Classical plays & music, prizes from local merchants and augmented reality adventure walking tour for discovering the town.

September 16 to October 16, 2022
Live performances every Friday through Sunday in various locations in and around Nyack, NY
Festival website and ticketing:,
Contact festival staff: or 212-465-3446.
Press contacts:
Nancy Phillips, Publicist, 845-405-3751,
Jonathan Slaff, Press Rep, 212-924-0496,

NEW YORK, August 10 -- Three professional theater productions, a Shakespeare performance by and for kids, the premiere of a song cycle inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, prizes from 25 sponsoring businesses, and bus excursions from Manhattan are being prepared for the First Annual Phoenix Live Arts Festival (, which will be presented in and around Nyack, NY from September 16 to October 16, 2022.

The festival is organized by Phoenix Theatre Ensemble (PTE), a prestigious, award-winning not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to classics and new adaptations of language-rich texts. Founded in Manhattan in 2004, the troupe moved to Nyack in 2018 and has been producing in both locations.

The presenters aspire to create an arts festival to rival the national arts festivals, celebrating classical theater, classical music and the community of Nyack. Presented during the Hudson Valley Fall Foliage season, the festival will feature immersive theater and live performance programs. These include PTE's productions of Thornton Wilder’s captivating comedy "The Skin of our Teeth," Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" and Anton Chekhov's "The Harmfulness of Tobacco," plus performances by Nyack Children’s Shakespeare Theatre and the debut of "Hopper Haiku," a cycle of songs by Ellen Mandel inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, whose primary lifetime residence was in Nyack. The plays will be staged on the beautiful grounds of the Marydell Center at the foot of Hook Mountain and the Garden of the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center in downtown Nyack. Dates and details of all events of the festival are listed below.

Over 25 local businesses are participating as festival sponsors. Beside individual promotions, they are providing over $5,000 in prizes for a drawing (no purchase necessary) to be held at the end of the festival. Prizes will include dinners, merchandise and a night in a Nyack hotel.

Festival goers will be urged to try out at Nyack’s many first rate restaurants and shopping boutiques, visit local businesses and enjoy the town’s vibrant night-life. Covering just a little over one walkable square mile, Nyack packs in an array of first-class restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, lively night spots, and hiking, biking and river recreation opportunities. The town is accessible to the Governor Mario Cuomo bridge pathway, with its majestic vistas of the Hudson River.

On selected dates, luxury bus transportation to the festival will be provided from Union Square, Manhattan to Nyack and back.

Roger Cohen, President, Nyack Chamber of Commerce, said "The majority of Nyack's businesses are small, individual- or family-owned operations. After tough times during the pandemic, the Festival promises to bring a welcome wave of relief. What's more, this exciting Festival puts Nyack on the map as a destination where art enthusiasts, history buffs, music lovers, shoppers and foodies can return again and again to enjoy everything Nyack has to offer."

For all tickets and further info, go to the Festival's website,

Festival Executive Director and Founder is Craig Smith.

Info as of August 9, 2022. Subject to change.

"Digital Dreaming: AR Adventures"
Sept 16 through October 16 every day, all day
Download free app:
"Digital Dreaming" is an augmented reality audio adventure walking tour to discover Nyack. Explore the lore of this jazzy river-town community, from its 19th Century Industrialists to its place on the Underground Railroad, by following immersive recorded narratives by William Batson, an artist, activist and community leader. Created and directed by Clara Francesca of Nyack, the tour contains commissioned augmented reality images designed exclusively for the Festival. Audiences interact with images of local stories and become immersed in the journey. For example, one story is that of Toni Morrison and Cynthia Hesdaras. Audience members arrive at the Toni Morrison bench at Memorial Park in Nyack and open an AR filter on their phones. They then learn about Cynthia Hesdras, who was born a slave in nearby Tappan NY and became one of the most successful African-American women entrepeneurs of the 19th century.  She set up the Underground Railroad stop in Nyack and helped establish a strong, vital Black community what is now a diverse village of 7,000.  
Running time: :45, FREE

Bus tours from NYC
Sat. Sept. 17, Sun Sept. 25, Sat. Oct. 1. Other dates pending.
Luxury bus transportation from NYC to Nyack to see "The Importance of Being Earnest" (9/17 and 9/25) and "The Skin of Our Teeth" (October 1). Leaves Union Square at 10:00 AM, travels up the Hudson, arrives in Nyack 11:00 AM. Participants can enjoy the Digital Dreams walking tour of Nyack, have lunch, visit the Hudson River a few blocks from Main Street, browse the shops, and attend the performance at 2:00 PM at the beautiful Marydell Center. After the show, participants can enjoy cocktails or dinner in town. Bus departs7:30 PM. $89 ticket includes bus fare and ticket to show.

"The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, directed by Leo Lion
Fridays and Saturdays, September 17, 23, 24 & 25 at 2:00 PM
Outdoors at The Marydell Center, 640 North Midland Avenue, Upper Nyack
Perhaps the greatest comedy of all time. A witty and satirical masterpiece in which two young men seek the hands of two young ladies in spite of social obstacles, but the obstacles are no more serious than the young men. Dominating the play is formidable Lady Bracknell, who presides over her family, arranging courtships for her renegade nephew, avoiding scandal and requesting cucumber sandwiches.
Running time: 2:15, $45

"Hopper Haiku," a musical evening
September 23 at 7:30 PM
Carnegie Room, 59 South Broadway, Nyack
"Hopper Haiku" is a new cycle of 13 songs to poems inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, composed by Ellen Mandel, lyrics by Daniel Neer, performed by baritone Daniel Neer and pianist Suzanne Newcomb. Ellen Mandel is a composer of art songs and theater music who has written songs to poems by e.e. cummings, Seamus Heaney, W.B. Yeats, Glyn Maxwell and more and music for over 80 plays from Shakespeare to Stoppard. The New York Times has called her work "ardent," "spiky" and "refreshingly organic."
Running time: 1 hour. Tickets $10.

"The Harmfulness of Tobacco" by Anton Chekhov, translated and directed by Leo Lion, performed by John Lenartz.
Fridays, Sept 30 & Oct 7 at 5:30pm
Outdoors at The Edward Hopper House Garden, 82 North Broadway, Nyack
A classic farce by this iconic author. A henpecked husband with seven grown daughters, whose domineering wife heads a girls' boarding school, must give a lecture on the dangers of tobacco. The lecture gradually unwinds into a lyrical soliloquy on marriage, loneliness and the pathos of the human comedy. The blustering, stuttering eloquence of Chekhov's unlikely hero has endured to shape the voice of contemporary theater.
Running time: :60. Tickets $45

"The Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder, directed by Robert Hupp
Saturdays and Sundays, October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, &16 at 2:00 PM
Outdoors at The Marydell Center, 640 North Midland Avenue, Upper Nyack
The Antrobus family represents mankind both now and in the Stone age.  Mr. Andrews has invented the wheel and the family has a pet baby dinosaur. Later, Mr. Antrobus judges a beauty contest in Atlantic City and almost has a love affair with one of the beauties, who played the maid in the first act.  The play grows serious when the family tries to teach their children the accumulated knowledge of the world as the ice age descends upon them. Mr. Antrobus must fight against a fascistic spirit which develops in his son. This Pulitzer prize winning play from 1946 is enormously rich in its amusing and serious comments upon modern life.
Running time: 2:00, $45

Children’s Shakespeare Theatre in "Love's Labors Lost"
Two Saturdays: October 8 & 15 at 11:30 AM
Outdoors at The Marydell Center, 640 North Midland Avenue, Upper Nyack
Rockland’s own 21-year old Children’s Shakespeare Theatre, led by Brady Amoonclark, performs Shakespeare's intoxicating romantic comedy. Three young lords sign an oath to close themselves away from the worldly pleasures and study for three years in dedicated austerity. Their vow lasts until they meet the Princess of France and her three attending ladies. Each gentleman composes a sonnet and attempts to deliver it secretly to the lady of his heart. Discovering mutually that they are traitors to their vow, they plunge, disguised as Russians, into direct wooing of the ladies. Marvel at a multi-award-winning company of young actors who tackle great works of Shakespeare (abridged) with discipline, energy and flair.
Running time: :60, $25

Convenient parking downtown is available in downtown Nyack at Veterans Municipal Parking Lot, 111 Main Street, Nyack at the rate of 75 cents/hour Max 9 hours. Parking is free at Marydell Center, 640 North Midland Avenue, which is a three-minute drive from downtown Nyack.

For discounts on tours and groups of 10 or more, go to or email

For other info, write the Festival staff at or leave a message at 212-465-3446.

The Festival organizers and the villages of Nyack and Upper Nyack gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of the many individuals and sustaining sponsors who are making this event possible, including: The National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities New York, New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockland Office of Economic Development and Tourism, the Zisson Foundation, Orange & Rockland Utilities and corporate sponsors -- including HH Rand Realty, Hotel Nyack, Palisades Center Mall, Weld Realty, Munn & Associates Ameriprise, CCSD Sport Event, DPNB Pasta & Provisions Ltd, Cane & Boniface, Somos Jewelers, Today’s Outfit Band, The Breakfast & Burger Club, Allstate Insurance, Dan Deitrich.

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CRITICS ARE INVITED to all performances.
Complimentary transportation for professional journalists is available on our luxury bus tours from NYC to Nyack for "The Importance of Being Earnest" (9/17 and 9/25) and "The Skin of Our Teeth" (October 1). Buses leave Union Square at 10:00 AM and arrive in Nyack 11:00 AM. Curtain time is 2:00 PM at Marydell Center. Return bus departs at 7:30 PM.