American Son

American Son


Sept. 4, 6, 12, 18, 20, 26
All shows @ 7pm
Tickets: $20 (or you can see both American Son and Songs for A New World for $35 - please call the box office to purchase combined tickets).
Box Office: (845) 876-3080

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Set in a police station in the middle of the night, this 2016 play follows Kendra’s experience as she attempts to glean information about her missing son. Honest, painful conversations about racism become unavoidable as the dialogue confronts—head on—the complexities of being black in America.

Rhinebeck Theatre Society is pleased to offer two shows in repertory this September, presented on the outdoor stage at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. With the hit musical Songs for a New World (Jason Robert Brown) and American Son (Christopher Demos-Brown), we invite you to a conversation about the American Dream.

Songs for a New World features four powerhouse vocalists (Cheyenne See, Emily Woolever, Jovan Bradley, Matt Woolever) who cycle through a stunning collection of modern musical ingenuity. Each song presents a new narrative of hope, ambition, and/or reflection, widening and challenging our perspective of the American Experience while emphasizing the universal emotions that make us human. 

RTS has intentionally chosen to pair this popular musical with a play that holds new relevance in the wake of Geoge Floyd’s murder and the rising momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement. Christopher Demos-Brown’s 2016 play offers a no-holds-barred discussion of systemic racism and police brutality as it follows a mixed-race couple’s efforts to locate their son following a traffic-stop incident. Featuring Jennelle Liscombe (Kendra Ellis-Connor), Joe Eriole as (Scott Connor), Dietz Thomas (Officer Paul Larkin), and Mark Colvson (Lieutenant John Stokes), this 90 minute play offers an an unrelenting challenge to the assumptions we each carry. 

With both shows requiring only four actors and limited technical effects, we find they are particularly well-suited to the new realities for theater during the Covid-19 pandemic. As Americans across the country pause to reflect on where we are, in this moment, these productions highlight the potential of theater to participate, inform, and challenge those conversations. To quote Songs for a New World composer Jason Robert Brown, "It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back."

Directed by Jovan Bradley and Dot Luongo, shows run in repertory September 4-27, with all performances beginning at 7pm. Tickets are $20 each, or you can see both shows for $35. Audience members should arrive with masks and bring a blanket or lawn chairs. There will be no refreshments available to purchase, but patrons should feel encouraged to bring their own.  If you cannot afford tickets, call the box office to inquire about ushering opportunities. For more information, visit or call 845-876-3080.

This show performs with NO INTERMISSION.


This show will be presented on our brand new outdoor stage, generously supported by Stewart's Shops / Dake Family.


Please have your ticketing information at the parking lot entrance at the rear of our building.  All pre-sold through our online vendor. No cash sales.


Seating is general admission, with each party able to select their area on a first come, first choose basis on our grand lawn, which has been treated for ticks and other pests.  We ask you to please follow social distance guidelines and seat yourself responsibly.


Picnic attire.  Bring your own blankets or folding chairs - please be respectful of all patrons with height of your chair. No canopies or umbrellas are allowed.  We recommend a light jacket for the evening hours.

Masks are required as you walk from your car to your seating area, but not required as you watch the performance.

There will no concessions, but you may bring a picnic basket with your own food and beverages.  Please help us keep the lawn clean by removing your garbage as you leave.


Bathrooms inside our facility will be available, but please follow marked guides in the waiting line as you wait for  


In the event of rain - either prior to the performance or during the production, your ticket may be used for another performance, but ONLY IN THE EVENT OF RAIN.


No pets (except for service animals) are allowed at The CENTER.


In consideration of all patrons and staff, The CENTER restricts smoking to designated areas only.

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