Meet Meghan Covington: Co-Founder of River’s Edge Theatre Co.
Theater is an integral part of our lives. One company that is paving the way for kids and adults to have access to the arts is Westchester-based River’s Edge Theatre Co. Created by performers and husband-and-wife team, Meghan and David Covington, the non-profit theater company was developed as a way to create thought-provoking and accessible theater to the Rivertowns and beyond. At only three years old, they have done this (and much more!) by offering a fun roster of classes (for kids and adults), a summer camp, a play reading series, and, recently, a permanent space to call home in Hastings-on-Hudson! Read on to learn more about this mama of three and more about the River’s Edge Theatre Co.
Westchester Family: How did the idea for River’s Edge Theatre Co. come about?
Meghan Covington: The idea for River’s Edge came from a deep yearning to make theatre again after a long break. Theatre and acting took a back burner for me when I had my first baby (and then two more!).
Once I knew I was done having babies, I was aching to come back to it. BUT the lifestyle of an actor and the lifestyle of a mom don’t mix very well. It’s tough to do both!
I thought that maybe starting my own company in my own community would allow me to make theatre on my terms. I also didn’t just want to be an actor. I thought it would be nice to use theatre as a vehicle to do some good in my community and inspire social change. And that’s when River’s Edge was born with the mission to reflect the human experience, spark, conversation, and inspire social change.
Westchester Family: What are some ways you are building your theater community in Westchester?
Meghan Covington: We have built a pretty strong theatre community over the last few years, and that part has been relatively easy to do. Once you say you are starting a theatre company, the theater people start to come out of the woodwork!
There are so many wonderful actors, playwrights, directors, and theatre lovers in Westchester, and we try to connect with them all through play readings, classes, and our productions. It’s nice to see the children build their own connections too. The kids in our classes really have bonded over theatre, and that deep sense of connection will hopefully grow with them. Now that we have a new space I hope it becomes even easier for all of us to gather together to collaborate and connect.
Westchester Family: Tell us more about your productions and the classes you offer at River’s Edge Theatre Co?
Meghan Covington: Our mission is to reflect the human experience, spark conversation, and inspire social change. Our productions tend to be a little edgy or unique. We believe theatre is a powerful tool. When faced with our own reflection, we can learn. We can evolve. We can become willing participants in shaping our cultural landscape.
River’s Edge Theatre Company invites theatergoers to step to the outer limits of their comfort zone as we shed light on some of society’s most pressing issues. And to support our mission to inspire social change, we like to give a percentage of the ticket sales to other non-profit organizations that are making positive changes in the world. We have raised money for local non-profits such as Feeding Westchester, The Mental Health Association of Westchester, and Family to Family (just to name a few).
In addition to our performances, we offer theatre education classes for kids and adults of all skill levels. We embrace the social emotional benefits of theatre making and allow students to collaborate in a fun and nurturing environment. Classes are process driven. It’s all about the journey, not the destination. We encourage students to hone their craft, connect to their peers, and explore their creative self through theatre arts.We have expanded our offerings in our new space, so now students can choose from a wide variety of classes – acting, improv, playwriting, and stage make up/costume design. We are also offering summer camps!
Westchester Family: You recently got your own physical space! What are some of your goals in the space?
Meghan Covington: Having a new space gives us so much more freedom. We had been hopping around renting space for classes and rehearsals, so now that we have the studio we can use our time and energy to create more theatre!
We are expanding class offerings, hosting play readings, and we may even host a fully staged production in the space – something intimate and for a smaller audience. We already love to make theatre in unconventional spots like coffee shops and parking lots, so a studio space can totally work as a performance venue with the right script!
Westchester Family: You co-founded the company with your husband, David. What was that process like and how did you find your groove working together to build the company?
Meghan Covington: My husband David has been extremely supportive from the beginning. Getting the company up and running has been more work than I anticipated. Most of my experience in theatre has been on stage or in the classroom, so producing shows, fundraising, and marketing has been a learning experience for me. David’s background in arts administration definitely helps.
While I am more hands on in the process, he is always there to pick up the slack or give advice or to simply tell me to take some deep breaths. We make a good team.
Westchester Family: What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester?
Meghan Covington: One of the best things about Westchester is all the nature. We love to go on hikes, bike rides, nature walks as a family. And as a couple David and I love to have dinner out by the river. Something about being by the water is so soothing to the soul. We just love to be on the Hudson!
Westchester Family: What can we expect from River’s Edge in 2023- and beyond!
Meghan Covington: 2023 will be our busiest year yet! We have not officially announced our shows for the season yet, but I will say that we will be doing an outdoor show this summer with our ArtsPartner Irvington Theater, and we will be producing an immersive theatre piece in the fall at Bethany Arts Community in Ossining.
In addition to those larger productions, we will be hosting monthly play readings at our studio space. We are calling that reading series Cold Reads because actors will be reading without rehearsal! It’s an exciting way to experience a play. There are also more classes and camps in the new space!
Westchester Family: Anything else to add?
Meghan Covington: When we started this company we had no idea what the response would be, but here we are three plus years later (pandemic and all!) and we are thriving! I am just so grateful to be living my dream in such a supportive community. My heart is full of gratitude.