GLENS FALLS — Adirondack Theatre Festival Producing Artistic Director Mark Fleischer believes there is strength in numbers, especially when it comes to local theater professionals.
When the festival’s season opens on Tuesday with a production of A.R. Gurney’s “Black Tie,” names associated with other area theater companies will be prominent in the program.
Terry Rabine, producing artistic director at the Lake George Dinner Theatre, directs the show, and David Bunce, a teacher and artist-in-resident with the Theatre Institute at Russell Sage College and director of this summer’s “Last of the Mohicans Outdoor Drama,” is one of its stars.
“I think it is important for us to try to figure out ways to work together,” Fleischer said. “I want to look outside at the artistic community as a whole. I think I have a responsibility to the artistic community that is already here.”
Although Adirondack Theatre Festival attracts talent from outside the area, especially Manhattan, Fleischer also wants it to be a resource for local theater professionals.
“I think it is important to keep local artists employed — and here,” he said.
Rabine said the region’s theater companies are a nice fit for local performers.
“A lot of professional actors up here have families, as opposed to a lot of New York actors,” Rabine said. “They can work here in the area and still maintain a family. That’s very beneficial.”
For Bunce, who is juggling his acting job with directing duties for the “Last of the Mohicans” show later this summer, being busy is a good thing.
“I’m pulling double duty, but I am thrilled to get this opportunity,” Bunce said.
All three theater professionals expect the companies will continue to work together.
“I’m hoping there’s a cross pollination,” Bunce said.
The effort could help the companies grow their audiences and share marketing ideas, but it also can improve the quality of local theater, according to Fleischer.
“Art begets art,” he said.