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Cortland Rep Presents STORIES IN THE PARK

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Cortland Rep Presents STORIES IN THE PARK

With the unavoidable cancellation of Cortland Repertory Theatre's 2020 Summer Season due to COVID-19, the CRT Artistic Administration and Board of Directors are creating new and exciting ways to provide entertainment and escape for their CNY audience.

One such creation is the brand-new, family-focused "STORIES IN THE PARK", a socially distanced, drive-thru theatrical experience celebrating summer, stories and childhood memories. To be held on Thursday, July 16 and Friday July 17 from 1-3pm & 5-7pm both days, "STORIES IN THE PARK" will take place in the beautiful Dwyer Memorial Park at 6799 Little York Lake Rd, Preble (the home of the Little York Pavilion). A $5.00 suggested donation per vehicle will be taken at the gate.

In this "reverse parade", the audience, in the safety of their own vehicles, will drive along a fantastical musical path populated by high-spirited costumed characters from favorite childhood stories. An elaborate game of "I Spy" can be played as families spot story book characters and objects hidden in and around a section of the park. Kids of all ages can be on the look out for Cinderella, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and many others!

This unique idea grew from a brain-storming session of the CRT Board's Program Development Committee, which is the "idea incubator" behind new programs and shows for CRT. Because of the pandemic, the committee's questions became focused on 'how can we produce a socially-distanced live theatrical experience?' and 'how can we lift the spirits of high school and performing arts companies that had to cancel their spring performances?' The committee chaired by Mark Reynolds, along with Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson, Youth Programs Director Kris Behnke, and local artist Crystal Lyon generated "STORIES IN THE PARK".

The event will be made possible by the collaboration of many local performing arts organizations, with volunteer actor and dancers coming from CRT's Youth Programs, the Cortland Youth Bureau Summer Drama Program, Cortland Performing Arts Institute ("PAI"), and SUNY Cortland Musical Theatre Department along with members of the Cortland County community. Behnke, along with Cortland High School drama directors Ben Wells and Susie Carr Feuerherm, and PAI owner and instructor Cynthia Halpin, will provide direction.

Local scenic designers and craftsman, including CRT Production Manager Eric Behnke, CRT props/set designer Sam Sheehan, SUNY Cortland Theatre scenic designer Scott Holdredge and SUNY Cortland Technical Director Simone Scalici are collaborating to turn the park into a living storybook. Reynolds, also a CRT Costume Designer, along with SUNY Cortland Costume Shop Manager Stacey Goldyn-Moller are creating the fanciful costumes. Freelance artist Crystal Lyon along with community 'makers' are creating a colorful art instillation using the natural motion of the Little York Lake breeze to drape the park with colorful bannerettes. Donations from Builders Best and Meldrim's Paint Center are providing building materials and paint to bring the designs to life.

For more information, visit the CRT website at or email Please note that the CRT Downtown offices are working on limited hours, and staff is not always readily available to answer calls.

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