Off Script with Dan Dwyer: The Creative Team of Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Ancram Opera House, “Staged Dives: An Evening with Stew and Heidi,” June 28 & 29 at 8:30pm

Ancram Opera House presents a mix of contemporary theatre, alternative cabaret, and community programs. Located in the Hudson River Valley in a former grange hall converted into an intimate and flexible space, AOH offers a unique opportunity to directly engage, up close, with visionary theatre artists at the top of their field yet rarely seen in our region.

Inspired by the aspirations of the grange movement, the Ancram Opera House creates meaningful encounters through the performing arts that forge connection and community.  We believe performances—experienced in our small, intimate space—offer the possibility for real exchange, instill a sense of place and contribute to healthier and happier lives. Our hall fosters an audience’s immersion with a performance to make it complete and the potential for personal growth that the arts provide.


The creative team of Stew and Heidi Rodewald are at it again—this time devising a special musical event to premiere at Ancram Opera House.  Co-creators of the Tony, Drama Desk and Obie award-winning musical, Passing Strange, Stew and Heidi sing intimate versions of the songs they wrote for this critically acclaimed show as they’ve never been heard before—while telling never-before-heard stories about the wild and unlikely road they took from LA’s dive bars to NYC’s Broadway.

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Stew’s credits include the book, lyrics, and co-composer of Passing Strange (2008 Tony: Best Book, two-time 2007 Obie: Best New Theater Piece and Best Ensemble). In 2015, Notes of a Native Song in the spring at Harlem Stage and in the fall at Curran Theater; Wagner/Max/Wagner in the fall at the Kennedy Center; in 2014 Family Album at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; in 2013 Chicago Omnibus, at the Museum of Contemporary Art; in 2012 California Analog at UCLA’s Royce Hall; in 2011 Aong Factory at the University of Wisconsin in Madison; in 2010 Making It in the spring at St. Ann’s Warehouse; Brooklyn Omnibus in the fall at Brooklyn Academy of Music; and in 2009 Spike Lee’s Passing Strange. Albums by The Negro Problem include Post Minstrel Syndrome; Joys & Concerns and Guest Host; The Naked Dutch Painter, both called Album of the Year by Entertainment Weekly; Welcome Back; Something Deeper than These Changes; Making It; and the Passing Strange cast album. For television, Stew is co-composer with Heidi Rodewald of “Gary Come Home,” for SpongeBob SquarePants. Stew is a Sundance Institute Alum.

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Heidi Rodewald is the Tony Award-nominated, Obie Award-winning co-composer of the musical Passing Strange, which transferred from The Public Theater to Broadway in 2008 and then was made into a film by director Spike Lee. Rodewald joined the band The Negro Problem in 1997, where she began a longtime collaboration with singer/songwriter, Stew, and with him released ten critically acclaimed albums. She is co-composer with Stew of Brooklyn Omnibus, presented in the 2010 Next Wave Festival; Making It at St. Ann’s Warehouse (2010); Family Albumat Oregon Shakespeare Festival (2014); Notes of a Native Song at Harlem Stage (2015); Wagner, Max! Wagner!! At Kennedy Center (2015); and The Total Bent at The Public Theater (2016). Rodewald scored two short films for director Leigh Silverman: “Over The River & Through The Woods” (2017), and “Reprieve” (2018). She is the composer of The Good Swimmer with librettist Donna DiNovelli which had its world premiere at BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival. 


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