• Stay Connected

The Force Behind Ridgefield Playhouse

Meet Allison Stockel, the Executive Director of the Ridgefield Playhouse, yes, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The venue is the former Ridgefield High School. It underwent a huge renovation and reopened in 2000. Since Stockel has been at the helm, the place has been rocking, literally. You can’t believe the number of bands and singers that have been through this place. If you look closely in the foreground on the left hand side, there is a wrestling doll, some on her staff says that’s who she is, a rock ’em, sock ’em, get out of my way kind of gal that “gets-er-done.” When you look at the list of who has performed here and who is coming in this venue close to New York City you can understand that it’s her might that gets them in the door and keeps them returning.

Stockel is so passionate about leading this non-profit theater, she does so without pay, yep, she’s a volunteer, I can’t remember the last time I heard that, an Executive Director for free? Her background, prior to coming to the theater was in television and entertainment, so she says when she puts on a show here of any kind it’s like producing a TV show, really second nature to her.

Sitting in her office is a collection of show memorabilia of her time spent here, and it’s a lot of time, she’s at every show to make sure things run smoothly, when they don’t, she’s on it with a quick fix. Her bulletin board is jammed with events, your head spins just looking at it, but she has enough energy for two women, you’ll hear that in the interview below.

The theater is pretty intimate with just five hundred seats, so whether it’s music or theater or film, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. She’s conscious of always trying to fill all the seats even if it means giving away tickets, in the biz they call that “wallpapering the place.” She maintains that promotes goodwill and she wants her artists to hear that resounding applause at the end of a show.