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Cumming hosts opening of new Catskill venue

Cumming hosts opening of new Catskill venue

Savion Glover will perform at the Lumberyard, a new not-for-profit performing arts center
Cumming hosts opening of new Catskill venue
The exterior of the Lumberyard in Catskill. Inset: Alan Cumming.
Photographer: photos provided

The Hudson Valley, already home to a number of interesting places, has added another jewel to its crown this summer with the opening of the Lumberyard, a new not-for-profit performing arts center in Catskill.

Saturday at 6:30 p.m., with the help of Tony Award winner Alan Cumming, the Lumberyard will hold its grand opening celebration, and part of the proceedings will include a performance by tap sensation Savion Glover and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

"Alan Cumming was our first choice to serve as our host, and I was delighted that he said yes," said Adrienne Willis. "And, we are honored to have two acclaimed artists like Savion Glover and Marcus Gilmore performing for our audience in our brand-new space. For a while I thought we were going to have them do their thing on the street in the front of our building. We are so happy they agreed to be part of our season."

Formerly named the American Dance Institute when it was located in Rockville, Maryland, the Lumberyard held various events at difference locations in the Catskill area this summer, including Hudson Hall, Club Helsinki in Hudson and the Bridge Street Theater in Catskill. Saturday's event will be held at its new $8.2 million, state-of-the-art facility on the Catskill Creek waterfront. Solange MacArthur, a prominent patron of the arts, made a large financial contribution to get the building started.

"It is exhilarating to finally welcome the public into our artistic home," said Willis. "We were given a gift by a longtime supporter and we wanted to get outside an urban center to help revitalize a community, and to create a new model for a performing arts center.

"We needed a name change because we're more than just a dance company now," continued Willis, a native of Toronto. "We needed our name to be more reflective of what it is we're trying to do here. We are holding events in what was once a lumberyard. It had been a lumberyard for nearly 200 years, and that's what it was when we purchased it."

Along with its column-free, 7,000 square-foot performing space (which stands 600 and seats 450), the Lumberyard has an additional 5,000-square-foot studio and event space, a soundstage for television use and housing for 13 people.

"Any way we can help upstate with jobs and growth, it's exciting," said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in a news release after visiting the location earlier this month. "But this is one of the most exciting projects I have seen."

The Lumberyard also provides three youth programs for area children, including "Fresh Start," created with the assistance of the state Department of Corrections; "Young Performers," an after-school arts and meditation program; and "Junior Crew," a summer employment initiative for local youth.

The Lumberyard will act as a technical residency for three New York City-based projects in the fall, while its first public event will be held Sept. 29. "Jack &" is Kaneza Schaal's exploration of re-entry into society after a long prison term. Schaal is a New York City-based performance artist who will workshop another production at the Lumberyard in the spring of 2019, "Cartography."

Writer, filmmaker and adventurer Jon Bowermaster, a six-time recipient of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, will perform "Hudson River Stories" at the Lumberyard on Oct. 7, while the dancing of Kimberly Bartosik takes center stage on Oct. 13.

Obie Award winner Andrew Schneider will be at the Lumberyard Nov. 3-4 for "Nervous/System," a live theater performance integrating video mapping, innovative lighting and 3-D sound spatialization.

Other artists  signed up for the 2018-2019 season include dancer Wendy Whelen, cellist Maya Beiser and choreographer Laura Childs.

"Lumberyard's ambitious and innovative vision is inexorably linked to this space as well as the communities and economic resurgence of the Hudson Valley," said Willis. "And we are thrilled to be able to hold and celebrate artists as diverse as dance icons Lucinda Childs and Wendy Whelan, and theater makers Kaneza Schaal and Andrew Schneider here this fall, as well as to present live concerts and film screenings."

Cumming is well equipped to serve as host of the grand opening, having won his Tony for his performance as the emcee in 1998's Broadway revival of "Cabaret." He has also won an Emmy for his role on "The Good Wife" in 2010.

 

Lumberyard Grand Opening

WHERE: 62 Water St., Catskill

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

HOW MUCH: $240, includes performance and VIP reception; $40 and up for performance only

MORE INFO: www.lumberyard.org

 

 

 

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