Elmwood Playhouse Celebrated Its 5th Annual Gala Saturday, June 10th, 2023, at The Garner Historic District.

The eagerly anticipated event, which serves as our largest fundraiser of the year, garnered tremendous support with over 120 attendees. Guests were treated to an evening filled with enchanting performances, captivating artwork, and an exhilarating live auction.

Live Auction Bidding

The Gala committee embarked on a quest to find the perfect venue earlier this year, leading them to the captivating Garner Historic District. This brick complex boasts a rich history, having served as a textile factory since 1838, producing uniforms for both the Union Army during the Civil War and American soldiers in World War Two. Today, the premises host various artists’ galleries, including the distinguished Dye Works Gallery, which caught the committee’s eye. Recognizing the opportunity to showcase not only the performing arts but also the visual arts, the committee extended invitations to local visual artists, offering them the chance to exhibit their exceptional work at the gala.

Art, in all its forms, holds an indelible place in the human experience, serving as a reflection of our world, history, and culture, while imparting unique insights unmatched by other mediums. Elmwood Playhouse, a stalwart in the art of storytelling for 76 years, reveres the collaborative efforts of playwrights, actors, costume makers, set designers, lighting technicians, and numerous other creatives. Each element seamlessly converges to craft a mesmerizing experience for the audience. By supporting Elmwood Playhouse the preservation and growth of sharing those stories that connect and enrich lives will endure.

Aubrey Lefkowitz and Anna de la Paz

The Gala showcased an impressive lineup of local visual artists, whose generosity allowed their remarkable work to be displayed with utmost pride. Among the distinguished artists were Leland Bobbé, Chantale Bourdages, Jane Cowles, Irene Czys, Nancy Diamond, Deborah Grosmark, Mackenzie (Mac) Heslin-Scott, Mike Malandra, Marcy Mechanic, Jack Milazzo, Randolph Sanmillan, Elaine Schloss, Scott Sladoff, and Z The Great.

The evening began with a soul-stirring performance by the acclaimed acoustic duo, The Corduroy Suit, featuring Lindsay Burstedt and John Schmergel. Throughout the night, the audience was enthralled by the captivating flamenco styling of Anna de la Paz and Aubrey Lefkowitz. Elmwood Playhouse performers, including Candace Lynn Matthews, Damon Quattrocchi, Miran Robarts, Derek Tarson, and Steve Taylor, contributed their extraordinary talents to the evening’s entertainment.

The live auction, a cherished tradition at the annual gala, presented a range of thrilling items that sparked excitement among attendees. Among the coveted offerings was a mask from the iconic Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera” and an exquisite weekend experience featuring premium seats at the acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra, accompanied by music, art, and luxurious hotel stays in Philadelphia. In addition, generous artists graciously donated their works to enrich the auction. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the enthusiastic bidders who raised their paddles and contributed to the resounding success of the gala.

Damon Quattrocchi, Candace Lynn Matthews, Steve Taylor, Miran Robarts, and Derek Tarson

In a special highlight, Elmwood Playhouse announced the winners of the Larry D. Gabbard Performing Arts Scholarship, an educational grant awarded annually to a high school senior residing in Rockland County aspiring to pursue a career in the performing arts. This year, Elmwood recognized two deserving recipients: Giles Underwood and Christian Brewster. Giles will attend the Manhattan School of Music studying Jazz performance, and Christian will be majoring in theater at Hampton University.

The 2023 Gala Benefit Committee consisted of Steven Bermack, Tiffany M. Card, Gina DeFelice, Gail Fleur, and Carolyn Whitford. Additionally, Elmwood Playhouse extends deep appreciation to the committed volunteers who played an integral role in making the Gala possible: Jenn Bornstein, Elaine D’addezio, Kerri Donlon, Dana Duff, Janet Fenton, Ken Hatlee, David Julin, Nick Nappo, Paul Russo, Evelyn Josephs Russo, Allison Schneider, Vincent Shea, and Steve Taylor.

Elmwood Playhouse expresses heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors and underwriters listed below whose investment in the local community and live theater made the Gala an overwhelming success. The organization applauds their philanthropic spirit and recognizes their invaluable support in furthering the arts. Click here for more exciting photos by Allqu Studio

2023 Sponsors

Edelman Financial Engines
Duke of Oil
County Animal Shelter
Weld Realty logo
Rosamonde and Ed Morgan

Past Galas:

2023 Garner Arts Center
our summer fundraiser at Garner Historic District
Click here for photos »

(gala photos by Allqu Studio)

2022 “Hooray For Elmwood”:
our summer fundraiser at Marydell
Click here for photos »

2019 “A Little Night of Music”:
our summer fundraiser in Sparkill, NY
Click here for photos »

2018 “Flights of Fancy”:
a fanciful fundraiser held in West Nyack, NY
Click here for photos »

2017 “Celebrating 70 Years”:
a summer garden party held in Sparkill, NY
Click here for photos »

(gala photos by Susan Stava