Westport, N.Y. – The Depot Theatre is pleased to announce that it has developed an alternate outreach and education program for in-person learning this summer.

The Depot Theatre Academy 2020 outreach and education program, originally set to be held inside the Whallonsburg Grange Hall as in past years, will be held outdoors, under a large, open-sided tent in the one-acre parkland behind Whitcomb’s, the Grange-owned building directly across the street. The dates for the junior program (ages 8-12) are July 13-24, and the senior program (ages 13+) dates are July 27-August 7, 2020.

“We are partnering with the Whallonsburg Grange Hall to provide a safe, outdoor space for this ‘al fresco’ version of the Academy. The Grange will be sponsoring community events some evenings under The Big Tent as well,” said Kim Rielly, Depot Theatre’s Executive Director. “I think it’s imperative for arts organizations to alter our perspectives and to find creative and collaborative solutions in order to persevere in the current environment and into an unknown future.”

“The Grange is thrilled to help with this innovative Academy program. Our entire community will benefit from a program that brings people together safely and provides an outdoor space for events,” said Mary-Nell Bockman, program manager at the Grange. “We’re looking forward to hosting music, movies, and food under The Big Tent.”

“The curriculum we’ve developed will provide the junior participants with safely-distanced training in dance, voice and scene work, and the ability to connect with each other to produce a take-home video compilation of their individual and collective performances, which we intend to present in a pubic showing,” said Adam Michael Tilford, Depot Theatre Academy Artistic and Musical Director. “The senior program will include scene and song study using modern day Broadway hits (such as Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Mean Girls and many more), will include audition preparation for stage and acting on-camera, and participants will take home a demo reel of their work.”

“We developed this alternate program for in-person learning in consultation with past participant families,” said Kenney Green, the Depot’s Producing Artistic Director. “Of course, strict physical distancing and health and safety protocols will be observed, in accordance with federal and state recommendations and guidelines, and pursuant to New York State’s approval of the North Country Region entering reopening phase 4.”

The Depot Theatre Academy is made possible in part with a generous sponsorship from the Rogers-Carroll Family Foundation and by Depot Theatre Academy underwriter, the Brooks and Joan Fortune Family Foundation. Special thanks to the Whallonsburg Grange Hall and the Hub on the Hill.

Program details, frequently asked questions, and registration is available at www.DepotTheatre.org. Scholarships are available. Although it will be held in the great outdoors, space is limited, and participants will be accepted in the order of registrations received. Questions regarding the program should be directed to Adam Michael Tilford at academy@depottheatre.org.



The Depot Theatre is a non-profit, professional theatre located in a historic, functioning 1876 train station in Westport, N.Y., and is the only theatre in the Adirondacks that operates under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. In addition to its volunteer board of trustees, the theatre depends on the support and generosity of its loyal donors, volunteers and community members. Committed to promoting and providing exposure to the performing arts in the Adirondacks, the Depot Theatre invites all to “Take a journey without leaving the station.” The Depot Theatre’s 2020 programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by Essex County Arts Council.

Tent site for the 2020 Depot Theatre Academy program adacent to the Whallonsburg Grange.