Northern Stage is a regional non-profit LORT-D professional theater company located in White River Junction, VT with a mission to change lives, one story at a time. We actively engage our audiences with world-class productions and extensive educational and outreach programs and serve more than 50,000 community members each year.
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 premieres, 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 illuminated Northern Stage’s impact on its community with a firm commitment to intimate engagement. In 2018, Irene Green became the Managing Director, and Eric Bunge stepped into the new position of Special Projects Manager to help support the company in its new phase of growth and development.
With a commitment to the development of new work for the American theater, Northern Stage launched New Works Now in 2014. The program has been extraordinarily successful with world premieres continuing to our main stage, Off-Broadway, and beyond.
A robust educational program focuses on professional training in a nurturing and supportive environment for students of all ages. Offerings include student acting ensembles, a summer musical theater intensive, and an expansive theater-in-the-schools residency program.
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: We are responsive to the desires of our community and speak to their truths, making Northern Stage indispensable in the lives of those we serve.
INTIMACY: We leverage the power of our 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.
Commitment to Inclusion, Equity, Diversity, and Access
Theater shows us a vision of how the world can be, and we take the responsibility of envisioning seriously. As artists in a changing world, we strive to continually open ourselves up to new ideas and practices. We believe the most important and impactful art is made when we consider and commit to inclusion, diversity, equity and access both on and off of our stages, in order to make Northern Stage a welcoming place for everyone. We aspire to make excellent work that is representative of our community, and we aspire to uplift voices that aren’t always heard, challenging ourselves to be the best possible humans and artists. Though uncomfortable at times, we can only change lives by asking the hard questions: Who are the voices of tomorrow, what are the stories yet to be told, and how can we change lives with our art? With the support of our community, Northern Stage is committed to finding out the depth and breadth of the impact theater can have on our world.
Raising our Voice & Taking Action
We, the company of Northern Stage, vow to address injustices against the Black community. We believe that if we do not stand strongly and vocally alongside Black America, and take action through our art and community, we are perpetuating the racism endemic to our country. Theater is a healing art form, and we will work to heal, reveal, and lift up the voices that have been silenced for so long.
The company offers 6 full productions from September to May. Northern Stage draws talented artists from the region and across the country, many of whom have Broadway, Regional Theater, and National Tour credits. Seasons include world premiers, classics, comedies, dramas, musicals, and new shows fresh from Broadway and London’s West End. Click here to view a list of our past productions.
Northern Stage offers students of all ages a year-round schedule of educational programs, including youth training and in-school programs, external events, internships, and adult learning opportunities, taught by and mentored by working theater professionals. Week-long summer camps may include topics such as Shakespeare, dance, singing, musical theater, storytelling, and creating a play, among others, and culminate in a final performance for family and friends. Northern Stage’s Summer Musical Theater Intensive, designed for students ages 12-18, includes four weeks of rehearsal and culminates in a fully-produced musical 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 three pieces throughout the season, a Fall Community Engagement Project, a Winter White Box production, and a fully-produced Spring Musical on the main stage at the Barrette Center for the Arts. The hallmark of Northern Stage’s educational and outreach programming is our intensive BridgeUP: Theater in the Schools program. BridgeUP brings professional teaching artists into area classrooms for a month-long residency to empower students to speak Shakespeare’s language, perform songs, learn choreography, and embrace public performance. Click here to learn more about our current educational and outreach programs.
In 2013, the leadership team of Northern Stage made a commitment to develop new work for the American theater by instituting New Works Now. An annual festival of workshops that culminate in public readings, New Works Now is designed to enrich the theater experience of our audiences and artists who are hungry for daring and impactful stories. Post-show responses are valuable to the play development process and have shown that our unique audiences are willing to engage with new work in a collaborative environment. New Works Now attracts submissions from all over the country, sees talented performers, directors, and dramaturgs lending their expertise to the process, and plays to sold-out houses. The fesitval, held each January, has served as a guiding light for our company and has helped rebrand Northern Stage as a bold and visionary theater for our complicated times. Click hereto learn more about New Works Now.
The BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, led by Northern Stage Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne, and supported by the Pussycat Foundation, offers major support of artistic initiatives focused on women artists and creates a formal mentorship program to train and prepare future women artistic directors to lead, create, innovate, and deepen the impact of theater on the American culture. Along with a $250,000 grant for each theater, the BOLD Circle provides leadership resources for women artistic directors and networking opportunities in semiannual meetings. It also provides for a woman Associate Director position designed to train the artistic directors of the future.
The BOLD Circle was created to address the small percentage of women artistic directors in the American theater. A recent study by Wellesley Centers for Women, commissioned by American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff and former Executive Director Ellen Richard, revealed that women hold only 20% of artistic leadership positions in the American regional theater, and that the dearth of female theater leaders is not due to a lack of candidates but rather to a clearly observed glass ceiling preventing women from assuming the artistic helm of professional theaters.
The first cohort of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle includes Susan V. Booth (The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA), Eileen Morris (The Ensemble Theatre, Houston, TX), Sarah Rasmussen (Jungle Theater, Minneapolis, MN), Lisa McNulty (WP Theater, New York, NY), and BOLD founder Carol Dunne (Northern Stage, White River Junction, VT). Each of the artistic directors chosen for the BOLD Circle has demonstrated artistic excellence and a deep impact on community. The leaders have also demonstrated a strong history of mentoring and will work together to elevate the next generation of female artistic directors. Click here to learn more about BOLD Circle.