What began as the Auburn Children’s Theatre in 1958 has grown to become a multi-venue, growing operation currently known as Merry Go Round Playhouse. — celebrating its milestone 60th Anniversary in 2018!
The Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre has grown to become the nation’s largest resident touring youth education program. This well respected program offers workshops and performances to students in grades K-12. Currently, these programs reach 125,000 students in over 70 districts and 23 counties throughout New York every year.
In 2012, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Inc. formally launched the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, propelling a standard of excellent, professional productions at its iconic Emerson Park location – the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. The Festival presents classic and contemporary works, new musicals, and arts education for a diverse audience, to spur social awareness and cultural development in the Finger Lakes region. The Festival prides itself as a growing, distinct and powerful arts organization dedicated to engaging audiences, challenging thought, developing new works and creating a workplace that is creative, rigorous and fulfilling.
Not only has the organization grown exponentially, but the breadth and depth of the artistic standards and experiences have set new standards in the region and industry. The Festival now serves as a magnet for audiences and artists to celebrate and intersect with theatre of the highest caliber while also serving as an economic engine for the city of Auburn and the entire Finger Lakes region of Central New York.
Rocky – June 10-July 1
Struggling to make ends meet, Rocky Balboa is a down and out amateur boxer and part-time heavy for a loan shark. Despite his hardships, his emerging relationship with Adrian Pennino forms a foundation of hope and confidence for both of them. When Apollo Creed picks Rocky as his opponent, Rocky must undertake the biggest challenge of his life. With a score by Tony and Academy Award-nominated writers Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, book by Tony nominee Thomas Meehan, adapted from Sylvester Stallone’s Academy award-nominated screenplay, ROCKY is for the fighter and lover in all of us. Premium Seating Available! Ringside seating on stage available. Contact the Box Office for more information.
Witness Uganda – July 8-29
Based on real-life events by Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould. When Griffin, a young man from New York City, volunteers for a teaching project in a small town in Uganda, he finds himself on a journey that will change his life forever. WITNESS UGANDA is a groundbreaking documentary journey that expands the possibilities of the American musical. Inspired by a true story, this rousing new musical exposes the complex realities of trying to change the world. The show has raised over $275,000 for UgandaProject — a charity that sponsors the education of a group of students living in Kampala, Uganda.
STATEFAIR – August 5-26
R+H’s only musical written directly for the screen is now a Broadway musical! Set against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, STATE FAIR travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons while their daughter and son find romance & heartbreak on the midway. Featuring your favorite R+H songs, an Academy Award-winning score, spectacular choreography, and a dollop of Americana, STATE FAIR is a nostalgic kind of warmhearted family entertainment only Rodgers & Hammerstein could deliver!
Dixie’s Tupperware Party – August 28-Sept 3
Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternative uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation & a little bit of empowerment & homespun wisdom, DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY leaves your heart a little bigger & your food a little fresher
The Buddy Holly Story – Sept 16-Oct 7
Tells the true story of Buddy’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when ‘That’ll Be the Day’ hit the airwaves until his tragic death less than two years later on “The day the music died”. The show features over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits including ‘That’ll Be The Day’, ‘Peggy Sue’, ‘Everyday’, ‘Oh Boy’, ‘Not Fade Away’, ‘Rave On’ and ‘Raining In My Heart’, plus Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’ and The Big Bopper’s ‘Chantilly Lace’. Seen by over 22 million people around the world, BUDDY will have you on your feet and send you out of the theater on an unstoppable high.
The pItch – July 15-August 14
Be the first to witness the birth of the next mega hit! The PiTCH provides a forum for musicals in their earliest stages of development. Each musical creation team is provided with a week-long residency at the Festival. At the end of each week, the creative team ‘pitches’ their material to audiences with a presentation lasting approximately an hour long. Afterward, the audience & creative team engage in active dialogue about the piece & the process
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