ForAll Theater gears up for a production of Macbeth opening October 11th!
See a need, fill a need. This is exactly what brought Nils Sawnson to open ForAll Theater in Peekskill earlier this year. An emigrant to the Hudson Valley from Colorado by way of New Jersey, Swanson was in search of a theater company in the area with which he could connect, and most importantly, create. He and his wife, Amy, fell in love with the Peekskill area for both its beauty and its thriving fine and visual arts culture, but his search revealed a gap when it came to the performing arts.
Serving as ForAll Theater’s Artistic Director, Swanson’s first step in seeking to fill that gap was to form a meet up group to gauge interest and support for a local company. After several “think tank” meetings, he and his colleagues were well on their way bringing this to fruition. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit, ForAll Theater found their first home in an old dance studio which has been transformed into a charming, 50-seat, black box theater.
Swanson notes the space is open to the community and is not just intended for theatrical productions. He promotes it as a mixed use space. Currently the theater is being used for a zumba class, Sunday service, a rehearsal space for a local comedy improv group, and of course, theatre performances.
ForAll Theater’s opening show earlier this summer was an original work by local high school students entitled Alone in Paris. A unique and bold choice for an opening show of a brand new theater company, Swanson made it clear that this space was for both traditional theater as well as new works.
ForAll Theater’s future look bright with an appealing upcoming season and long term plans. This fall they will be presenting a three-weekend run of Macbeth opening October 11th. Shows will be Thursday-Sunday with tickets ranging $20-$23. Swanson has ideas for holiday offerings, as well, including Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol and Santa Land Diaries.
Swanson is already heavily invested in the community, offering local businesses “dinner and show deals,” inviting business owners to dress rehearsals, and dubbing all Thursday shows as “pay what you will” performances.
ForAll Theater is an intriguing name with a fascinating logo and meaning behind it. “This all came together about five minutes before our meeting to incorporate.” says Swanson. The the upside down “A” is the universal quantification symbol; it’s a shorthand character in symbolic logic. For Swanson, the symbol’s universality “is a sign meaning, ‘for all,’ and everything just fell into place with that name.”
Swanson’s main goal is to bring theater to the masses. Whether it’s the first time theater attendee, someone who hasn’t been to theater is years, or the regular theater-goer. The name, and the message rings loud and clear: this theater company’s mission, vision and future is an invitation to all to come experience the unique and ever-new wonder of live theater.
Nils Swanson, Artistic Director
706 N. Division Street
Peekskill, NY 914.817.8334