Ancram Opera House Unwraps “Real People, Real Stories”

(Dec. 7) Just in time for the holidays, Ancram Opera House will wrap up its 2017 season on Dec. 16 at 3pm with REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES, the theater’s popular storytelling series featuring local residents.

The theme is Crisis & Calamity: bungee jumping gone awry; a $3 parking ticket balloons into a near contempt of court citation; a US college student is trapped in Czechoslovakia during the 1968 Soviet invasion; a big-city transplant to Columbia County suspects her husband of embracing survivalism; and a corporate crisis counselor tangles with the client from hell.

Tickets to REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES are $20 and are available online at, or at the door.

REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES has become an Ancram Opera House audience favorite, now opening and closing each season. December storytellers are Chris Atkins (Hillsdale), Phil Halpern (Stockbridge, MA), Jan Hopkins-Trachtman (Gallatin), Brett LaFave (Albany) and Lauren Letellier (Hillsdale).

Paul Ricciardi, the AOH Co-Director who created REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES, says, “It’s a powerful experience to hear a story told by a friend or neighbor in a small, intimate theater space. The Ancram Opera House was built for this kind of experience. AOH audiences made 2017 our most successful season ever and I can’t imagine a better way of celebrating than with our local patrons.”

  Ricciardi, who directs REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES, is on the theatre faculty at CUNY/Kingsborough and is a recipient of the Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Award. He honed his dramaturgical technique at Trinity Rep in Providence, RI, working with Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director, New York Public Theater) and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel.

Ancram Opera House will announce its full 2018 season of cutting-edge performances early next year. Memorable 2017 shows included “The Holler Sessions,” a 2016 New York Times Critic’s Pick that transferred from Ancram to Minneapolis’s famed Guthrie Theatre; “We’re Gonna Die,” by Guggenheim Fellow and Obie Award winning musician/playwright Young Jean Lee; and “Holiday Sauce,” a Christmas take on “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” by MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Taylor Mac.

Ancram Opera House is located at 1330 County Route 7, just north of the corner of Route 82.  Parking is available on the adjacent lawn.  For more information, please go to, write or call (518) 329-0114.

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