Indian Lake Theater chooses Chestertown native as new director

— The Board of Directors of Indian Lake Theater has hired Danielle Shaw, from Chestertown, as the new executive director of the nonprofit community and cultural center. Shaw took over from interim director Alan Pouch on Monday, June 4.

“We were impressed with Danielle's determination to listen, not just to the Board of Directors, but to everyone in our communities. She gets that the Indian Lake Theater is a place for everyone, and for us to continue to be successful we have to provide programs and events that are right for Hamilton County,” said Ben Strader, president of the Board of Directors.

A graduate of North Warren High School and Boston University, 27-year-old Shaw brings a variety of experiences and skills to the theater. She is completing a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Hamilton County Community Services, creating programs for the county's youth. Prior to that she served in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps volunteer, where she worked with village families toward grass-roots education development.

Shaw's local after-school program has used the theater often for events, and she recently said, "I believe that what the board of directors and the surrounding communities have done in reopening and reenergizing the Indian Lake Theater should not only be commended, but nurtured and supported. I feel privileged to be a part of that effort. I’m especially looking forward to harnessing community input into more sustainable growth for an amazing venue that brings cultural and arts opportunities to a part of the Adirondacks that may not have access to them otherwise."

Shaw takes the helm as the organization begins significant changes in the physical plant. A capital campaign underway is raising funds to purchase a retractable screen, which will allow more flexibility in programming for live shows. The screen is expected to be installed in September, relying on the theater's all-volunteer building committee, donated services from local businesses as well as professional assistance from contractors and electricians.

A glimpse at the June schedule for Indian Lake Theater shows the diversity of programs: a concert by a Johnny Cash tribute band, a weekend centered around independent filmmaker Ari Gold and the movie he will shoot in Blue Mountain Lake this summer, screenings of The Avengers and Dark Shadows, streaming performances of opera and ballet, documentary films, and a public meeting outlining regional tourism plans. July and August will bring more live performances as well as Hollywood and independent films. For a schedule, please visit www.indianlaketheater.org.

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