Like a Rolling Stone
An original theater for town
Jonathan Winn and Jason Peck are the masterminds of Thrown Stone
For Jonathan Winn and Jason Peck, theater is more than what appears onstage. The two co-founded Thrown Stone, a theater company based in Ridgefield, with a mission to produce new and innovative work. Winn and Peck—co-artistic directors of the company—both attended the University of Southern California, but it was in Connecticut where they found the perfect place to start the company. They describe Ridgefield as a “vibrant New England town that’s close to New York City, but has this amazing artistic ecosystem that’s pulsing through it—a very rare thing.”
Thrown Stone strives to be something different, something the town has never seen before—essential elements for Winn and Peck. Presenting unfamiliar types of theater comes with a certain amount of risk, but the two directors hope that after audience members see a few of their productions, theater-goers will look forward to new work and new theater. Ultimately, the duo envisions Thrown Stone and the town of Ridgefield becoming synonymous with cutting-edge work and Ridgefield becoming a destination for the arts.
Aside from the actual productions, Thrown Stone stands apart by being one of the few companies to pay its performers. And, because they rent space temporarily for performances, they are able to choose venues tailored to fit each production. Supported by sponsors and ticket sales, Thrown Stone aims to build a relationship with the Ridgefield community and a local audience. With its versatile presentations and settings, the company’s co-directors envision adding a new kind of energy to the town as they continue to produce new and brave work.
Their upcoming production of Milk, written by Ross Dunsmore, is an ideal representation of what Thrown Stone is. The play, first presented at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, last August, explores the universal need for three basics: food, love, and survival. The play looks at three couples—young, middle-aged, and elderly—and the different ways in which they need to feed and be fed: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The play illustrates that as we age, the way in which we need these things changes and that, sometimes, satisfying a need isn’t always healthy.
Winn’s and Peck’s goal is to have the audience ask: What are my needs and the needs of the people in my life? They want to explore the idea that the need for love is universal and that everyone, no matter what stage in life, will struggle to find it.
Thrown Stone presents the U.S. premiere of Milk on July 14 at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance located directly on Main Street in the center of town. The space will be transformed into a 50-seat “black box” theatre, with raised seating, lights, sound, and set. The co-directors promise theater-goers “a fabulous spread of concessions and all the hospitality one would expect to find on Broadway.”
Performances are through July 30. For tickets, see thrownstone.org.