CONN.’S SHARON REVAMPED

With a new management strongly tied to Broadway and three name performers in its opening world-premiere production, the Sharon Playhouse in the northwest corner of Connecticut will relight this summer as the Sharon Stage. The refurbished rural summer theater, which has been mostly dark for about five years, will have air conditioning in the 388-seat mainstage theater and new seats from Broadway’s Virginia Theater donated by Jujamcyn Theaters.

President Tim McHenry and managing director Michael Gill head the board of the nonprofit Sharon Stage. McHenry’s international career includes positions with the Zurich Opera and Ballet and the Edinburgh Festival as well as artistic director of London’s Armistice Festival. Gill, currently the company manager of Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” is an independent producer and manager whose credits include the Off Broadway musical “Closer Than Ever” and the new musical “The Times” at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater. Merle Frimark of the Broadway publicity and public relations firm Frimark & Thibodeau Associates is also on the board.

The inaugural three-production Sharon Stage season will open with Estelle Parsons, Carol Kane and Deborah Rush in Mark Rosin and Barry Glasser’s new comedy “Twice Removed,” June 20 to July 9, directed by David Saint. It will be followed by a revival of the musical “The Robber Bridegroom,” July 18 to Aug. 6, and the world premiere of Joyce Carol Oates’ contemporary tragicomedy “The Woman Who Laughed,” Aug. 15 to Sept. 3.

Sharon Stage, which will operate under a LORT contract, plans to initiate cabaret theater, play readings, workshops and meet-the-artists discussions, as well as a children’s theater and mini music festivals in its smaller Gallery Theater. Its 1995 ticket prices are $12 to $25.

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