Hudson Stage Company Becomes Artist in Residence

Cara Halstead, Public Information Officer, Pace University (914) 773-3312,
Denise Bessette, Producer, Hudson Stage Company (914) 736-3467,


Professional theater group with growing reputation
for NY and world premieres
begins performances and staged readings,
will offer pre-professional opportunities for students

PLEASANTVILLE, NY – February 7, 2005. The Hudson Stage Company, the adventurous professional theater company that has performed in a variety of Westchester venues during its first six years, is becoming an Artist-In-Residence at the Briarcliff annex to Pace University’s Pleasantville campus.

The next events of the company’s weekend performances at its new home begin with the February 11 staged reading of “Massage in Progress,” by Westchester playwright Jeannie Zusy. They continue the first three weekends in April with the world premiere of Eric Henry Sanders’ new play, “Where’s Annie?”

Hudson Stage performs under an Actors’ Equity Association Small Professional Theatre contract. It has been hailed by The New York Times, the Journal News, Westchester Magazine and the North County News for its ambitious commitment to producing original new plays.

Influence of Tony Randall. “We are delighted to welcome Hudson Stage Company to Pace’s Westchester campuses,” said Pace University President David A. Caputo. “A permanent home will help Hudson Stage bring Westchester more challenging, contemporary theatre. This arrangement mirrors our relationship at Pace’s downtown New York City campus with the National Actors Theatre, founded by the late Tony Randall. We welcome the opportunity for our students to participate in the work of a professional theatre company and master classes as well as enrichment for all students, especially those in the arts and humanities.”

Praised by the New York Times for “sweeping gallantry of purpose,” since its founding in 1999 Hudson Stage Company has performed at venues including public libraries, the Jacob Burns Film Center and the Julie Harris Theatre at the Clearview School in Briarcliff Manor.

“This new venue and relationship offer tremendous opportunities for everyone involved, and we are thrilled to be here,” said Denise Bessette, one of the Hudson Stage Company’s three producers, along with Dan Foster and Olivia Sklar. “We are appreciative of Pace’s commitment to the arts and to our company.”

Hudson Stage Company productions will take place in a 135-seat theater in Pace’s Woodward Hall located on Elm Road in Briarcliff Manor. Said Bessette: “The theater has terrific acoustics and sight-lines, comfortable seats, and is very audience-friendly. The campus is easily accessible from the Taconic Parkway and Route 9A, and the villages of Briarcliff and Pleasantville offer many dining options for the public.” Because many Pace staff offices are closed on weekends, free parking is available on campus, including facilities for people with handicaps.

World premiere of “Where’s Annie” April 1 through April 17. On the first three weekends in April, the Company presents the world premiere of Eric Henry Sanders’ new play, “Where’s Annie?,” which Bessette describes as “a divinely dark comedy with an American Gothic spin.” It will be directed by Steven Williford.

The production plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm, with additional matinees on Friday, April 8th and 15th at 3pm. $25 general admission, $20 for seniors/students, $15 for PACE with ID. Group rates are available.

“On Golden Pond” meets “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in this play that explores the mystery of an older couple’s relationship with each other and their vengeful granddaughter. “There’s a wickedly sensual sense of humor between this couple that is refreshingly different from the ‘cute’ or ‘curmudgeonly’ characters audiences usually see depicting older people,” Bessette said.

Playwright Sanders teaches screenwriting at Hampshire College, and his work has been seen across the country at venues including the Cherry Lane Alternative in NYC, Victory Gardens in Chicago and in LA at the Road Theatre. Williford has been at the helm of the Lark Theatre in NYC, and has worked Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio, and Rattlestick, regionally at Long Wharf Theatre, and as a contract director of the long-running soaps “As the World Turns” and “The Guiding Light.”

These programs are made possible by a grant from the Westchester Arts Council and the donation of facilities by Pace University. HSC is solely responsible for program content.

More information is at the HSC hotline at 914-271-2811 and website, at Information on HSC events at Pace University and other Pace events can be found, along with directions to Pace, at For automated directions to Pace, call 914-773-3737.

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