History of the Barn Theatre School
The story began in 1946 when Jack Ragotzy, Betty Ebert and a tightly knit group founded the Village Players. After mounting their first few seasons in a former Methodist church, the Village Players moved into a dairy barn purchased by Jack and Betty, which became the Barn Theatre. The Barn Theatre has since built a reputation as one of the finest professional Equity summer stock theatres in the country.
Each season young “Apprentice” actors pursuing a career in professional theatre have a chance to learn the craft of theatre production and act at the Barn Theatre with accomplished professional actors who belong to the Actors Equity Association and guest artists who have worked on Tony Award-winning Broadway or Emmy Award-winning television shows.
Shortly before her death in 1995, Betty Ebert Ragotzy took steps to create The Barn Theatre School for Advanced Theatre Training, a nonprofit theatre education organization she dreamed would formalize the Apprentices’ education at the theatre. The Equity Membership Candidates (EMC’s) earn points towards joining the union, while their Apprenticeship studies are devoted to all aspects of professional theatre production: set construction, lighting, costuming, properties, stage management, and more.
Today The School is helmed by six Board Members who seek to carry on this rich tradition and inspire generations of “Barnies” to come!