GLENS FALLS, New York—The Hyde Collection and Art in the Public Eye (APE) are proud to offer Traveler’s Tales, a theatrical tour inspired by the Museum’s world-class collection.
Scheduled at 6:30 and 7:30 pm Friday, May 17, the tour takes visitors on a journey through history with characters drawn from artworks by Rembrandt, Abbott Handerson Thayer, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Thomas Eakins, Georges Seurat, Peter Paul Rubens, and Pablo Picasso exhibited in historic Hyde House.
The production is directed by APE President Erin Coon and Damon Lee, who also wrote it.
Lee’s path to writing and directing a theatrical production at The Hyde Collection started in New York City many years ago.
“I grew up in Brooklyn, so I had access to all the museums, but never appreciated them until I moved out of the city,” said Lee, a father of four. “As an adult, I find great value in art, so the idea of bringing art and history to life is amazing.”
For many years, Lee wrote and worked in production at an off-Broadway playhouse in Times Square. After the birth of his third daughter, he and his family moved to Glens Falls, where his wife grew up.
“I was still writing, but I didn’t work with any productions,” he said. Instead, he earned a master’s degree in psychology and began working as a family advocate. “But the love of theater just wouldn’t go away.”
Six years ago, he was walking through downtown Glens Falls and saw a poster for Art in the Public Eye’s Playfest and jumped on board. “It whet my appetite to get back into theater production,” he said.
In the years since, he has written five books, started The Damon Lee Project, and produced several community projects. “There’s a lot of really good talent in the surrounding areas and not all of them have opportunities to showcase that talent,” Lee said. “I try to bridge that gap.”
His most recent project is This Way Up: A Sketch Comedy Show featuring musical guest Jeanine Ouderkirk, which ran May 10 and 11 at the Salvation Army building in Glens Falls.
“His work is funny, honest, smart and well-paced,” Coon said. “I thought he would be a great fit for The Hyde tour because he has a knack for finding new perspectives while remaining incredibly respectful of his subject.”
In Traveler’s Tales, Lee builds on the idea that history is an energy into which we can all tap. “You can connect to it and relive the experience by opening your mind to the reality of the art before you,” he said. “This tour is about the art taking physical form and guiding us on a journey through history, though time, a journey through different emotions.”
The tour is the most recent in a series of collaborations between The Hyde Collection and APE. Over the past several months, they have also teamed to present Muses & Melodramas and Clue at The Hyde.
“We love thematic tours because it melds art forms — writing, theater, visual arts — and challenges visitors to think about how they inspire one another,” said Jenny Hutchinson, Hyde curator of Museum education and programming. “This is a new way to engage with our amazing collection and make Hyde House new and even more exciting.”
“I think art is an experience of the culture and time in which it was created,” Lee said, “and it’s a memory we want to hold on to and not let fade away.”
Admission to The Hyde Collection and Art in the Public Eye’s Traveler’s Tales is $15 for Hyde members and $20 for non-members. To purchase tickets, contact Kayla at 518-792-1761, ext. 310, or [email protected], or click here.
Art in the Public Eye
Art in the Public Eye is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the intersection of arts and entertainment and educational pillars in the community. APE strives to encourage growth through free or affordably priced arts and educational programs; developing artistic and educational programs; providing support for individuals and small groups looking to advance ideas; and collaborating with other organizations to create an attractive place to live, play, and work. Learn more at artinthepubliceye.org.
The Damon Lee Project
The Damon Lee Project partners with community agencies and businesses to help organizations make their communities better. The group brings original material that tells the stories unique to each community in quality productions that support community initiatives. Learn more at www.thedlproject.com.