Changing Lives, One Story at a Time…
Northern Stage is a regional non-profit Actors’ Equity LORT-D professional theater in White River Junction, Vermont with a mission to change lives, one story at a time.
Northern Stage produces unique, exciting, world-class theater that resonates with its audiences long after each performance is over. The company seeks to program work that engages community members from across Vermont and New Hampshire in meaningful dialogue and community action. The theater’s intimate setting, sophisticated productions, and expansive educational programs set the stage for active engagement with all of its community and audience members.
Founded in 1997 by Brooke Ciardelli, Northern Stage has since become the preeminent year-round theater company in the region, offering professional productions of world premiers, classics, and musicals. In 2013, the Board of Directors engaged a new leadership team to galvanize Northern Stage for its next stage of evolution. Led by Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne and Managing Director Eric Bunge, this new team has illuminated Northern Stage’s impact on its community with a firm commitment to intimate engagement. Now, more than 35,000 audience members walk through our doors each season, and each year, more than 4,000 students of all ages explore the world of theater in our educational programs.
With a commitment to the development of new work for the American theater, Northern Stage launched New Works Now in 2014. The program is extraordinarily successful with world premieres continuing to Off Broadway and beyond.
Through its work on stage and off, Northern Stage invigorates the members of our community by reconnecting them with the limitless imagination of their inner child; it provokes the next generation of entrepreneurs, astrophysicists, trombone virtuosos, algebra teachers, heart surgeons, and magicians to think creatively about problems and their solutions; we forge profound connections between our theater patrons, their community, and their fellow human beings; and it cultivates audience members who will continue to be arts patrons for years to come. Most importantly, Northern Stage aims to inspire those who engage with us to effect positive and creative change in their communities.
In 2014, Northern Stage embarked upon the Campaign for Northern Stage, a $9 million plan to build our own theatrical home and capitalize the company for future stability and growth. The Barrette Center for the Arts was opened – on time and under budget – in October of 2015. With a building cost of $7.4 million, this 240-seat modified-thrust theater enhances the live theater experience and allows Northern Stage’s audiences and artists to explore exciting new dimensions in theatrical programming and artistry. Additionally, the Campaign for Northern Stage raised $1.6 million to build a financial foundation upon which the organization will thrive.
- EXCELLENCE: We strive for world class in all we do. We offer a breadth of programming and depth of experience that is worthy of our audiences.
- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: As a vehicle to building the arts/community connection. Through our actions, on-stage and off, we are responsive to the desires of our community and speak to their truths, here and now, making Northern Stage indispensable to the lives of those we serve.
- INTIMACY: We leverage the power of Northern Stage’s 240 seat state of the art venue and our location in a rural region to connect more deeply to our audiences.
- COLLABORATION: We cultivate a work culture of support, integrity and inspiration that propels our artists, administrators, and community partners to their highest achievements.
- RESPONSIBILITY: We gather and carefully manage our resources to ensure a vital Northern Stage today, tomorrow, and for the future.
- INNOVATION: We steward emerging writers, embrace cutting edge theater technology and cultivate the development of best practices in all aspects of the company.
- EDUCATION: We teach, nurture and inspire all generations of theater artists and theater lovers.
The company offers 6 full productions from September to May. Operating under a LORT-D contract with Actors’ Equity, Northern Stage draws talent from the region and across the country, including many with Broadway, Regional Theater, and National Tour credits. Seasons include comedies, dramas, musicals from the classic cannon, new shows fresh from Broadway and London’s West End, and world premiere productions. Click here to view a list of our past productions.
Northern Stage offers students of all ages a year-round schedule of education programs, including week-long intensives, one-day and drop-in workshops and master-classes, week-long, all-day summer camps, and five-week in-school residencies. The programs are taught by working theater professionals; topics include Shakespeare, dance, singing, musical theater, storytelling, creating a play, and more. All classes are experiential and culminate in a final performance. Classes are designed and tailored to specific age groups and skill levels. Additionally, Northern Stage produces a musical theater intensive each summer for students ages 12-18, which includes four weeks of rehearsal and culminates in performances of a fully-staged, fully-realized musical theater work on the main stage of the Barrette Center for the Arts. Integral to Northern Stage’s educational programs is the Youth Ensemble Studio (YES), a group of young actors who develop, rehearse, and perform work at Northern Stage under the direction and tutelage of the Director of Education and the Producing Artistic Director. These young artists are encouraged to learn the craft of theater by creating it, practicing it, and refining it through disciplined study of technique and theory and by engaging with the professional theater artists and administrators of Northern Stage. Click here to learn more about our current educational and outreach programs.
Northern Stage is committed to the development of new works for the American theater and established New Works Now, a festival of staged readings, in 2014. New plays are identified by Northern Stage artistic staff based on relevance, literary merit, likely appeal, and potential impact on the community. The selected works receive one week of rehearsal with professional actors, directors, and staff and culminate in a public staged reading and audience conversation. New Works Now is a valuable opportunity for Northern Stage to identify new plays that may be fully produced in subsequent main stage seasons here and at other theaters across the country and to give those plays and playwrights the attention and resources they need to grow. A number of plays first workshopped in New Works Now have gone on to full production at Northern Stage and beyond. Joe Sutton’s Orwell in America was premiered in Northern Stage’s 2014-2015 season. Subsequently, this production was selected for a New York premiere in fall of 2016 at 59E59 Theaters. Northern Stage’s 2015-16 Season included the world premiere of Marisa Smith’s Mad Love, which later went on to a run at New Jersey Repertory Theater. Bob Stevens’ Only Yesterday was produced in Northern Stage’s 2017-18 Season. Our and the 2016-17 season included Jack Neary’s Trick or Treat, which is slated for an Off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters in January of 2019. Click here to learn more about New Works Now.