Auburn’s Rev Theatre Announces Its 2021 Season

Producing Artistic Director Brett Smock discusses the upcoming 2021 season.

The Rev Theatre Company  (formerly Finger Lakes MTF/MGR Playhouse) Announces 2021 Season: “Reunion.  Recovery.  Resilience.”

Producing Artistic Director, Brett Smock, reflects on the vision for the season: “As we emerge from this year of trauma, turbulence and isolation, we recognize that we are all forever changed by the monumental events of 2020.  I’m proud to stand beside the incredible staff and board of The REV to announce our exciting plans to reopen our doors. This season is unlike any other and we have themed it “Reunion, Recovery, Resilience.” Reunion reflects our excitement and determination to reunite with our audiences and artists.  Recovery for the arts is long-term.  Resilience because in 63 years we haven’t closed our doors once – and this word captures our optimism and strength as we embrace this new post-pandemic world.”  We are dedicated to our community, our industry, to racial and social equality, to inclusivity and to our bright future ahead. The REV is serious about getting theatre people back to work and audiences back in our seats.”

The 2021 “Broadway In The Finger Lakes” season will open with 42nd Street -- a tap extravaganza that tells the story of Broadway struggling to survive during a crisis – the Great Depression – and a young new star in a new show determined to reignite the lights of Broadway and the careers of its company.  Smock adds, “42nd Street is relevant in entirely new ways and is the perfect vehicle with which to not only reopen, but to fall in love with the theatre all over again.”  42nd Street opens on June 30, 2021 and runs through July 28, 2021.

Footloose, running from August 4, 2021 – September 1, 2021, features all the great songs from the iconic film centered around a funny, lively, heartfelt story of family, community and accepting change.   The third and final show in The REV’s 2021 season is Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver. This musical tribute celebrates Denver’s life, legacy and beloved songbook featuring his famous hits such as “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Country Roads” “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” and many more.  Almost Heaven runs September 8, 2021 – September 29, 2021.

The REV’s new works program, The PiTCH, will remain dormant this year but will return with five new musicals next year. Additionally, Sister Act and Ragtime, both originally slated for this season, will appear in next year’s lineup.  Smock adds, “We couldn’t accomplish everything we offer in a typical season, but we’re excited to confirm these titles in our 2022 season, which we will announce later this summer.”

The REV is fiercely committed to a safe and healthy environment for everyone – employees and audience alike.  In its flagship venue, the historic Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, the company is investing in extensive ventilation improvements including AtmosAir duct purification and UVC filtration fans which kill 99.99% of airborne pathogens, including the virus that causes Covid-19.  The Playhouse, originally a carousel prior to taking shape as a theatre, will nod to its original form exclusively for this season, as sixteen panels are opened along the sides of the venue to achieve fresh air ventilation.  Beyond that, The REV will employ electrostatic cleaning, social distancing, capacity regulations, widespread sanitization, and no less than bi-weekly testing for every single employee.   The REV will promote a fully vaccinated workplace as well as a comprehensive health and safety plan vetted by NY Department of Labor, the Cayuga County Department of Health, and our theatrical unions.  “We're proud to have put over 100 theatre professionals to work over the last year, without a single case of infection or transmission. To that end, we're committed to providing continuous, proactive updates to our plan as additional guidance is released,” says Director of Production and Operations, Michael Iannelli.

Following NYS guidelines, patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result in order to see a show at the Playhouse this season. 

While the company reconfigures audience flow and manages reduced capacity restrictions, ticket sales are temporarily paused.  On May 17th, 2021, ticket sales will resume and the remainder of available seats for the 2021 season will be available.  Director of Audience Services, Jessica Alexander, says, “We recognize that we will only have so many seats left to sell once our subscribers and existing single ticket holders are accommodated and reseated.  Some shows are already sold out.  We want to perform for as many people as possible and encourage our loyal patrons – and anyone who wants the joy of live theatre back in their life – to buy on May 17th or as early as possible.  We will monitor NYS regulations around live performances and, as capacity restrictions evolve, we will alert audiences should more tickets become available for sale.”  Beginning May 17th, tickets for the 2021 season will be on sale by phone (1-800-457-8897). 

The REV’s Musical Theatre Intensive training program will return this summer for high school students as well as the Summer Outreach Tour, described by The REV’s Director of Education as “one of the most enduring components of the company’s 63-year legacy. Chase, adds, “The tour ensures that families throughout NY state have free access to live theatre.” Schedule to be available on The REV’s website in the coming weeks.


About The Rev Theatre Company (formerly FLMTF/MGR)

Headquartered in Auburn, NY, the REV Theatre Company is a dynamic arts organization committed to creating theatrical experiences at the highest levels of artistic integrity. It leverages the power of the arts as a tool for entertainment, education, social awareness and cultural development in its community and in the region. Four hours from NYC, and nestled between Syracuse, Rochester and Ithaca, The REV is situated in the picturesque Finger Lakes wine region of Central New York. Comprised of two principal divisions, Rev Musicals and Rev Education, The REV Theatre Company is one of the largest producing musical theatre organizations in New York State, outside of New York City. Find Merry Go Round Finger Lakes Music Theatre on Facebook, follow @TheRevTheatreCo on Twitter and Instagram and visit

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