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Left, from top: Barnum, Over the Pub, Always Patsy Cline, The Drowsy Chaperone. Opposite: Fiddler on the Roof, Over the Pub, Rumors.

That early morning gathering is a testament to the quality and longevity of the professional theater company, whose productions take place in a two-month frenzy of four plays and countless rehearsals. Like Vermont’s summer, the season is short, but for Chuck Tobin and Saint Mike’s theater lovers, it is very, very sweet. The theater is in its 67th season and has had only a handful of artistic directors; many of whom spent their careers developing the Playhouse. Chuck, who is the company’s only year-round employee, has been involved with the Playhouse since his time as an undergraduate theater major and worked closely with his predecessors, Don and Joanne Rathgeb, for many years.

An Exhilarating Experience Don and Joanne’s time at Saint Michael’s spanned 30 years, starting in 1955. They were an inspiration to Chuck when he was a student and their passion for theater launched him into professional acting and theater work in New York City and Washington, DC, where he gained experience in almost every part of the working theater. As producing artistic director of the Playhouse he is now responsible for bringing together a professional company each year, and creating an environment in which they can do great work. “It’s really important to me to create a setting that’s nurturing for those who come to work here,” Chuck says. “Producing high-quality professional theater is an enormous undertaking, and it’s extremely important to provide a positive environment.” That creative, collaborative atmosphere of professional theater artists is an exhilarating experience for a small, handpicked group of interns from college theater programs who work alongside some of the best actors, directors, and designers in the business. Observing the interns’ growth is something that Chuck treasures. Every year, he says, “the

26 www.bestofburlingtonvt.com

Best of Burlington - Summer 2014  

Read about the Burlington Coast Guard Station, the South Village, Lake Champlain and more in the Summer 2014 edition of Best of Burlington.

Best of Burlington - Summer 2014  

Read about the Burlington Coast Guard Station, the South Village, Lake Champlain and more in the Summer 2014 edition of Best of Burlington.