Thespians will have a new space to hone their craft with the newly formed Pawling Theatre Exchange at Trinity-Pawling School.
Co-Producing Artistic Directors Tracy Liz Miller and Kent Burnham are proud to launch the Pawling Theatre Exchange (PTE) in residence on the campus of Trinity-Pawling School. “We are so very fortunate to have the support of the staff, trustees, and community of the Trinity-Pawling School as we begin this new chapter on campus,” says Kent Burnham, Co-Producing Artistic Director of Pawling Theatre Exchange and Director of Theatre Arts at Trinity-Pawling School. “These are gorgeous spaces sitting empty in the summer, and we can’t be happier than to make them available for theater artists to utilize.” Burnham and his wife, Tracy Liz Miller, are sharing the responsibilities of heading this new entity and have been working diligently to put everything into place for their first season this June.
Kent Burnham, Tracy Liz Miller, and their young daughter, recently relocated to Pawling from the Phoenix Valley in Arizona. Prior to that, Tracy and Kent lived in New York City as freelance actors, directors, educators and producers. “Our love of a creative life in the theater is what inspired us to create Pawling Theatre Exchange,” adds Tracy Liz Miller. “We know how valuable focused time can be to a theater-maker, and we know PTE will be an incredible place for theater artists to learn, develop new work, rehearse new plays, and create new pathways for themselves as artists and contribute to the national theater scene.”
This June will be the first season of programming that will include hosting a ten-day Combat for the Stage and Screen intensive with Neutral Chaos, a movement specialist company based in New York City. Neutral Chaos will also host a two-day theatrical firearms workshop, and both intensives will offer opportunities for certification. The inclusion of professional-level training affiliated with the Society of American Fight Directors speaks to the mission of Pawling Theatre Exchange, allowing space and time away to focus on specific, employable skills for professional theater makers.
Pawling Theatre Exchange will host professional playwrights working on new pieces and will have the support of creative teams to help develop their work. PTE will also be hosting a new ensemble in rehearsal for their Off Broadway debut. “New work development is key to supporting a healthy, diverse American theater landscape, and giving theater-makers what they need in support of their process is something near and dear to my heart,” says Miller. Previously, Miller co-founded the theater company The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre in Arizona. Miller also serves as co-chair for the upcoming Statera Arts Conference, to be held in October in New York City. Miller is committed to serving artists who may have been systemically unsupported in the past.
Additional programming is in development, including a Young Company comprising emerging theater makers interested in an intensive level of training with high expectations. Students will take classes in craft and technique, creation, and new ideas, and will have internship opportunities assisting professional artists on their residency projects. “We know the overlapping of training and high-level creating will manifest a unique community benefiting all,” Miller says.
Pawling Theatre Exchange is open to conversations with theater artists who are interested in being a part of the June residency. Miller and Burnham are accepting proposals and ideas for what they might need or are excited to be a part of. Programming open to the public will also be on the calendar, such as readings and showings of new work, as well as panel discussions and social events. In support of the launch, PTE has a crowd-funding campaign running through April 19, with a generous anonymous donor offering a $1,000 match. For more information, or to donate, visit PawlingTheatreExchange.org online. Visit or like the PTE Facebook page to stay updated on happenings at the Exchange.