Camp Pendragon, Little Shop of Horrors

People want to live in places with thriving cultural scenes. 40 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they choose to live in Saranac Lake because of arts & culture, and another 40 percent said they visit here specifically for that reason. Families, entrepreneurs, innovators—a vibrant art scene is essential to attracting each of these groups.

Todd Moe interviewing students during Young Playwrights’ festival

Young people grow through theatre.

Recent research shows watching live theatre increases empathy in students. Being on the stage is even more effective. The concept of “radical empathy” is embodied in how an actor must become the character they play. A study released in February by the Houston Education Research Consortium shows arts education, such as the Young Playwrights Festival, boosts students’ compassion for their classmates, lowering discipline rates, and improving students’ scores on writing tests. That follows a 2014 University of Arkansas study that shows field trips to live theatre enhance literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students. 

The cast of Mary Poppins Jr

We’re not just a theatre in the community. We’re a theatre for the community. Our existing outreach programs touch hundreds of students across the Adirondacks every year. This expansion will help us work with even more.

  • A proposed expanded partnership with North Country Community College and SUNY Potsdam will provide students with elusive, hands-on theatre experience, an experience not available in the current limited facility.
  • Students who may have considered leaving the community to pursue a performing arts education elsewhere now have a reason to stay.

Next to Normal: Matt Sorensen, Beth Buczkowski, and Andrew O’Brien, all with local ties

  • Technical theatre training applies to much more than theatre! Think construction, lighting, sound

Tell us how Pendragon has impacted you! With your permission, we will share your stories.

Photos courtesy of Burdette Parks