PS21: Amidst the Apple Trees, World-Class Performances | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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PS21: Amidst the Apple Trees, World-Class Performances


Last Updated: 10/21/2021 6:02 pm

For the past 15 years, appreciators of the arts have flocked to the foothills of the Berkshires to see world-class performances of dance, music, and theater at PS21. For the first dozen years of nonprofit's existence, programming took place in an open-air saddlespan tent situated amidst a 100-acre, 19th-century orchard. The breeze, birdsong, and surrounding apple trees made it a picturesque setting to take in the premier programming, but the tent presented its own production hurdles and limitations.

In spring 2018, PS21 launched its 13th season with the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art black box theater. The facility, which is geothermally heated and cooled, took two years to construct and houses 99 seats. “The enclosed space means you can create a greater sense of intimacy with fewer distractions,” says Susan Davies, administrative director at PS21. “The theater offers a whole different level of control over theatrical environment than open air.”

State-of-the-art LED lighting, a sophisticated sound system, and a flexible floorplan are just a few of the features the facility offers. And PS21 did not forsake its connection to the outdoors. In summer, the east wall of the theater slides open and the black box transforms into the proscenium stage for the 300-seat open-air pavilion theater.

In addition to the dance, music, theater, and film events, PS21 hosts two artists’ residences accommodating up to 16 visitors, with the intention of fostering collaboration among performers and across disciplines. The facility also hosts free and financially accessible workshops for area students and is home to the Chatham Farm Animal Rescue.

See the current lineup of programming in their online event calendar.

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