History Meets History

Antrim Playhouse at the Manse Barn

History, Community, Tradition… Because art requires creation through participation, all art must have a community in order to create. Theater has always been an influential factor in communities. As people are exposed to the arts, creativity flourishes, academics improve, and means of self-expression are developed. Supporting your community theater is supporting all these things, and contributing to a proven catalyst for economic development, community engagement and social enrichment.

This has long been the understanding of The Antrim Players, a pride and joy of Rockland County. Our not-for- profit community theater has been producing acclaimed plays and musicals every year since 1936. Through the years, Antrim has been the starting rung for many talented people who have gone on to professional theater, television, and big screen success. Our stage has been graced by Helen Hayes, Fred Gwynne, Henny Youngman, Burl Ives, Tyne Daly, Hugh McPhillips, Christine Andreas, Rene Auberjonais, Milton Berle, and many others.

The Antrim Players is looking forward to making the Manse Barn in the historic district of Tappan its new home, bringing theater opportunities to Orangetown and beyond. For over three centuries, the hamlet of Tappan has offered a pleasing mix of history and small-town scenery.

The auditorium and stage at the Manse Barn have their own unique history as an entertainment venue. The Manse Barn served as one of four USO clubs for over 1 million soldiers departing from Camp Shanks in Orangeburg during WW2. It offered many opportunities for art, dance, recreation, and entertainment. Frank Sinatra, the Andrew Sisters, Vaudeville, Broadway, and Hollywood stars jumped at the chance to entertain outgoing troops at Camp Shanks. Guides offered historical walking tours of the neighborhood where George Washington had briefly camped with the Continental Army in 1780. In more recent years, various adult and children’s theater groups have produced shows on the barn’s stage. Special traditions continue at the Manse, including the annual tree lighting, South Orangetown Day and summer movies on the lawn.

It is Antrim’s vision to present multiple yearly main stage productions, consisting of both plays and musicals, as well as offering writing and acting workshops, scene studies and special guest performances. Additionally, a move to this area brings with it opportunities to explore collaborations with community organizations and local leaders to explore the rich history of Tappan through community celebrations, reenactments, guided (costumed) walking tours and period piece productions.

Antrim Playhouse’s Board of Directors

James A. Guarasci

Doreen DiBenedetto

Dana Duff

Seth Kaplan

Tom Lambrix

Laurel Salmon

Allan Seward

Edward Van Saders

THEATER | NOV. 14, 2018

Did you know you wanted to follow your parents into acting?

TYNE DALY: I was totally glamorized by their life and their work. We were watching them work a lot as little kids, on the stage and then in the television studios. From about 8 or so, I was completely certain and quite boringly focused. I couldn’t wait to get out of their house and to the Antrim Playhouse.