The Playhouse

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About the Playhouse

Designed by Mrs. Lorenzo Woodhouse in 1916, expressly to showcase performance art, The Playhouse was praised by noted architect Robert A.M.Stern, as “the most perfectly preserved” of the Woodhouse family properties. Her public gifts to the community include Guild Hall and the East Hampton Public Library. From 1917-33The Playhouse served as a lively performing arts hall whose varied presentations included stage classics
by first tier actors; concerts by string quartets and The Westminster Choir; and dance, including works by Isadora Duncan, and by Ruth St. Denis – whose gauze-clad Denishawn dancers transformed the Playhouse gardens into an ethereal outdoor stage in 1932. Years later, when Elizabeth & David Brockman became its owners, they brought to The Playhouse their intense love of classical music and performance. They have maintained The Playhouse as both a residence and arts venue since 1958. Leopold Stokowski – in the early years a frequent visitor – performed Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor on the
Playhouse’s rare, Skinner-Aeolian pipe organ – located in a balcony under the eaves of the soaring beamed roof – and pronounced the Playhouse acoustics ‘the best he’d
heard anywhere. In the early 60s, Joe Papp held the first benefit performance for his Shakespeare in the Park series here; and Norman Mailer and Rip Torn shot their
cult favorite indie feature, Maidstone, at The Playhouse in 1969.

Elizabeth Brockman

Elizabeth Brockman, a pianist and graduate of Juilliard, and her husband Daniel David Brockman purchased the Playhouse in the 1950s and it has been maintained as both a residence and performing arts venue since then. The couple’s intense love of classical music and the performing arts has resulted in an active schedule of world classperformances since then.

The Present

The Playhouse Project brings distinguished conductors and renowned classical musicians to Long Island’s East End to inspire, educate and illuminate some of our community’s talented young musicians. Participating youngsters are invited to spend a full day working in our annual Master Class with conductor Geoffrey Simon.