August 23-26, August 29 - September 2 The Music Man
Saturday, September 1 End-of-the-season CABARET
The Mac-Haydn Theatre was founded in 1969 in a rented barn on the Columbia County fairgrounds in Chatham, New York, with a season of six shows, each running for one week, and played to an audience of about 8,500 people.
There were two major goals: To provide professional quality entertainment for the people of the area, and to provide a professional, nurturing atmosphere for young professionals to flourish with the challenges and rewards of a demanding summer stock season.
The theatre performed for eight years on the fairgrounds, moving into the building in June, and moving out at the end of August, in time for the fair. Coinciding with the professional summer stock season, The Mac-Haydn Theatre developed a program for young people, which started with a workshop for youth ages 6-15, and continued with an apprentice program for those 16 and over.
In 1975 the theatre became a non-profit organization, and started looking ahead toward having its own facilities, a goal that was realized in 1978 when the theatre moved to its present location in a building once used for a meeting hall, and most recently used as a doll furniture factory.
The summer program grew into a 15-week season, with 7/8 shows running for two weeks each, and audiences numbering well over 30,000. The apprentice program, which is offered exclusively to local young people, includes instructions in acting, voice, and dance, and provides them with the opportunity to perform onstage.
The Mac-Haydn Theatre has brought professional theatre to its audiences with more than 300 productions, and has furthered the careers of close to 1,000 talented performers, including Monica M. Wemitt, one of the theatre's first apprentices, who last toured in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"; Joe Howard, also formerly of Chatham, and a star of the TV show "MathNet"; Nathan Lane, who won the Tony Awards on Broadway for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "The Producers"; and David Carpenter Beditz, MHT's leading comedy actor for many years, and recently in the national tour of "Titanic." Many other performers have gone on to national tours, Broadway, and TV and opera, including Frank Lopardo.
The Mac-Haydn Theatre is located on Route 203 in Chatham, New York. For tickets and information call 518-392-9292.