CRT Administration

Kerby Thompson (Producing Artistic Director) has served in this position at Cortland Rep since 2000. In his time here, he has successfully lead the theatre thru two capital campaigns: one for $150,000 to install an elevator and sprinkler system in the Little York Pavilion, and one for $2.25 million to create "CRT Downtown".  Additionally at CRT, he has performed in The Addams Family (Mal Beinke),  The Full Monty (Harold), Chicago (Billy Flynn - Winner of the Syracuse Area Live Theatre "SALT" Award for Best Actor of the Summer Season), Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Michael Minnetti - SALT nominee), Moonlight and Magnolias (David Selznick - SALT Award for Best Actor of the Summer Season), The Music Man (Harold Hill - SALT nominee), Anything Goes (Billy Crocker), and The World Goes Round (Man 2). CRT directing credits include 1776, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story, The Ladies Man, Rumors, See How They Run, Unnecessary Farce, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and others.  Previously to coming to Cortland, he lived in New York City for 14 years as an actor/singer/dancer, director and choreographer. Favorite performance credits include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Loni Anderson, and The Best Little Whorehouse… starring Barbara Eden.  He said Hello to Dolly! and Bye Bye to Birdie on two national tours, and performed in two international tours with Dolly! and Anything Goes to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.  

barclay diamondBarclay Diamond (Business Manager) has worked as the Business Manager in the CRT Business Office since 1993. She takes pride in her behind the scenes job and enjoys the different day to day duties involved with working in the office. Some of her duties include handling Subscriptions, Accounting, Gift Certificates, Program Ads, Corporate Sponsorships, Fundraisers and Box Office Sales. Barclay is a member of the Burns McCauliffe Post 465 American Legion Auxiliary where she holds the title of First Vice. You can also find her marching in several parades during the summer with the Legion Post’s Marching Unit. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and sends her love to her husband, Paul, her dog Bear and their three children; Jessica, Cody and Skylar.



Eric Behnke (Production Manager / Facilities Manager) is overjoyed to be joining CRT full time!  Eric started at CRT in the summer of 2006 as a Stage Manager and Company Manager.  He has worked on Cats, Joseph…, Brigadoon, Fiddler, Trailer Park Musical, and othersIn 2010, he became one of CRT’s lighting designers, and has designed Les Miiserables, The Full Monty, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Andrews Brothers, and others.  Outside of Cortland, Eric has been the technical director/light director for national tours of The Phantom Tollbooth, Chasing George Washington, Knuffle Bunny (The Kennedy Center) The Magic School Bus, Fifty Shades! The Musical Parody (Maximum Entertainment) and the automation carpenter for the international tour of Dreamgirls.  He was an electrician with The Hippodrome Theatre in Florida and at many Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres.  Additionally, he was substitute electrician for the Daily Show with John Stewart.  Most recently, he was a Production Coordinator for the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. In his full time positions, Eric will oversee the tech aspects of all CRT shows, and is responsible for maintenance and upkeep on all CRT buildings.  He met his wife, Kris, at CRT during the 2009 season, got married at the Little York Pavilion in 2013 and became the proud papa of Rosie June in July, 2015!

Kris Valentine Behnke (Youth Program Manager) is overjoyed to make her home with CRT! Kris first worked at CRT as a Stage Manager/Company Manger in the 2009, ’10 and ’11 summers, working on such shows as Unnecessary Farce, Forever Plaid, Chicago, and The Andrews Brothers. In the years in between and following, she toured nationally with 50 Shades: The Musical Parody, Maximum Entertainment's The Magic School Bus Live!, Strega Nona: the Musical National Tour, and the Nebraska Theatre Caravan's A Christmas Carol. She has also worked with Tada! Youth Theatre in Manhattan, and two Off-Broadway shows: Forever Dusty: The Dusty Springfield Musical, and iLuminate: Artist of Light. Kris also took a summer to manage Field Station: Dinosaurs, an educational dinosaur theme park for kids in Secaucus, NJ (36 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs! Check it out!). She is thrilled to be working with CRT to create a new Youth Program! Kris is equally thrilled to be given the opportunity to work alongside her husband Eric, whom she met at CRT in 2009, whom she married at the Pavilion in 2013, and with whom she welcomed their first baby, Rosie June in July, 2015!

Board of Directors

Board of Directors


John Folmer

Vice President

Nicole Cottone


Garrison Marsted


Jeffrey Penoyer

Board Members

Kimberly Allen

Michele Ball

Robert Barber

Gloria Crane

Dorothea Fowler

Ingrid Fox

Harriet Higgins

Tom Knobel

Bill Lee

Adam Megivern

A. J. Meldrim

Kellyann O'Mara

Mark Re

Mark Reynolds

Sam Sheehan

Michael Sills

Annamaria Sprague

The History of Cortland Repertory Theatre

Cortland Repertory Theatre: A Brief History


cortland repertory theatre history
Oscar winner Holly Hunter in "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1976 with Forrest Robinson and Scott Reid
cortland repertory theatre history
Two time Tony-award winning director and Tony-nominated actor Joe Mantello (right) in "The American-Italian Reconciliation" in 1990 with Russell Goldberg
cortland repertory theatre history Tony-award nominated Actor Stephen Bogardus (right) in "Capt. Jinks of the Horse Marines" in 1977 with Ted May

In the winter of 1971-72, Dr. James Palmer, associate director of theatre at SUNY Cortland, and David Yaman, a local real estate developer, recognized the need for a quality summer theatre experience for residents of Central New York. Through the generosity of 23 charter members, Cortland Repertory Theatre was born. The theatre opened on July 5, 1972 in the charming, turn-of-the-century Pavilion at Dwyer Memorial Park on Little York Lake and boasted a young, semi-professional company dedicated to bringing popular plays and musicals to theatre lovers in the area. For six years, the theatre played an eight-week season in rotating repertory, after which the format was changed to five plays running for two weeks each. Currently, CRT does 6 plays, with one being a three-week musical. In 1988 CRT introduced "Early Stages," a program designed to introduce children to the range of performing arts, which was disbanded in 1996. 2001 saw the creation of "CRT KIDS" which includes children's productions, workshops and "The Pavilion Awards," an awards program which recognizes outstanding achievement in local high school theatre.

During the Theatre's history the annual budget, which in 1972 was approximately $35,000, has grown to over $445,000 in 2006. Through the years CRT has received invaluable support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Cortland County Legislature, the Central New York business community, and many generous individual donors. CRT has been awarded capital improvement grants totaling $225,000, sponsored by Senator James Seward, Assemblyman Clarence Rappleyea, Assemblyman Dan Fessenden, and Assemblyman Marty Luster, administered by the Natural Heritage Trust. CRT utilized these grants to add dressing rooms and air conditioning to the theatre, replace antiquated lighting and sound equipment, and purchase a headquarters in Cortland which houses the business office, costume and scene shop, and props storage. Recently, CRT has installed a sprinkler system and handicapped accessible elevator to the theatre. Over the years, CRT's acting company has included several rising stars. The most prominent of these is Holly Hunter, a CRT intern during the 1976 season. Since her debut in Cortland, Ms. Hunter has become a critically acclaimed movie star winning the Best Actress Academy Award in 1994 for "The Piano". Also, two time Tony-winning director (for "Assassins" and "Take Me Out") and Tony-nominated actor (for "Angels in America") Joe Mantello has acted on the CRT stage and Tony-nominated actor (for "Love! Valour! Compassion!") Stephen Borgardis has also appeared. In 1993, Tony nominated actor (for "Play On!" and "The Full Monty") Andre De Shields directed CRT's production of "Ain't MisBehavin'", after starring in the original production. CRT boasts a superb artistic and technical staff, built around a core of professionals augmented by talented local performers. Dedicated community volunteers also devote countless hours to the innumerable activities that go on behind the scenes.

The History of The Little York Pavilion

History of the Little York Pavilion

Traction Company Park

Little York Lake provided the only resort area between Binghamton and Syracuse in the late 1800's. DL&W excursion trains from Syracuse deposited their passengers here, who would spend the day at the southern end of the lake, boating, dancing and picnicking. The Cortland Traction Company operated a park on the Tioughnioga River in Cortland, which was only accessible by riding the company's trolley across Elm St. Bridge. In an effort to increase ridership, the company extended the trolley lines north to Little York and Preble. At the same time, 1904, it purchased 90 acres of farmland on Upper Little York Lake to develop another park. This was a prevailing custom in the trolley business. However, unlike other traction company parks, Little York's was designed for eating and dancing, rather than for amusement rides.  

boathouseOriginal Park Layout

The original park layout included two large boat houses, close to the shores on either side of a long dock. At the end of the dock was a gazebo-styled structure with benches arounds its interior. An unusually styled water tower stood nearby with an interior stairway leading to an observation area at the top. The path made by the trolley crossed the broad lawns of the park. The park was extremely popular in the years before World War I, when trolley use peaked. However, usage of the first floor restaurant and second floor dance hall fell off in the 1920's as the Traction Company became more focused on supplying electric power to communities.    

Park Abandoned, then Revived

In 1932, the New York Power Corporation, successor to the Cortland County Traction Company, abandoned the park. Various individuals attempted to revive interest with little success. At the urging of the Little York Garden Club in the late 1930's, the County Board of Supervisors eventually purchased the property. But not until 1951, under County Highway Superintendent William Dwyer, were improvements seriously begun. In 1972, the pavilion became the home of Cortland Repertory Theatre.  

Changes Over the Years

No documentary information has been found to tell us who designed the park's pavilion or how the final design selection was made. We can only guess that Cephas B. Barker of Tully and Newark Valley, who is credited with building the pavilion, was also its designer. The pavilion in the City of Cortland's park was torn down and parts were used in the construction of this new one in 1906. The building has undergone many changes over the years. The most prominent addition was in 1961, when a slate-roofed stone restroom facility was added on the north side. A large brick chimney occupies the center of the east wall; a similar one on the north was removed in 1973. Later alterations include the enclosure of the ten foot wide verandahs on the north side to accommodate kitchen facilities and dressing rooms. The roof of the pavilion was originally surfaced with cedar shingles and was edged with white electric lights. Both roof and lighting were removed long ago, and the present roof is a combination of tin and asphalt shingles, newly reshingled by Cortland County in the spring of 2001. Elsewhere, alterations have been carried out more in sympathy with the original design: stairways, porch rails and flooring have been rebuilt, fire doors installed, and wooden steps replaced with concrete. The pavilion is architecturally unique in this area. It is also the only trolley park in the region to remain intact and in use. In 1979, it was named to the National Historic Register. Researched by Shirley Heppel, former Cortland County Historian.

Past Seasons of CRT, 1972 - Present


Ken Ludwig's The Fox on the Fairway

West Side Story

A Chorus Line

Agatha Christie's Cards on the Table

The Kitchen Witches

The Marvelous Wonderettes



Always a Bridesmaid


The Addams Family

Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror

Miracle on South Division Street

Suds: The Rockin' '60's Musical Soap Opera

The Jungle Book



Boeing Boeing

All Shook Up

Les Miserables

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily

Making God Laugh

Ring of Fire:  The Music of Johnny Cash

Alice in Wonderland



The Unexpected Guest

Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story

The Full Monty

The 1940's Radio Hour

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

I'll Be Back Before Midnight

The Heroic Adventures of Puss N Boots



The Ladies Man



The Hollow

The Drawer Boy

The Mystery of Irma Vep






Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

A Murder is Announced

The Smell of the Kill

Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz



Spider's Web

See How They Run

The Pajama Game


Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

The Andrews Brothers

The Jungle Book



Once on This Island

I Hate Hamlet

Damn Yankees

Unnecessary Farce

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

Forever Plaid

A Bagful of Fables



8 Track: The Sounds of the ‘70s

Leading Ladies

The Mousetrap

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

A Few Good Men

Johnny Guitar

Wiley and the Hairy Man



Almost Heaven: The Music of John Denver

How the Other Half Loves

Ten Little Indians

Fiddler on the Roof

Almost, Maine

The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Treasure Island



Five Guys Named Moe

It Runs in the Family

Murder on the Nile

Annie Get Your Gun

Moonlight and Magnolias

I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett

James and the Giant Peach



I Do! I Do!

Don’t Dress for Dinner

Dial ‘M’ for Murder

South Pacific

Over the River and Through the Woods

Idols of the King




A Grand Night for Singing

Relatively Speaking

They’re Playing Our Song

The Music Man


I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Once Upon a Wolf



The All Night Strut

Bedroom Farce

State Fair


The Nerd

Honky Tonk Angels




Nunsense III: Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree

The Miss Firecracker Contest

Bye Bye Birdie


The Star Spangled Girl

My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra

Charlotte’s Web



Nunsense II: The Second Coming

Barefoot in the Park

The King and I


Steel Magnolias

Always…Patsy Cline

The Secret of the Sea Serpent



The Sunshine Boys

Arsenic and Old Lace

Run For Your Wife

The Wizard of Oz

Breaking Legs

Sex Marks the Spot



You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Perfect Wedding

The Mikado

Chapter Two

Man of La Mancha

Summer Solstice



Pump Boys and Dinettes

No Sex, Please, We're British

The Sound of Music

The Miracle Worker

My Fair Lady

Greater Tuna



Anything Goes

Love, Sex and the I.R.S.

The Taffetas

Moon Over Buffalo

Guys and Dolls




The Foreigner

The World Goes ‘Round

The Odd Couple




Private Lives

Lend Me a Tenor

Something’s Afoot

Driving Miss Daisy

Forever Plaid



A Life in the Theatre

The Dining Room



Tour de Farce



You Can't Take It with You

The Middle Ages

Ain't Misbehavin'

Marvin's Room

Smoke and Mirrors



Wait Until Dark

Mornings At Seven

Bus Stop

Educating Rita

Bye Bye Birdie



Present Laughter

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

Talley's Folly

Chester and Grace

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum



Blithe Spirit


Italian American Reconciliation

Arsenic and Old Lace

1940's Radio Hour



The Mystery of Irma Vep


Play it Again, Sam

Steel Magnolias

They All Do It



Angel Street

Hay Fever

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

'Night, Mother




The Mousetrap

Waltz of the Toreadors

The Music Man

Sister Mary Ignatious Explains It All For You / The Actor's Nightmare

Little Shop of Horrors



Dames at Sea

The Foreigner

The Fantastiks

The Elephant Man

H.M.S. Pinafore



Pump Boys and Dinettes

The Glass Menagerie

Summer Stock Murder

The Seven Year Itch

The Merry Widow



They're Playing Our Song


Kiss Me Kate

On Golden Pond

Pirates of Penzance




Barefoot in the Park

Westward Holmes!


Damn Yankees



I Do! I Do!

Bell, Book and Candle

Where's Charlie?

Witness for the Prosecution

No, No, Nanette



Fiddler on the Roof

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Robber Bridegroom

A Little Night Music

Same Time, Next Year



South Pacific



Ashes of Roses

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum





Something's Afoot

The Miracle Worker

Side by Side by Sondheim



Man of La Mancha

Count Dracula






Guys and Dolls

Two Times Three

110 in the Shade

Capt. Jinks of the Horse Marines

Once Upon a Mattress



Merry Go Round


To Kill a Mockingbird

Little Mary Sunshine





Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Anything Goes


Private Lives




Butterflies Are Free

The Boyfriend


Sweet Charity



The King and I

Plaza Suite


Wait Until Dark




Fiddler on the Roof

The Fantastiks

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Robin Hood

The Bremen Town Musicians