BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. — Seasoned directors and husband-and-wife team Bonnie and John Ryerson have found a second location for the expansion of their 7-year-old theater company, the Pied Piper Youth Theater — Bedford Hills.
This summer, the new theater, located at Route 117 Bypass Road, will host a four-week production workshop of “Peter Pan,” which company musical director John Ryerson has adapted for children ages 7 to 13.
The new Piper Theater, a 4,800-square-foot space, is beautiful, and larger than their first location in Stormville, the Ryersons said. The “very sophisticated black box,” formerly belonging to the Pulse Theatre District next door, has two dressing rooms, a state-of-the-art dance studio, a voice studio and a theater space that seats 150.
“Aesthetically, when you walk in, it’s gorgeous; there are murals on the walls. Very kind of East Villagey-looking,” said Bonnie, who took over the space with her husband June 1.
The Ryersons, who met in a touring children’s theater company, said they have both been doing children’s theater for more than 20 years. After 9/11, when the two were working as actors in New York City, the couple moved to Carmel to establish their own children’s company.
The fall will bring a series of classes and workshops: group and private voice lessons; two or three production workshops, most likely including “Seussical;” and an original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” around the holidays.
The Ryersons said they also occasionally hire freelance artists such as musical directors and choreographers for these production workshops.
“We try to expose our kids to as much of the real world of theater as we can, and they soak it up, as kids will do,” John said.
The theater, which has grown to 200 children since its debut seven years ago, recently had two of its actors-in-training bring home National Youth Theater “featured actor” prizes.
Those interested in learning more about the company can visit the Pied Piper Youth Theater site. The Ryertons said there are still a few spots left in the "Peter Pan" workshop.//