Tannis Kowalchuk and Sarah Dey Hirshan in 'The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes'
NACL THEATRE PO BOX 33 110 HIGHLAND LAKE RD HIGHLAND LAkE, NY USA. 12743 PH: 845 557 0694 FX: 845 557 0393 EMAIL US directions


NACL performances are very physical, and often incorporate complex group singing, unusual audience seating, and a surprising use of sets and objects by the highly skilled actors who transform space to capture the imagination of the spectator. The term “devised” is sometimes used to describe NACL’s method and style. The company has toured across the United States and Canada, and has played theatres in England, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania. In the New York area, NACL has performed at HERE Arts Center, La MaMa, The Ohio Theatre, Washington Square Church, Access Theatre, The Brecht Forum, PS 122, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and more.


Courage Icon

COURAGE (2016-2017)

Today, as more than 60 million people worldwide are displaced due to extreme conflict, we want to examine war and the struggle for social justice and ask, “What is courage?”

NACL continues to make "big theatre in small towns" with an innovative new play inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece, Mother Courage and Her Children. Our Courage is an outdoor walking play that incorporates theatre, live music, stilt-walking, humor, and puppetry. The moving spectacle has the audience making many stops along the way to view scenes and meet the players, culminating with the arrival at a large tent where audience and actors experience a poetic proposal for a personal and civil search for compassion, resilience, and courage in the face of fear.

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Beginning in the summer of 2013, NACL lead a team of artists, scientists, local leaders and laypeople in creating THE WEATHER PROJECT, a community-wide THEATRE, ART, and SCIENCE project about the WEATHER, our LIVES, our LOCAL HISTORY, our ENVIRONMENT, and our CURRENT CLIMATE. The first phase of the project culminated in a spectacular outdoor pageant in August 2014, and was followed by a second touring phase which concluded in August 2015.

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Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser in 'struck'

STRUCK (2013)


STRUCK is an exploration of neuroscience and brain trauma. It is a poetic dance on the razor's edge of mortality, as the brain and body look for meaning, struggle to communicate, recover and re-discover the sense of "self" following a stroke.

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Tannis Kowalchuk as Anne Hathaway in Shakespeare’s Will

SHAKESPEARE'S WILL (2012-present)


Tannis Kowalchuk performs the role of Anne Hathaway in this lively song-filled solo performance about the life of the wife of William Shakespeare. Basing the narrative upon the little information known about the Bard’s wife, playwright, Vern Thiessen has written a sensitive and humorous text in verse, taking great delight in imagining and inventing the robust, earthy, and intelligent character of Anne Hathaway.

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Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser - Catskill Gothic

THE LITTLE FARM SHOW (2010-present)


WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM? NACL Theatre set out to answer that question with The Little Farm Show, an all-ages musical extravaganza about FARMING, FOOD, and the ENVIRONMENT. From the inception of the solar system, to sunset on Millicent’s farm, the Magnificent MacDonald twins give audiences a whirlwind tour of “The Greatest Show on Dirt!”

The Little Farm Show asks people to consider their food choices and the effect those choices have on their bodies, the environment, and society.

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Tannis Kowalchuk during the creation of 'Exilio: My Life as Bolaño'


EXILIO: My Life as Bolaño / EXILE: Mi Vida Como Bolaño was a 2010/11 performance collaboration between NACL Theatre (Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser), Mexican artists Lydia Margules, Zazil Servin Luna of Museo Deseo Escena, Mexican-Canadian designer, Flavia Hevia,and Canadian theatre-maker Ker Wells. The tri-national company of artists began work in Mexico City in February 2010 at the Universidad Claustro de Sor Juana, and developed the performance for a presentation at Teatro Experimental at The University of Guadalajara.

EXILIO: My Life as Bolaño is a devised bilingual theatre creation using the life and work of Latin American writer Roberto Bolaño, American Sacred Harp Singing, and the political events that occurred in North America in 1968. The theme of exile, identity, and borders inform the performance's inquiry and content.

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Ker Wells in 'Self-Portrait at County Fair'


Written by Cleveland playwright Michael Geither and directed by Brett Keyser, Self-Portrait at County Fair is a drama penned exclusively for the ensemble and follows the story of a medium, who performs a county fair stage show in which he channels deceased spirits that speak to members of his audience. The performance featured Ker Wells, Tannis Kowalchuk, Glenn Hall, Sarah Dey Hirshan and was performed at NACL Theatre for two weeks in October 2009.


Sarah Dey Hirshan and Laura E.J. Moran in 'The Lost Book of Lakewood House'


Directed by Brad Krumholz, with dramaturgy by Mimi McGurl, The Lost Book of Lakewood House was a site-specific theatre performance set in the 1920’s American-gothic church now housing NACL Theatre. NACL’s resident theatre company created a unique and spectacular performance experience, exploring the history of the bygone era of Catksills resort hotels and the hidden lives and stories of Sullivan County in its heyday. Featuring an international cast: Tannis Kowalchuk, Glenn Hall, Sarah Dey Hirshan, Kathy Randels, John Bevan, Brett Keyser, Sean LaRocca, and Laura E.J. Moran.

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Brett Keyser in 'The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes'


Directed and written by Brad Krumholz, in collaboration with the ensemble of Brett Keyser, Tannis Kowalchuk, Glenn Hall, Sarah Dey Hirshan, Liz Eckert, Ophra Wolf. Original music was composed and performed by the company. A carnival-style crime investigation filled with live original rock music, high-energy acrobatics, slapstick comedy antics, cross-dressing, and twentieth century philosophy. The performance premiered at NACL in February of 2007 and played at Humber College in Toronto, the Artistic Ancestry Festival in New Orleans, and the NACL Catskill Festival of New Theatre. In 2008, the performance was produced at HERE Arts Center in New York City.

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Sarah Dey Hirshan in 'The Mystery of Lakewood House'


Created and directed by the ensemble of: Brad Krumholz, Tannis Kowalchuk, Sarah Dey Hirshan, Brett Keyser, Laura May Astwood, Jane Wells, Kathy Randels, text by Mike Geither, with musician Lorenzo Sanguedolce. In this original mystery, the audience moved through various locations in and around Lakewood House (the residence next door to the theatre), catching glimpses of scenes from the past and viewing characters up close—in the living room, around the kitchen table, on the porch, and in the garden. The Mystery of Lakewood House drew record crowds.

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Tannis Kowalchuk and Ker Wells in 'Punch and Judy'


A co-production between NACL Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Number Eleven Theatre. Created by Tannis Kowalchuk, Ker Wells, Raymond Bobgan. Performed by Tannis Kowalchuk and Ker Wells. Directed by Raymond Bobgan. Lighting Design by Steven Mack. Costumes by the ensemble and Holly Holsinger. The Confessions of Punch and Judy, a wild all-night argument, captured the anarchic spirit of the classic Punch and Judy puppet show. Slaptsick, stylish, viciously honest, and full of surprises, the show was performed by two virtuoso performers leaping between realism and surrealism, exposing the horror and beauty of a relationship. The performance played at HERE Arts Center, Cleveland Public Theatre, and toured Canada, The USA, and Europe.

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Sarah Dey Hirshan and Wade Bowen in 'TERROTICA'


Directed by Brad Krumholz, featuring Wade Bowen, Rosaruby Glaberman, Sarah Dey Hirshan, and Patricia Skarbinski, TERROTICA premiered at The Ohio Theatre, NYC October 2003 and was billed as “An Erotic Nightmare.” By creating a theatrical environment in which anything can happen, anywhere, at any given moment, and by having images, texts, films, and movement reflected and refracted throughout the piece, TERROTICA becomes the place of a dream. It is a dream played out in the flesh, intimately, before an audience, so that the audience, after the show, might have the rare opportunity to analyze the dream they have just shared, in hopes of understanding something more about the dark land of TERROTICA inside themselves.


Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker in '10 Brecht Poems'

10 BRECHT POEMS (2003)

A co-production of NACL Theatre and Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, conceived and Performed by Tannis Kowalchuk and Leese Walker. The anti-war poetry of Bertolt Brecht is performed in a fast paced revue with song, shadow puppetry, vaudevillian humor, and projections. The duo has performed across the USA in over forty venues including The Brecht Forum and Bowery Poetry Club (New York City), FURYFest (San Francisco), Busboys and Poets (Washington, DC), Pontine Theatre (New Hampshire), KO Festival (Amherst, MA), and dozens of colleges and universities throughout the USA.

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'Invisible Neighborhood'


An Outdoor Theatrical Extravaganza with Stilts. Directed by Brad Krumholz, and created and performed by David Fry, Rosaruby Glaberman, Tannis Kowalchuk, Laura May, Aaron Wiener (Brad Krumholz, Leese Walker). An epic outdoor theatre performance that transformed the architecture of streets and parks into an evocative, magical world. Using a capella song, multilingual text, beautiful imagery and exciting action, dance and stilt-work, the outdoor locale was turned into an epic landscape of theatre, music, story and visual art. Invisible Neighborhood played across New York City parks and toured Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania.


Tannis Kowalchuk and Megan Wyler in 'The Time Cycle'


A performance about time travel for children created by Tannis Kowalchuk, Brad Krumholz, and Megan Wyler, later featuring Laura May and Sarah Dey Hirshan. The Time Cycle was featured on the Young Audiences New York and New Jersey rosters and had over 100 performances from San Diego to the Brooklyn Museum.


Climbing a ladder in 'Arca Nova'

ARCA NOVA (2000)

Directed by Brad Krumholz, created and performed by Randall Kent Cohn, Benedetta Ferrario, Lidy Lopez Gonzalez, Tannis Kowalchuk, Jill Samuels, Pamela Samuelson, Allison Waters, and Megan Wyler. The audience enters as living cargo into an ark-like vessel, in the midst of a present-day deluge. When the ark embarks on its flood voyage, the crew begins its enactment of scenes and stories of Genesis and its mythical underpinnings. Arca Nova presents the stories in its own way, not as a proposal for the “reality” of the “original stories,” but as a personal, theatrical reaction to the stories in all their forms. The play premiered at the First Ever Catskills Experimental Theatre Festival and later played Washington Square Church in New York City.


Illustration of 'Asphyxia and Other Promises'


Written by poet and playwright Henry Israeli, directed by Brad Krumholz, featuring performances by Tannis Kowalchuk, Allison Waters, John Sullivan, and Roberto Andrioli, with costumes by Erica Nieves and lights by Oleg Braude. Based on “Parsley Girl” (the Angela Carter version of the fairy tale), the performance premiered at La MaMa E.T.C. in 1999 and was performed later that same year in the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival and at The Piano Store on Manhattan's Lower East Side.


Tannis Kowalchuk in 'The Passion according to G.H.'


A fierce and extraordinary solo performance created by Tannis Kowalchuk and directed by Brad Krumholz, based on the novel, The Passion according to G.H., by Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector. Intertwining the existential modernist text of Lispector with extreme action, song, and scenographic surprises. This masterful performance tells the story of G.H., a happy, well situated woman whose world is turned upside down by the unexpected discovery of a huge cockroach in her apartment. The performance first played in NYC at House of Candles and later at La MaMa, Access Theatre, and multiple venues in Canada and the USA over the next decade.

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Allison Waters in 'A Canon for the Blue Moon'


Directed by Brad Krumholz, created and performed by Eileen LaMourie, Tannis Kowalchuk, Kersti Tacreiter, Allison Waters, and Jane Wells. A delicate tale of a post-war village inhabited only by women. At its core the piece explored the mystery of the human need for song. The performance premiered at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York City and toured to a southern New Jersey cow farm.


A scene from 'The Secret Storey'


Directed by Brad Krumholz, created and performed by Tannis Kowalchuk, Ruth Madoc-Jones, Adam Gaudreau, Jane Wells, Allison Waters, Elizabeth Rucker. Created and performed in the basement of a Mormon church in Toronto, Canada, The Secret Storey was the first NACL performance experiment. Based on an assortment of fairy and folk tales from around the world, the play told the story of a young girl’s coming of age as she encounters the spirits dwelling in her childhood attic.



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Tannis Kowalchuk as Dr, Watson in 'The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes' Brad Krumholz, Megan Wyler, and Tannis Kowalchuk in 'The Time Cycle' Sarah Dey Hirshan in 'Terrotica'