THE MAC-HAYDN THEATRE RETURNS WITH A DETERMINATION TO BE A BEACON FOR THE COMMUNITY, ONCE AGAIN BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER FOR A SHARED EXPERIENCE.
CHATHAM, NY – June 14, 2021 The Mac-Haydn Theatre will reopen its doors for live performances on July 29 after more than a year of closure, bringing the exciting summer theatre it’s known for back to Chatham, NY. Audience members and staff will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The theatre’s season will run July 29 through October 3 and include five musicals, as well as several limited performances.
As Mac-Haydn emerges into an entirely new environment for both theatre producers and theatre goers, managing director James Rodgers has no illusions about the difficulties ahead as people find their confidence to return to live theatre. “It is incredibly important that, above all else, a safe environment is created for our staff and patrons. We now feel that the time is right and that we can operate our space safely within the protocols outlined by the CDC.”
Because the season is starting later than usual, the team plans to keep the programming coming through the month of September with a new and exciting performance schedule. “Rep-tember,” consisting of two musicals and various limited performances, will be presented on a repertory schedule. Guest artists for limited performances include Broadway artist Elizabeth Ward Land, innovative ensemble Touch, award-winning Kurt Weill performer James Benjamin Rodgers, Mac-Haydn favorite Laura Helm, and the immeasurable combined talent of the 2021 artists roster for the Showstoppers revue.
The Mac-Haydn Theatre is known as one of the country’s few theatres in-the-round. To allow for more social distancing an entire section has been removed, transforming the dynamic space into something that audiences have never seen before. This will be unique for 2021 as the theatre anticipates returning to full capacity in 2022. “Even with the reconfigured stage, we have still managed to maintain the ‘in-the round’ feel we are famous for. I think our dedicated fans will be especially delighted to see the new space along with the fantastic fall line-up we have scheduled,” says producing artistic director John Saunders. “We have been waiting what feels like a lifetime to get back to what we do best, and I just can’t wait to see everyone back at The Mac!”
Financial and box office manager Dee Lashway, who has worked with the theatre since its earliest years, feels that the Mac-Haydn has never experienced anything like the last 18 months in its 51-year history. “I have been with the theatre every summer since 1970, and not having a season in 2020 was devastatingly sad for me but the support, good wishes, and ‘miss you’ comments from so many of our patrons touched my heart, gave me hope that all would be fine, and made all of us determined to keep moving forward.”