Thrown Stone presented our 2021 season in partnership with The Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and West Lane Inn. Three world premieres performed at the three Ridgefield landmarks, August 28 – September 12, 2021.
Commissioned as short, site-specific works by Catherine Yu, Tony Meneses, and Phanésia Pharel performed as a single “roving production” (where the audience follows the action from location to location). In this very unusual year, we made a very unusual commitment to commission and present three world-premieres within the span of just nine months. Because of the extraordinary talent and perseverance of our artists, the result was an uncannily fresh take on the identity and destiny of our community.
An Education finds a famous young academic giving a lecture on the value of the classics to the Ridgefield Board of Education. His vision of antiquity is radically inclusive, but as a person of color, will he ever truly be seen? Catherine Yu’s new play considers “what we’ve lost to spectacle” in a world where the classics and white supremacy have become entangled.
The Caterers by Tony Meneses was in homage to Jean Genet’s The Maids, and features a diverse group of young workers catering an engagement party at the Aldrich some fifty years in the future. Working while on display in extravagant party gowns, and confronted with “high-society hi jinx,” they fantasize about what it must be like to be the protagonists in their own narratives.
Should We Dance Instead? follows Ned and Betsy Armstrong — the now-famous operators of the Ridgefield Underground Railroad — resurrected in today’s world, where their family homestead is on the market for $28 million. In Phanésia Pharel’s captivating new play, the Armstrongs reclaim their moral legacy and more importantly, their own happiness.
Performances were set outdoors specifically to help reduce the risk of Covid transmission. Working under Actors’ Equity Association’s Fully Vaccinated Safety Rider, four staff members were certified as Covid Safety Officers, and with the input of our company members, developed safety protocols that met or exceeded the union’s requirements. Testing was a critical part of our plan, which was generously provided by RVNAhealth.
Thrown Stone’s 2022 season will feature two New England premieres to be performed in repertory July 14 – August 6, 2022: Athena by Gracie Gardner, and Hysterical! by Elenna Stauffer. Athena, 2018 New York Times Critic’s Pick, was originally commissioned and performed by the Hearth Theatre. Hysterical! by Elenna Stauffer had its premiere at FringeNYC 2016, and was discovered for Thrown Stone by Evelyn Carr.
“I stumbled across Hysterical! while searching for female-centered plays, particularly plays focused on young women,” said Carr. “It’s such an entertaining and informative piece of art and definitely stays with you long after it’s over.”
Both plays candidly and poignantly explore the absurdity, the agony, and the swagger of adolescence and athletics — from a girl’s point of view. Both plays will be directed by acclaimed director and Fairfield, CT resident, Tracy Brigden.
Athena by Gracie Gardner
Mary Wallace and Athena are brave, and seventeen, and fencers, and training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together. They wish they were friends.
Hysterical! by Elenna Stauffer
It’s the Bandits’ best year EVER! Until… one by one, the cheerleading squad succumbs to a mysterious illness. As the traditional pecking order is upended, the girls’ relationships are tested. With a deceptively comedic first act, Hysterical! addresses serious subject matter, examining the vulnerabilities of teenage girls and the poignancy of life on the cusp of adulthood.
New Play Development
The 068 Magazine Playwriting Fellowship
On October 5th, we got the tragic news of the sudden closure of The Lark, a developmental theatre company in New York that has been instrumental in supporting the work of hundreds of playwrights, including Thrown Stone collaborators Jacqueline Goldfinger, Molly Smith Metzler, and Anna Moench. Then we learned that our brilliant Suburbs collaborator, Phanésia Pharel, had been a finalist for The Lark’s 2022 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship when the company folded. This program’s dissolution leaves some of the best and brightest new talents without crucial early-career support. We were fortunate to give Ms. Pharel her first professional production, and with major support from 068 Magazine, we have created our own fellowship for this talented playwright. While we have secured over half of the necessary funding, we are still looking to cover a substantial gap. To find out how you can support this important new fellowship, please contact us.
The Commission Continues
Workshops and readings of Jacqueline Goldfinger’s new work, Ammi: Reframing America will continue in 2022. Collaboration with noted Ammi Phillips historian and collector Barbara Holdridge, and The American Folk Art Museum, has been fruitful, and we look forward to inviting you to take part in the development of this new play. We are grateful to Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust for their continued support of this work.
Kolton Harris, Kevin Mambo, and Kate Schardt Join Thrown Stone’s Board
Mr. Harris currently serves as Program Associate for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Formerly the Artistic Director and current chair of the board of Writer’s Block Ink, a social justice youth theatre in New London, CT, Harris is also an accomplished recording artist, producer, and musician.
“I’m elated to join the innovative fabric of Thrown Stone as we embark on the journey of generating an environment conducive to powerful imaginative theatre that can instigate real change in the world.”
Mr. Mambo starred in the Broadway production of the musical Fela!, appeared in numerous productions of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage across the country. He recently appeared on the Netflix series Luke Cage and Hit & Run; and just completed shooting the Barack and Michelle Obama-produced biopic, Rustin, directed by George C. Wolfe.
“The theatre is a well where we as humans come to see our reflection, and to be nourished. It changes our perspectives and is often a living snapshot of our most intimate moments and concerns. A place where we speak the unspeakable. With this, there is an amazing ability to impact those around us.”
Ms. Schardt is a global leader with over 18 years of insights and analytics experience. Currently the Senior Director of Global Insights at PepsiCo, Schardt is focused on raising the bar on creative & brand excellence through digital technology and partnerships. She previously worked on Unilever’s global brands at Nielsen.
“I am excited to be joining at this time — as the prolonged pandemic has tried and tested us all — when driving connections within our community is more vital than ever. Thrown Stone has a critical role to play in bringing our community together and driving engaging and thought-provoking conversations.”
To engage our region with new and reimagined theatre in intimate settings, creating a body of work that moves, connects, and challenges all who join the conversation.
Richard Harrison, Artistic Associate
Maria McConville, Artistic Associate
Thrown Stone is a 501(c)(3) organization.
D-U-N-S Number: 080603526.
2017-2021 IRS Form 990, Bylaws, Conflict Of Interest Policy, and Sexual Harassment Policy available upon request.
We thank our generous donors, grantors, and sponsors for their financial support, along with generous in-kind donations from individuals and businesses for media, services, artist housing/travel, and catering. Many of our donors allowed us to apply their support from 2020-2021 to the 2021-22 seasons.
Of our 2021 expenses, 95% represented the direct costs of production — artist and other salaries, commissions and licensing, production, space rental and marketing costs. The other 5% is development and general operating costs.
We anticipate a substantial increase in our 2022 expenses compared to 2021, due to an increase in the number of artists and staff, and added production complexity. We also continue our work on a new play commission and a playwriting fellowship. As always, we are counting on your support again to help us build our body of work and re-imagine what theatre can be in Ridgefield.
|A||Donations & Grants||$129,700|
|C||Ticket Sales, Concessions, Other||$35,800|
|A||Production, Space Rental, Marketing||$47,100|
|B||Artist and Other Salaries||$76,600|
|C||Commissions & Licensing||$17,800|
95% of our expenses go directly into our programs
Chekhov International Theatre Festival staged reading of Milk by Ross Dunsmore
The U.S. Premiere of Milk by Ross Dunsmore at Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
Chekhov International Theatre Festival staged reading of The Butcher by Gwydion Suilebhan
Staged reading of Willing by Claire Glubiak at the Ridgefield Library
Productions cancelled due to COVID-19.
The World Premiere of The Suburbs: The Caterers by Tony Meneses, Should We Dance Instead?
by Phanésia Pharel, and An Education: How To Confront the Classics by Catherine Yu;
Full-length commission of Ammi: Reframing America by Jacqueline Goldfinger.
The New England Premieres of Athena by Gracie Gardner and Hysterical! by Elenna Stauffer, in repertory; Full-length commission of Ammi: Reframing America by Jacqueline Goldfinger (continued); 068 Magazine Playwriting Fellowship.
Ridgefield Magazine & Wilton Magazine*
The Leir Foundation
The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust
U.S. Small Business Administration
The Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust
of Economic and Community
Development Office of the Arts
The Burry Fredrik Foundation
Ridgefield Thrift Shop
The Aldrich Contemporary
Keeler Tavern Museum
& History Center*
West Lane Inn*
The Borman Family Foundation
The First Congregational Church of Ridgefield*
Ridgefield Drive UR Car*
Art of Pour Craft Cocktails*
The Ancient Mariner
Fairfield County Bank
The Goldstone Family Foundation
The Wadsworth R. Lewis Fund
Chuck Jennes Photography*
Nod Hill Brewery*
Squash’s Ridgefield Office Supply*
Stacey’s Totally Baked*
2021 Individual Donors
Executive Producer ($5,000+)
In memory of Linda Almira
Richard & Karen Calo
Jon & Kim Jodka
Andrew & Jeanine Levine
Dean & Theresa Miller
Jon & Allison Stockel
Vicki & Bob Trainer
Alicia & Bob Wyckoff
Jeffrey & Linda Krulwich
Amanda Curtin & Jonathan Winn
ACT of Connecticut
The Axler Family
Sally & Barclay Griffiths
Thea M. Niles
Alana & Jason Peck
David & Judy Shapiro
Paul & Judi Stoogenke
The DiLaura Family
F.E. Padolf & Co., CPA’S, P.C.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Connecticut Arts Alliance
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut
Harvard Community Partners
Keeler Tavern Museum
& History Center
National New Play Network
Ridgefield Arts Council
Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
Ridgefield Economic and Community Development Commission
Ridgefield Historical Society
West Lane Inn
Actor’s Equity Association
Kerry Anne Ducey
Jesse Lee Church
Mike & Kathryn Malwitz
The Ridgefield Chorale
Daniela Sikora & Keitha Kinne
The Walton Family
Thank you for being part of the Thrown Stone Family
*Includes in-kind donation of goods or services
We apologize for any errors or omissions — please email us with any corrections or if you wish to remain anonymous in the future.
“Working with Thrown Stone was a fantastic experience for me. They reached out, took a risk, and I’m deeply grateful for the connection they made with a fellow artist far away.” — Ross Dunsmore, Milk, 2017
“I wish that all theaters were as exuberant and innovative as Thrown Stone. They understand that both today’s audiences and the future of the American theatre rest on producing a wide-range of new work that exemplifies the breadth, depth, and spirit of the American experience.” — Jacqueline Goldfinger, The Arsonists, 2018
“I am so grateful for my experience with Thrown Stone. The whole performance was a dream. I was thrilled with the level of talent they were able to bring in, from the set design to the actors. They really tried to find ways to make the production benefit the writer, and they saw the script to its fullest vision.” — Karina Cochran, Where All Good Rabbits Go, 2018
“Thrown Stone is an incredibly dedicated group of artists who champion complex, vital new work. I was so honored to have a play in their season, and although I live far from Connecticut, I felt very included in the process and production. Every writer should send them plays!” — Anna Moench, Birds of North America, 2019
“Jason and Jonathan clearly create an environment that demands integrity, and it shows: Thrown Stone has quickly established itself as a true playwright’s theater, where today’s playwrights WANT to be programmed. I am very grateful to Thrown Stone for having me, and I’ll be very eager to work with them again!” — Molly Smith Metzler, Cry It Out, 2019
“Thrown Stone is a brilliantly nimble theatre company that is truly a blessing to work with. I am full of gratitude for the experience I had with the Thrown Stone staff and company and admire the level of craft and attention they gave to ensure a positive experience for the artists and their community.” — Catherine Yu, An Education, 2021
“Working with Thrown Stone was a miracle. By which I mean all the circumstances that led to our show felt against all odds (a pandemic, severe weather, and for me beating my head against a wall trying to solve the ending of my play!). But through all that we came out on the other side with a beautiful production and collaboration. This was one of the loveliest experiences and groups of people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with, hands down.” — Tony Meneses, The Caterers, 2021
“Thrown Stone is one of the most organized and thoughtful theaters I’ve had the privilege of working with. My Suburbs commission was the closest thing I’ve felt to magic. I am so excited to see how Thrown Stone challenges the American Theatre in the next ten years. They are committed to taking meaningful risks.”
— Phanésia Pharel, Should We Dance Instead?, 2021