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Thrown Stone Theatre Company focuses new season on ‘Girl Power’

Thrown Stone, a Ridgefield-based theatre company, has a new theme for its summer season, which kicks off July 14. 

According to co-founder Jonathan Winn, the shows will focus on girl power, or #GrlPwr. Every season since it was founded, Thrown Stone picks a theme for its summer shows, which usually consist of two that run concurrently. 

Winn founded the theatre company with his college friend, Jason Peck. Its fifth season features two new plays about friendship, competition, and coming of age in today’s world: “Athena” by Gracie Gardner and “Hysterical!”  by Elenna Stauffer in repertory at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance.

Thrown Stone started when Peck and Winn reacquainted over the friendship of their young daughters who were born on the same day six years ago. 

“We had lots of play dates to reacquaint ourselves with not seeing each other since college,”  Winn said. 

During those conversations, Winn and Peck discussed creating a company that would perform readings of new plays at the library. Then Peck traveled to Edinburgh, where he saw a play he was “crazy about.”

The two partnered with the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance for “Milk,” by Ross Dunsmore; Thrown Stone has performed there ever since. 

Further seasons were received with continued community enthusiasm and critical acclaim until the pandemic arrived, and Thrown Stone had to adapt. Considering the racial tensions and injustices happening at the same time, the company commissioned works from and actively recruited artists of color for its 2021 season.

Three site-specific plays — written by Tony Meneses, Phanésia Pharel, and Catherine Yu — were performed in sequence at Keeler Tavern Museum, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and West Lane Inn as a single “roving production” (where the audience follows the action from location to location).

Thrown Stone took the hiatus to evaluate the company’s approach and make it a more “just and equitable model.” This included viewing their work both internally and externally through a “multicultural lens.” 

The two plays debuting this season delve into the challenges of a series of young women and offer perspectives of athletic and cultural competition.

“Athena” focuses on young women competing for spots on a junior Olympic team and examines how these young women can be friends given the highly tense atmosphere. In the end, is winning what matters? Or friendship?

Winn described “Hysterical!” as a combination of the movies “Bring It On” and “Mean Girls,” with the focus on cheerleading. While there are funny moments, Winn said audience members might find themselves wondering why and if they should be laughing. 

Winn noted that Ridgefield is the perfect place for his theatre company as it has grown into a true cultural mecca for the area to the point of being officially designated as such.

“There are a lot of caring and committed people who want to enhance their community,” he said. “There’s a really great historical society, museums, a contemporary art museum with the Aldrich, galleries on Main Street, two equity theaters and one community theater.”

Winn also pointed out The Ridgefield Playhouse’s commitment to the arts, as well as the Ridgefield Library, which he called an “indispensable partner for us, our families and the community.” 

Winn and Peck have taken the lead of other community arts leaders who donate their salaries back into the productions.

“This is born out of our privilege. No one is making a lot of money. The challenge is to open our doors to allow others to come and experience this rich cultural landscape,” Winn said.

For more information on the upcoming productions or to purchase tickets, visit