WESTON >> In anticipation of its 80th performance season, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company plans to launch "Weston 101" in February 2016. This groundbreaking educational program will bring the excitement of the summer productions into the off-season with a series of Thursday evening classes held at Burr and Burton Academy's Manchester campus and broadcast via live-stream to participants' laptops and home computers.

Led by Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler, known for his popular lectures at GMALL, Osher Institute, and on Weston's annual London Theatre Tour, the 90-minute classes will cover six of Weston's summer shows, with special guests from each of the productions. Participants can sign up for individual sessions based on interest in a particular show, or subscribe to the entire series.

Each session will include an introduction to the play and playwright(s), reading and listening, a discussion, and Q&A. Learn about the history of the plays and why they were chosen for Weston. Hear about the vision, cast, and creative teams. Online materials, links, and recommended reading (available through Northshire Bookstore) will be posted for those who want to learn even more, and all classes will be archived for future viewing.

Sessions and topics are scheduled as follows: February 11, "Man of La Mancha'; February 25, "Forever"; March 10, "Round and Round the Garden"; March 24, 'Mamma Mia!'; April 7, 'Murder for Two"; and April 28 "All My Sons". Then, in the summertime, a special "Weston 101" post-show talkback with Treat Williams and the cast of Man of La Mancha, accompanied by a private backstage tour.


As lead instructor of the new series, Stettler invites students of theatre and theatre fans to join the fun. "No grades, no tests, no homework - just the joy of delving into six great plays and musicals with the artists who will be bringing them to life on Weston's stages," he says.

With degrees in English and Drama from Kenyon College, an MFA in directing from Catholic University, and an MLitt in Theatre from Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English, awarded at its program at Lincoln College, Oxford. Stettler has also been recognized for his work as a frequent adjudicator for the Vermont State Drama Festival and the New England Region of the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.

"Weston 101" is sponsored by Northshire Bookstore and offered in partnership with Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning. For more information visit westonplayhouse.eventbrite.com or contact Weston Director of Education Piper Goodeve at 802-824-8167 x104 or pgoodeve@westonplayhouse.org.