. The two colleges provide stages for the performances and workshops, as well as housing for artists. Burney shares, “We’ve been able to connect with local organizations and schools in new ways—and I’m excited to continue to find new ways for NYSAF to actively engage artists and audiences in the region.”

2021 NYSAF Performance of "White Girl in Danger" a musical by Michael R. Jackson - COURTESY OF ZACHARY GAWRON/MARIST COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Zachary Gawron/Marist College
  • 2021 NYSAF Performance of "White Girl in Danger" a musical by Michael R. Jackson

Common themes in this year’s season, largely derived from the writers’ experiences of the pandemic, stitch together diverse works that range from sci-fi musicals to a window into the trans dating world. These themes include searching for a sense of belonging, examining identity, challenging family and personal dynamics, and the confrontation with one’s own cultural and racial history.



In “The World is Not Silent,” a multilingual play written by Don Nguyen, a son tries to communicate with his estranged Vietnamese father. “The Return of Young Boy,” adapted from a book written by Keenan Scott II and Tre Matthews, after the death of his grandfather a prophet known as ‘Young Boy’ returns home from a five-year journey only to discover his grandfather is not who he thought he was. Being performed as a reading “My Brother is Better At Love Than Me” by Lily Houghton takes the nostalgic setting of summer camp to examine a complex sibling relationship.

Nelly Goletti Theatre at Marist College. - BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • By Wikimedia Commons
  • Nelly Goletti Theatre at Marist College.

“The last two years and the global pandemic have only strengthened the importance of family and finding a sense of belonging,” says Burney. “I think our season reflects artists searching for what is important—and sharing stories where we can imagine the limitless possibility of our shared humanity.”


“Tell Them I’m Still Young,” written by Julia Doolittle, zooms in on a married couple working through their grief and evolving identities after the death of their only child. “Modern Gentleman” written by Preston Max Allen follows a 28-year-old trans man navigating the dating scene post the breakup of a long-term relationship.

2021 NYSAF Performance of "White Girl in Danger" a musical by Michael R. Jackson - COURTESY OF ZACHARY GAWRON/MARIST COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Zachary Gawron/Marist College
  • 2021 NYSAF Performance of "White Girl in Danger" a musical by Michael R. Jackson

For playgoers looking for more theoretical storytelling, “Sun Songs,” based on a book written by Deborah Cowell, is described by NYSAF as “an existential musical from the universe reminding us that we are all, ultimately, stardust.” Developed with the Movement Theater Company, “Sweet Chariot” by Eric Lockley tackles the topic of global systemic racism using extraterrestrial and human characters to explore the question: “Is true liberation only possible for Black people beyond Earth?”


While the 12 works presented share commonalities, audiences can also look forward to a range of storytelling experiences during this summer season of NYSAF. Many works incubated in this environment have gone on to win Tony Awards or to become Off-Broadway or Broadway productions. Viewers that attend this season may well see a future hit in its early stages. Tickets will be available starting June 1 for $25 per person.


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