Assemblyman Pat Manning Announces New Destination For the Arts Community in Columbia County

Hudson, New York – Assemblyman Pat Manning (R- East Fishkill) joined Laura Margolis, Executive Artistic Director of StageWorks, Richard Katzman, President and CEO of Kaz, Inc., Tom Cappadona, Senior Vice President of Operations of Kaz, Inc. and Richard Scalera, Mayor of the City of Hudson to announce the donation of the former Kaz facility on Cross Street in Hudson, New York to StageWorks as their permanent home.

“I was so pleased to be a part of this process. From the beginning, StageWorks has been truly involved in our community, this new home will serve them well and will allow them continued growth and success,” stated Assemblyman Manning, who also serves as an Honorary Board member of StageWorks.

The theater company’s name will transition to StageWorks/Hudson with the tag line, “The Theater Destination.” The mainstage theater will be named the Max and Lillian Katzman Theater, in dedication to the Katzman family’s unprecedented generosity.

It was Max Katzman, Richard Katzman’s grandfather that invented the first electric vaporizer in 1926. Kaz is respected world-wide as a major healthcare supplier. The product line has grown from the original vaporizer to include a complete line of home healthcare products: vaporizers, humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, inhalant medication, heating pads, and more.

“StageWorks/Hudson is truly indebted to Richard Katzman, President and CEO of Kaz, Inc. for his generous donation of a building so ideally suited to our growing needs. We also appreciate the on going assistance and support of Assemblyman Patrick Manning and Mayor Richard Scalera, who played critical roles in helping StageWorks secure this superb permanent home,” said Margolis.

According to Margolis, StageWorks’ Phase 1 plans for the 40,000 square foot KAZ facility include installing a 100-seat, expandable theater and lobby, rehearsal space, scenic and costume shop and offices; continuing to produce a professional Mainstage season; expanding SummerStage to carrying over to the school year, and increasing the number of facilities the Theater Arts for School Kids (TASK), Incarcerated Youth Program reaches regionally while advancing TASK to include an arts-in-education program for local public schools that will bring Columbia County students to Mainstage productions throughout the year. Development of the physical space includes plans for an art gallery wing to showcase local visual artists and a studio theater for a film/video series. Additionally, StageWorks is committed to reserving a portion of its schedule for use by other performing arts, cultural and civil organizations for their productions, concerts, recitals and projects.

StageWorks’ Phase II and III will expand the project to include a state of the art theater and multimedia (film, satellite, Internet) equipment; advance Mainstage to six performances per year, two of which will be new plays developed by the company; establish a professional theater arts and film school in association with local colleges and universities; host a developmental play, musical theater and film program where national dramatists, screen writers, dramaturgs, directors and actors all converge to explore and create at StageWorks; maintain a nationally publicized fringe festival where theater, dance, performance art and music are performed throughout the county for a wide-ranging audience; develop a professional sound studio for regional musicians and video artists.

“Kaz’s generous endorsement of our efforts strengthens our resolve and determination to continue our commitment to Columbia County. StageWorks as an entity is Columbia County born and bred, and we look forward to furthering our contribution to the cultural growth of our community," stated Margolis.

Kaz, Inc. is the largest manufacturer in Columbia County employing more than 400 employees. Dedicated to the people who live and work in Columbia County, they have continually supported the county through their many generous corporate donations.

“We are delighted that the original Kaz buildings in Hudson will find a new life as the permanent home for StageWorks. Our company has had many great years operating out of the Cross Street facilities. We wish StageWorks even greater success in their new theatre,” said Richard Katzman, President and CEO of Kaz, Inc.

StageWorks was designated the “Best Equity Theater - Adventurous” in the region in Metroland Magazine’s “Best of the Capital Region - 2002.” StageWorks’ plays and artists are considered among the best in the region – receiving media coverage throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley, Capital District, Massachusetts Berkshires and northwestern Connecticut – positioning StageWorks for this new phase of development, the establishment of a permanent home, where as a destination the company will enrich and expand its programs. StageWorks’ reputation for its work on the stage, in education and within the greater community it serves stretches well beyond the region. StageWorks employs approximately 30-40 full and part time people throughout the year and will bring in over 100 playgoers per performance – enhancing the City of Hudson’s economy.

“To be able to keep this caliber of talent locally in the City of Hudson is truly an asset to us and Columbia County. I have always been impressed with their commitment. I am very excited to have StageWorks call Hudson their “destination,” said Mayor Scalera.

StageWorks has received support from the prestigious Shubert Foundation, a function of the Shubert Theaters Organization, one of only two hundred theaters in the United States considered by the Foundation as demonstrating the highest quality both artistically and managerially and the New York State Council on the Arts. Additionally, actors, directors, playwrights and designers whose work is represented on Broadway, film and television continue to work with the company based on the substantial reputation StageWorks has built.

Currently, their primary programs include Mainstage, which produces three Equity productions each year; SummerStage, a four-week summer theater arts program for children; Theater Arts for School Kids (TASK), Incarcerated Youth Program, an arts-in-education program which is conducted for at-risk, incarcerated youths in collaboration with Questar III, BOCES at the Columbia County Jail four times per year, five weeks per session and Share the Stage, which includes an internship program, community.

StageWorks is also grateful for the advice and hard work of Robert Plattner and Mike Kinum of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams who represented StageWorks pro bono, Paul Goldman, Peter Markou, Executive Director, Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency, Jim Galvin, Executive Director, Columbia Hudson Partnership, Tom Cappadona, Senior Vice President of Operations and John Budelman, Facilities Manager for Kaz, CSX Transportation, the Board of Directors of StageWorks, and the staff of StageWorks, Deena Pewtherer, Producing Artistic Director, Phil Elman, General Manager and Samuel Buggeln, Associate Artistic Director.

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