Fort Salem Theater Debuts Two Brand New Works This July

After a year of staging popular plays and familiar musicals, Fort Salem Theater shares their summer 2022 stage with new writers, debuting both a world premiere musical and a New York premiere of a brand new play. Both events feature guest artists from across the country and will perform on the Fort Salem Theater mainstage over the weekend of July 22-24. Following the performances, audiences are invited to talkback sessions with the cast and creative teams to share feedback on the material. Tickets are on sale now at FortSalem.com.

The stage at Fort Salem Theater.


First on the slate is the staged reading of a contemporary new musical titled this old haunt. Written by a team of young artists from New York City, Pennsylvania, and the U.K., this old haunt tells the story of four old friends, who reconnect at a cabin in the woods and are forced to face that they’ve grown up and apart; eventually they literally summon the ghosts of their past selves in order to build a future. With an exciting contemporary musical score, the production features guest artists Rita Castagna from Pennsylvania as Selina, Ceara Ledwith from New York City as Caroline, Brittany Martz from Washington DC as Hetty, and Kayla Zanakis from New York City as Penelope. Following the Fort Salem Theater reading, this old haunt will travel to Carnegie Mellon University, where director Rebecca Wahls will mount a full-scale production. Wahls serves as a co-developer of the musical alongside book writer SMJ, and music and lyric writer Maggie Marie Rodgers. Additional music and orchestrations provided by Annabelle Lee Revak, with music direction by Matthew Zwiebel, and dramaturgy by Juju Nieto. Salem Central School graduate Autumn Fleming rounds out the production team as Stage Manager.

Performing the same weekend is Define Friend, a coming-of-age play written by up-and-coming teen writer Jackson Castello, who has also penned a Peter Pan-themed musical called Stumped, currently in development in Texas. Castello appears in his production, which is directed by his long-time mentor Amy Cave (owner of Dallas-based Amy’s Studio of Performing Arts and co-founder/artistic director of Resolute Theatre Project), and features two additional teen performers: Vivian Steele and Andrew Cave. A perfect play for teens and tweens (and anyone who’s experienced adolescence), Define Friend explores the hardships of middle school, friendships, and self discovery with a humorous and heartfelt approach. 

this old haunt performs Friday, July 22 (7:30PM), Saturday, July 23 (7:30PM), and Sunday, July 24 (2:00PM). Tickets range from $15-$36. Define Friend performs Saturday, July 23 (2:00PM) and Sunday, July 24 (7:30PM). Tickets are only $10 for students and $20 for adults. 
All tickets can be purchased online 24/7 at www.FortSalem.com, or by calling the Fort Salem Theater box office at 518-854-9200.

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