Ancram Opera House Presents “Aunt Leaf”

A tale from the dark woods of the Hudson River Valley and the darker woods of the imagination

The Ancram Opera House will present Aunt Leaf, a ghost story inspired by American and Mexican folklore and a haunting Mary Oliver poem, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 3-4, at 4PM. Suitable for ages nine to ninety, the show features the acclaimed Mexican artist Indira Pensado as Storyteller, mixing English with Spanish to tell a spine-tingling tale that asks audiences to decide what is real, and what is not. Aunt Leaf is directed by Jeffrey Mousseau, Co-Artistic Director of the Ancram Opera House.

It’s 1910. Annabelle, a quiet 11-year-old and her lonely great-aunt Leaf develop a secret ritual of storytelling. Each night the old woman sends the child into the woods to look for her husband. Each night the girl brings back stories—made-up “proof” of her deceased uncle—to cheer up the old woman. Annabelle’s fibs grow into stories, and her stories grow into tall tales. As she wanders deeper into the forest each night, she comes to believe her own stories are true.

Aunt Leaf was originally created and developed by Barbara Wiechmann and Jeffrey Mousseau as part of the HERE Arts Center, NYC Artist in Residence Program, and premiered at HERE in 2010.

The New York Times said, “Aunt Leaf offers all the pleasurable frissons of a late-night ghost story.” Backstage said 9-year-olds “would learn how a well-told tale and one’s own imagination are all that are required to chill the blood and fire the mind.”


WHEN:  Saturday Feb. 3 and Sunday Feb. 4 @ 4:00PM

WHERE: Ancram Opera House, 1330 County Route 7, Ancram NY

RUNNING TIME:  55 minutes

TICKETS: $15 adults; kids under 17 free

About Indira Pensado

 Widely know as a performer, director and teacher, Indira is based in Mexico City where she founded Medula Teatro and Los 4 Gatos, both groups dedicated to making innovative theatrical productions. She is acclaimed for her powerful use of voice and body on the stage and has performed in Peru, Argentina, Denmark, Buenos Aires, Stockholm and the US. She teaches at the National School of Theater in Mexico City, the Intercultural Theater Institute in Singapore, is a member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association) and a founding member of Linklater Voice in Orkney, Scotland.

This production is being supported, in part, by Stewart’s Shops and through a grant from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

The Ancram Opera House in southern Columbia County is a showcase for fresh, contemporary work by emerging theater and musical artists. Built nearly 100 years ago as Ancram Grange #955, it was restored two years ago by Co-Artistic Directors Paul Ricciardi and Jeffrey Mousseau as an intimate space where audiences can connect with performers in immersive, unforgettable ways.

The 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 tickets and more information, please visit, write or call (518) 329-0114.

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