The Denizen Theatre, located at Water Street Market in New Paltz, is reopening its doors this October for the world premiere of “True Love Will Find You in the End” by Tony-nominated Broadway playwright, Neil LaBute. The play will run from Oct. 8 to 18 with a small, socially distanced audience.
“True Love Will Find You in the End” “focuses on issues that relate to the human condition,” said Artistic Director Harry Lipstein. “This play will have all aspects of the time and mortal themes of love, longing and loss steeped in your short time in the Denizen Theatre.”
The theatre will be opening under strict guidelines, only allowing eight audience members per performance. However, under the direction of J.J Kandel, the play will make use of the small audience to enhance the production, creating an immersive experience.
“What we’ve done is strategically placed the audience across the stage from each other so that two people will sit at noon, 3 p.m, 9 p.m. and 6 p.m.,” Lipstein said. “They will be distanced by six feet . . . and as the play begins, they will be immersed in a world supported by the light, [the] sound, the actors and their imagination.”
The goal is to have the audience members use one another to become both “the observer and the observed” Lipstein said. The actors, who are featured in a creative way, are not there in the physical space, but very much a part of the production. “It’s really a very compelling, creative response to theatres not opening,” he said.
For Lipstein and those at the Denizen, reopening is not just a financial necessity, but also an emotional one. “Theatre is literally one of the few art forms that has been proven to raise empathy in the world, so that when you go and see a live production and the characters are going through loss, pain, suffering elation, we are there as the witness to that in real time. And we actually come out of the theatre more empathetic human beings,” he said.
The Denizen encourages SUNY New Paltz students to see the show for the small fee of $5. This remains possible thanks to their Sponsor a Student program.
“We’re struggling like other not-for-profits,” Lipstein said. “Yet we still are committed [to the small fee] and will not deviate because [students] are our hope.”
“Art is really an expression of love,” Lipstein said “and [at] the Denizen Theatre, we want to make sure that every young mind that’s going through the SUNY system at New Paltz visits with their hard earned five dollars and sees professional theatre, right there.”
The world premiere of “True Love Will Find You in the End,” will run Oct. 8-18, Thursday to Saturday at 6 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. For more information visit denizentheatre.com.