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Rhinebeck Local Notables: Marguerite & Andres San Millan, Cocoon Theatre 

click to enlarge Rhinebeck local notables: Marguerite and Andres San Milan founders of Cocoon Theatre
  • Rhinebeck local notables: Marguerite and Andres San Milan founders of Cocoon Theatre

Marguerite San Millan believes a theater must be a safe place. She and her husband, Andres, opened Cocoon Theatre in 1988 as a haven for performers to create, to grow, to be born. What started as a puppet and dance group blossomed into a non-profit organization that offers arts-in-education programs and all sorts of classes and performances. The San Millans have built their lives and Cocoon by courageously following the current of their creativity, ever-evolving and changing.

Most of the performances at Cocoon Theatre are workshop based. They include dance and storytelling, plays and art. It’s rarely an open call audition process for predetermined roles. Instead, workshops develop into unique productions based on original works of literature. “Art should be accepting of everybody,” Marguerite says. She writes the shows to fit the demographics of workshop participants and incorporates whatever resonates with her for the particular production. “Lord of the Flies” was done as a musical with 16 songs and featured an all-girl chorus dramatizing the island itself. Marguerite acknowledges that the world of theater often comes with some behind-the-scenes drama. She’s not interested in that, however. At Cocoon, the focus is on the work. People who want to create a living, breathing production that lasts only as long as the run of the show fit right in. “These are nice people who really want to work,” says Marguerite. Cocoon Theater’s production of “Waiting for Godot” runs from March 16 through April 1.

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