The Mountain Times

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Artistic Director Jacob Patorti of Rutland’s Merchant’s Hall to direct The Four Seasons in New York City

Merchant's Hall has been Rutland's premiere event space since it opened in 2010. The management team strives to meet the region's entertainment needs by hosting everything from plays and poetry readings to rock concerts. The Hall operates with the talented Jacob Patorti as artistic director and focuses on being community-oriented. Productions like The Rocky Horror Picture Show are local favorites while events like the critically acclaimed Stage Series offer workshops and hands-on learning.

Patorti's success has recently been recognized in New York City and, on July 5, he will have the opportunity to direct The Four Seasons at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a gorgeously kept Synagogue built in 1849 in New York. The creator, Charles Mee, is considered one of America's greatest living playwrights and was instantly impressed with Patorti's vision for producing. The cast of 130 features many Vermonters including several students from his Stage Series.

"We're bringing a lot of fabulous folks and bringing a piece of Vermont to New York," Patorti says. "This is not a very commercial piece. There are so many messages in this play, not least of which is 'realize what you have before you've lost it.' A lot of this play deals with ancestors and the departed and how they guide the living," he said. "In an outrageously modern world, it is important to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the people around you. I think Vermont does that very well."

The play is billed as being "an electric experience that rotates around the continued patterns we as human beings encounter each and every day. Weaving in and out of life, love, death, the changing of seasons, chance encounters, and numerous cups of coffee, this ensemble piece never stops moving."

Patorti started playing piano and singing at the age of 14 as a student at Rutland High School but he knew immediately that he wanted to go further and direct a play. He realized that dream incredibly quickly, directing a production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Paramount Theater in 2005 at the age of 15.

He attended Marymount Manhattan College for theater arts and directing and split his time between New York and Vermont. It has been Patorti's dream (one that he shares with many Merchant's Hall members) to bring a production to New York City that highlights Vermont participants and sensibilities and he looks forward to the July 5 opening. A group from Merchant's hall is planning to travel down for the event.

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