Pendragon Theatre unveils summer lineup of plays

Pendragon Theatre’s cast of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” rehearses in August 2022. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Marbone)

SARANAC LAKE — Pendragon Theatre has been busy. After a recent trip to Washington to appeal for more federal funds for local theaters, the over-40-year-old company officially released its Summer Festival lineup, which includes one American classic, one cult classic, one new play, one fairy tale adaptation and one hit cabaret event.

Pendragon’s Summer Festival will run from June 28 through Sept. 10. Discount flex passes are on sale through May 1 only. Single tickets will go on sale after May 1.

To kick off the festival, Pendragon will present the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show,” with direction by Sarah Norris. Performances begin June 28, and this production promises to be unlike any version of “Rocky” you’ve seen before. Norris, who is also Pendragon’s artistic producer, directed last summer’s “Circle Mirror Transformation,” which garnered a BroadwayWorld award for Best Lighting Design and other nominations.

In July, Pendragon presents a funny, heartfelt and family-friendly Muppets cabaret — an hour-long show featuring Muppets hits.

Next is the Camp Pendragon production of “The Sleeping Beauty, Sort Of,” adapted by Amina Henry and directed by Hannah-Kathryn Wall. Award-winning playwright Henry gives a contemporary twist on this classic. The production will feature over 20 local students, grades 5 through 12. Camp Pendragon serves to not only give students a professional theater experience but also to give them the chance to meet peers in the area. Performances begin July 28. Last summer, Wall won a BroadwayWorld Best Performer award for Pendragon’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Then Pendragon returns to a classic — “Our Town,” written by Thornton Wilder. Part of the production will be immersive, using Pine Ridge Cemetery behind the theater to deliver the dramatic third act. Performances begin Aug. 15.

Pendragon concludes its festival with a world premiere, “Friends with Amenities,” written by Ahsan Ali and Lisa Jill Anderson. In this romantic comedy, two strangers navigate love while finding their own identities and purposes in life. The production will premiere at Pendragon Theatre and then move off Broadway to New York City in the fall.

Details can be found at pendragontheatre.org, or call the box office at 518-891-1854.

At the Capitol

On March 8, Pendragon was asked to join 25 other national theaters as part of the Professional Non-Profit Theater Coalition in Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional leaders, talk about the significant impact of the arts in American communities and fight for ongoing state and federal support to nonprofit arts organizations across the country. Many theaters are still struggling to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic and return to 2019 numbers, and pandemic funding has dried up.

Pendragon joined TheaterWorks (one of the largest educational touring theaters in North America) and The Public Theater (shows such as “Hamilton,” “Hair” and “A Chorus Line” started there) to meet with the offices of northern New York House representative Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville), as well as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to lobby for improved funding for the arts.


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