The BCP and Newtown Arts Company announce the 2013 Student Theater Festival



APRIL 22, 23, 29, 30
MAY 1, 6, 7

New Hope, PA (10/17/12) – The Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) and Newtown Arts Company have announced the return of a student theater festival to the newly reopened Playhouse next spring after an absence of two years. The BCP Student Theater Festival, produced by Newtown Arts Company and the Playhouse, will be open to participating middle and high schools.

Students will have the opportunity to perform on the landmark Playhouse stage, graced by such luminaries as Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli and Robert Redford, and receive constructive feedback from theater professionals during the seven-day event taking place in April and May 2013.

“The student theater festival was hosted by the Bucks County Playhouse for 43 years until its recent closure. The Newtown Arts Company brilliantly stepped into the void and continued the tradition. We are delighted the festival is returning to its home and equally delighted to be partnering with Newtown Arts Company,” said Jed Bernstein, BCP’s Producing Director.

The Festival will also feature stagecraft workshops presented by special guest instructors. Each day of the event will culminate in an awards ceremony recognizing excellence in different aspects of the theater arts.

Kristin Kauffman, Artistic Director of the event, loved attending the New Hope festival while in high school. After the Playhouse closed in 2010, she “couldn’t bear for students to lose this opportunity to celebrate theater and learn from each other as well as the pros.”

Kauffman spearheaded the development of the Newtown Student Theater Festival, produced by Newtown Arts Company, a nearby Bucks County community theater group, and Newtown Theatre, a historic movie house and performance venue.“We kept the festival alive for two years and now we’re excited to help bring it back to the place where it all began,” adds Kauffman.

The current schedule for the 2013 festival is as follows:
• High School Play Performances – April 22 and 30; May 1
• High School Musical Performances – April 23 and 29

• Middle School Play Performances – May 6
• Middle School Musical Performances – May 7

The general public is also invited to join the audience at the 2013 festival. One-day tickets, as well as passes to the entire event, will be available.

For more information and to register your school for the 2013 BCP Student Theater Festival, please contact us at 

Located 90 minutes from New York City, the Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 on the site of a grist mill dating from the late eighteenth century. Ironically, the structure was at that time in danger of demolition; however playwright Moss Hart and the local community rallied to save the building and re-opened it as a theatrical venue, which quickly became one of the country’s most famous regional theaters, with a veritable who’s who of American theatrical royalty including Kim Hunter, Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurst, Shirley Booth, Lillian Gish, June Lockhart, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Bert Lahr, Leslie Nielsen and Walter Matthau and remained in continuous operation until December 2010. Thanks to the Bridge Street Foundation, the non-profit family foundation of Kevin and Sherri Daugherty with Tanya Cooper as President, this beloved theatrical landmark was re-opened and celebrated on July 2, 2012, exactly 73 years and day from when it originally opened in 1939

Newtown Arts Company, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to supporting and promoting the theater arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas. Founded in 1983, the company presents a season of family-friendly dramas, comedies and musicals at the historic Newtown Theatre and develops theater arts education programs for area residents. Newtown Arts Company has awarded over $92,000 in scholarships to students pursuing higher education in the fine and performing arts over the past three decades. The company will celebrate its 30th anniversary season in 2013.