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.
We founded Thrown Stone on February 16, 2016 with a dream to make new theatre in Ridgefield. This was how we started:
Thrown Stone cultivates artists and audiences through opportunity, education, and mentorship, emphasizing new work and unconventional approaches to repertoire. We are committed to integrity, inclusiveness, and using technology to serve the region with theatre of distinction.
Three years on, all of this is still true, but thanks to the tireless efforts of our board and everyone we’ve connected with along the way, we’ve boiled it down to the essentials.
Before Andrew Levine joined Thrown Stone’s board, we often met for coffee at Ross’ Bread. We talked shop. A lot. And he related to us something his colleague, J.R. Sullivan, said about The New American Theatre in Rockford Illinois, which he founded: “We conducted a 22-year conversation with that community.”
Sparks flew. While The New American Theatre performed everything from Shakespeare to Broadway to Wilder (in addition to new plays), Sullivan’s vision for the relationship between artist and audience struck a deep chord for us as we developed our idea for a new-works company. The relationship isn’t about any single play or performance — it is about the practice of coming together to talk about all the big stuff. The stuff that makes us human.
A QUICK SIDEBAR
On a lark, we reached out to Mr. Sullivan when we were casting Birds of North America. Miraculously, this man whom we hold in such high esteem (and who, at the time, didn’t know us at all) fell in love with the play, and will perform the role of John this summer!
Intimate theatre offers more than just good seats. It’s an opportunity to be fully present in the space with the performers, and the kinds of stories we tell tend to demand your presence (it’s a conversation, after all). So, we adopted the idea of intimacy into our mission and aesthetic.
This year, we took the idea to heart with a new “Thrust Stage” seating configuration. Just two rows will surround the stage on three sides, creating a strikingly intimate experience — as though the audience were actually in the back yards of these characters.
MOVES, CONNECTS, CHALLENGES
You may not like everything we do. There. We said it. This being new work, you won’t know if you like it until after you’ve seen it anyway. But whether or not a particular play is to your taste, you will be moved; you will be connected — in an intimate space! — through the ritual of storytelling; and sometimes, your ideas will be challenged (really not as scary as it sounds). Some plays you may not like. Some you will love. Some you may remember for the rest of your life. Together, they make up the conversation.
We’ll never tell you to “sit back and relax.” We will ask you to “lean in and engage.” And with our many talkbacks, community events, and audience surveys, we’ll always listen to you too. Conversation is the essence of what makes live theatre special, and we mean to conduct this conversation for many seasons to come.
— Jason & Jonathan
OUR SINCERE THANKS
To our board and strategic planning committee for their vision and insights:
- Jennifer Dineen
- Jeff Krulwich, Committee Co-Chair
- Andrew Levine
- Dean Miller, Treasurer
- Daniela Sikora
- Bob Trainer, Committee Chair
- Emily Wilson, Vice President
And special thanks to Rodgers Harper, Committee Co-Chair