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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Franklin Trapp, Actor and Attorney, replaces long-

Forestburgh Playhouse welcomes new owner

By Fred Stabbert III - publisher

By:
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Contributed photo
Franklin Trapp, left, in the Playhouse production of “Titanic” from 2003, when he played Barrett, the coal stoker.
FORESTBURGH — The man who introduced Loretta Swit and Ed Asner to the Forestburgh Playhouse is getting ready to take his final bow.
Norman Duttweiler, producer of the Playhouse for the past 22 years, will be turning over his straw hat and megaphone to Franklin Trapp for the 2014 season.
Trapp, whose professional background includes both the theatre and the law, will take over the leadership of the Forestburgh Playhouse as Producer effective immediately.
But Duttweiler isn't exiting stage left just yet.
Duttweiler will remain on board as Managing Director through the 2014 summer season to facilitate a smooth transition.
“Franklin Trapp is the perfect person to lead the Forestburgh Playhouse for the next 22 years or more.
He knows the theatre, he knows the business, and above all, he knows and loves the Forestburgh Playhouse,” Duttweiler said.
Trapp has had a long association with the Forestburgh Playhouse beginning with his first appearance at the Playhouse in 2001 as a young Equity Membership Candidate.
He remained at the Playhouse every summer through 2004, eventually earning his Equity card, and adding stage direction to his list of accomplishments.
In addition to performing featured roles in main stage Playhouse productions including “Titanic,” “Ragtime,” and “My Fair Lady,” among others, he also wrote and directed childrens shows, directed cabarets, and directed the first Playhouse production of “The Sound of Music.”
“He [Trapp] will spend this summer getting to know our subscribers and our audiences and our Sullivan County Catskills,” Duttweiler said. “The Forestburgh Playhouse couldn't be in better hands.”
In 2006, looking to explore new challenges, Trapp took a hiatus from the theatre and attended Vanderbilt University Law School, from which he subsequently graduated in 2009.
DLA Piper, the world's largest law firm, immediately hired him as an associate attorney in their Atlanta, Georgia office where he specialized in construction law and commercial real estate and remained until last year when he began his transition back to the theatre.
Trapp, 39, is currently in the process of relocating to Sullivan County with his partner, John Bubb – who is studying to become a nurse anesthetist – and their three dogs.
Trapp intends to take a hands-on approach to managing the 68-year-old theatrical landmark in Sullivan County.
While he is eager to bring new ideas, including the creation of a new not-for-profit organization – Theatrical Arts at Forestburgh, Inc. (TAAF) as the new corporate structure – he remains devoted to maintaining the long traditions of popular entertainment that have made the Forestburgh Playhouse into the oldest professional summer theatre in New York State.
“My theatre career essentially began at the Forestburgh Playhouse,” Trapp said. “Like countless other young actors, the Playhouse afforded me the chance to grow as an artist.
“Some of my fondest memories are from my time at the Playhouse,” he said. “I gained so much from my time there that it just feels right to return, nurture and grow the legacy of the Forestburgh Playhouse.
“I am confident that with my previous experience at the Playhouse, the skills I have developed as a lawyer and with Norman's guidance, the Forestburgh Playhouse will continue to flourish and provide high-quality theatre for Sullivan County,” he said.
Duttweiler will be working closely with Trapp for this first critical year under new leadership.
After running the Forestburgh Playhouse for the past 22 years, Duttweiler has become one of the longest serving summer theatre pro­ducers in the Northeast, and has become something of a summer theatre institution himself.
His appearance at New York City's Straw Hat Auditions is a tradition which has brought hundreds of young actors to the Catskills to follow their dreams on stage.
The 68th season of the Forestburgh Playhouse commences in June with Agatha Christies “A Murder is Announced,” and then presents its usual season of musical blockbusters: “My Fair Lady,” both “Mame” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” with “M*A*S*H” star Loretta Swit, “Disneys Mary Poppins,” and “La Cage aux Folles.”
The season ends with Chaim Potoks touching drama, “The Chosen.”
Complete information on tickets and schedule is available online at www.FBplayhouse.org.
“I can't wait to be part of the Forestburgh Playhouse and Sullivan County,” Trapp said.
Sullivan County Visitors Association President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood said, “The Forestburgh Playhouse has been and will continue to be one of the ‘jewels' of our Sullivan County Catskills. A long tradition of presenting tremendous theatre productions and live cabaret will carry on. The Playhouse is a staple of our arts and culture scene.”





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