Last week, on July 14, 2021, a limited audience got a chance to see the workshop performance of the three plays comprising Thrown Stone’s The Suburbs. Held in the Walled Garden at the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Museum, the audience got a glimpse into how these plays might begin to live within and interact with their site-specific locales. This was also a vital time for the director, actors, designers, and entire team to tour and understand these locations in greater depth, in preparation for the full production opening in August. If you are traveling to Ridgefield, have never visited these locations before, or are a seasoned local and just want to view these sites through new eyes, I invite you to join me on this walking tour. Read more
As a new-works company, Thrown Stone is always looking for ways to engage more people in the curatorial process. This spring, they found inspiration in a 2009 report from the UK on a commission of the New Economics Foundation by the Independent Theatre Council, the Society of London Theatres, and UK Theatre (née Theatrical Management Association). Titled, Capturing the Audience Experience: A Handbook for the Theatre, the report detailed a methodology for measuring “the impact of theatre on people’s well-being.”
NEF developed a model that measures an audience’s experience of a play across five dimensions: Engagement and concentration, Learning and challenge, Energy and tension, shared experience and atmosphere, and Personal resonance and emotional connection. Each is measured in a questionnaire with a series of prompts that ask the audience to rate their experience on a simple scale. “As producers,” said Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Winn, “this structured data tells us half of what we need to know. The other half involves practical, social, and strategic considerations, and we were lucky to have another data structure already in use that we could rely on.” Read more
The Senior Internship program at Ridgefield High School offers students the opportunity to spend the last weeks of their senior year, after AP exams, working for a local business in their field of interest. When it was their turn, Carr and Huff immediately thought of Thrown Stone. Huff, slated to be a 2020 intern before the COVID shutdown, recalled his 2020 interview process: “From my first interview with [Thrown Stone Company Development Manager] Gina Pulice , it seemed like Thrown Stone was really interested in giving a genuine hands-on experience in a really unique new theatre that you don’t necessarily find everywhere.” This year, when he contacted Jonathan Winn, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, and Walton, they were eager to have him back. Carr, another 2020 intern, reached out again this year and was welcomed back. She cited her interest in Thrown Stone as being rooted in their focus on “mentorship” and interest in helping emerging artists, such as herself, to grow and learn. “They want this to be our home base,” she commented. Read more
This Summer/Fall, Thrown Stone Theatre Company will present The Suburbs, a “roving production” featuring the world premieres of three site-specific commissioned new works by playwrights Tony Meneses, Phanésia Pharel, and Catherine Yu. Each play will be set in a prominent Ridgefield, CT location.
On May 20, 2021, Thrown Stone Theatre Company and Ridgefield Library hosted Meet the Playwrights, the first public event kicking off this production. The event was held on Zoom and was introduced by Andy Forsyth, Assistant Director of Ridgefield Library. Kolton Harris, a “creative visionary leader, educator, facilitator and multi-disciplinary artist,” moderated the event, engaging in robust conversation about these new plays with the three playwrights and The Suburbs Director Kholoud Sawaf. Read more