Allenberry Playhouse

The Playhouse at Allenberry will start its theater season in July.

provided by The Playhouse at Allenberry

Popular musicals and plays, as well as a Christmas family musical, are among the shows in Keystone Theatrics first full season at the renovated Playhouse at Allenberry.

The group Wednesday announced the season schedule, which features six Mainstage Shows and three Family Series productions, as well as theater workshops.

“Shrek” will open the season with a run from July 7 to July 22, with auditions set to begin at the end of the month, according to Keystone Theatrics Executive Director Dustin LeBlanc.

“We’re seeing what we can do to be most successful, but also (wanted shows) the community would be interested in seeing,” he said. “The musicals are big shows with a lot of elements. It’s a great opportunity to show the caliber of shows we want to perform, with big shows, big sets and very talented casts.”

Following “Shrek” will be an adult prequel to “Peter Pan,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” in September, while “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” will take the stage as a Christmas musical for which Allenberry had become known before it closed its doors.

LeBlanc said those familiar with how Allenberry operated previously will wonder about the gap in time between the September main stage performance and the December musical. He explained that those fall months will be for The Playhouse to look into booking other types of events, such as concerts and comedy shows.

“I think people are used to (Allenberry) being very summer heavy,” he said. “We’re talking with different bands, performers and comedians. We want it to be more than just theater.”

Though more room is being made for other types of entertainment, there are three more main stage shows in the season. “Seussical” will start next year in February, while “Steel Magnolias” and “Gypsy” will round out the big shows.

Also on the schedule is its Family Series, which are musicals based on popular children’s books. Those hour-long productions are “A Year with Frog and Toad” in July, “How I Became a Pirate” in October and “Curious George and the Golden Meatball” in March 2018.

LeBlanc noted that the cost for those shows will remain at $10 per attendee and will be at 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

“I wanted to keep the price very low and very affordable,” he said. “We want to make arts accessible, and give kids a good theater experience.”

Though the first season leans toward more popular shows, LeBlanc said they worked on creating a season schedule that will attract different audiences.

“What we really wanted was a diverse line-up,” he said. “I know that’s an overused term in theater, but we really looked for that. The days of the same people coming to every show—that’s just not here anymore. We really wanted to try to get a diverse audience.

“It’s going to be a fun season,” he added. “All of the shows has that theme of finding your place in the world, which I think is an interesting thing for us to explore this first season.”

All tickets will be available for online purchasing on Monday at keystonetheatrics.com. Mainstage series shows are $28 for adults and $22 for students/seniors for reserved seating. Limited daytime and evening box office hours will be announced in the coming weeks, according to a release from The Playhouse at Allenberry.

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