The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck in Rhinebeck, New York state, opened its doors in July 1998. This followed four summers (1994-1997) of performances on the same site — in a tent. Construction of the permanent building began in October 1997, with an exterior design resembling a barn to complement the surrounding rural landscape and pay tribute to the origins of summer stock.
Lou Trapani was named Artistic and Managing Director on April 1, 1999 and continues to hold that position today. Kevin Archambault was named Assistant Artistic & Managing Director in 2019.
The Center operated primarily as a summer venue in 1998 but from April 1, 1999 year-round operations began with the building open seven days a week, up to 16 hours a day (The CENTER is closed to the public for New Year’s, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). Since July 1, 1998, over 400,000 patrons have attended performances of about 2,000 different productions; approximately 16,000 artists (often returning for many different productions) have been involved in those productions; and about 3,600 students (ranging in age from four years old to 80 years old) have been trained in all aspects of the theater arts.
The CENTER’s inaugural show, Gypsy, was a Rhinebeck Theatre Society (RTS) production that opened on July 3, 1998.
Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM)
BETM at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck will be presented, as was that first show, by the Rhinebeck Theatre Society. Twelve performances will be staged, from June 25 to July 18, 2021.
Founded in 1986, Rhinebeck Theatre Society offers opportunities for everyone in the Hudson Valley to participate in the excitement of live theatre, both on-stage and backstage. RTS’s mission is to entertain, educate, and enrich the Hudson Valley community through the dramatic arts.
In view of the recent pandemic restrictions, this production of BETM will be presented on the outdoor stage on the grounds of the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
Here is a photo of the outdoor stage from a recent production there:
The production will be led by Henry Fin Berry in the title role of Billy. Henry has been in two prior regional productions of the show, in the supporting roles of Small Boy (2016) and Michael (2019).
To learn more about Henry, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to his detailed profile.
To see a complete listing of the rest of the Rhinebeck Theatre Society’s BETM cast, just click on the Cast Information button.
Credit: Video by The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck