Tag Archives: summer theater

Retro Rumson Barn Summer Theatrics

The following piece was originally posted on July 8, 2015. It’s just the right time for a reprise. As we dive into summer season and word comes that the lights have gone out on Broadway for the rest of 2020, we thought it only fitting to remember good summer times in a premier summer theater in the Rumson-Fair Haven area. Once upon a time, there was a special little creative niche in Rumson … Take a trip back with us to  simple summers and magical, theatrical times … 

Remember The Barn Theater in Rumson?

Well, if you don’t, you missed out and are probably significantly younger than those who do and didn’t — miss out, that is.

It’s a plus if you’re that young. But, it’s definitely a factor in the minus category if you didn’t work, play or get entertained there.

It was a community theater that cast hundreds, maybe thousands, from the area, including many Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) students.

The building is still there, only a few blocks away from the high school on Avenue of Two Rivers near the intersection at Ridge Road. The reason why it was called The Barn was, well, because it was an old barn, gutted (if there is such a thing with a barn) and converted into a small arena-type stage theater, with the stage at floor level and risers around it as seats, though not all the way around.

You get the picture. Now, here’s what’s behind the place’s show folk and shows …

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Retro RFH Summer Theater

Summer theater productions are opening all over the Rumson-Fair Haven area. This seasonal show time for locals has proven as popular as hitting the beach with buddies — OK, far away from the invasion of the outta town tourists.

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Retro Rumson Barn Theatre Buds

Elaine Van Develde, Alisa Roblenski and Elaine Kraft — Barn Theatre buddies rehearsing Bye Bye Birdie in 1977. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Elaine Van Develde, Alisa Roblenski and Elaine Kraft — Barn Theatre buddies rehearsing Bye Bye Birdie in 1977.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Coincidence? Sort of. It just so happens that it is summer. It is just so happens that Bye Bye Birdie has been running on the Decades channel on TV. And it just so happens that it’s now been 39 years (WHAT??) since summer theater at The Barn Theatre in Rumson was in full swing and in rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie.

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