The Summer Theatre of New Canaan

About Us

The Summer Theatre of New Canaan ( enriches local communities with a professionally produced theatre experience.

  • New Canaan, CT


The Summer Theatre of New Canaan (STONC) enriches local communities with a professionally produced theatre experience, providing exciting performances for multigenerational audiences as well as learning opportunities for many of the region’s talented performers and technicians who work alongside professional performers and production staff.

Programs Include:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
The Summer Theatre of New Canaan is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness. As a leader in performance and education in the arts we strive to bring together a diverse team of artists and staff.

Individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and talent that our artists and staff invest in their work represents not only part of our culture, but our reputation and Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s achievement as well.

In recruiting for our team, we seek out the unique contributions that are brought in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.


Melody Meitrott Libonati, Artistic Director

As a professional director, actress and educator, Melody has performed leading roles on Broadway, National Tours and regional theatre companies. She held a running role on the soap opera, One Life to Live and has been featured in numerous national and regional TV commercials. She has also sung on award winning radio and TV jingles.


Melody Meitrott Libonati

As a director, Melody has staged many plays and musicals utilizing professional, student and local talents. For Summer Theatre of New Canaan, she has directed twelve shows including Cinderella, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music, Big River, West Side Story, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Singing in the Rain, and the 2023 blockbuster Beauty and the Beast.

Melody wrote and produced a pilot TV program, “Melody’s Drama Rama Kids”, adapted from her pre-school creative play program taught in New York City and Connecticut.

She is the founding director of The Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan which features a staff of professional performance instructors who teach private classes in voice, piano, guitar, dance and acting as well as group classes in musical theatre, voice, dance and acting. The Conservatory’s goal is to awaken, nurture and grow each student’s creative abilities in the performing arts by offering professional training, workshops, and exciting performance opportunities. Melody holds a teaching degree from Ithaca College in Drama-Speech and is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA.

Melody’s “favorite things” are her family; Edward, Allegra, Christian, Brett, Ella and Everly.

Ed Libonati, Executive Director 

Ed is one of the original team creating the Summer Theatre of New Canaan. Prior he was founding partner of Brandloft, a branding and communications agency based in Connecticut. Ed also co-created and was the CEO of ICR Network, an international advertising agency, with companies in the United States and Europe. He is a multi-award-winning TV commercial, film, TV Director, writer and producer. He has directed hundreds of commercials, many with celebrities and stars.

Ed has produced and directed jazz, pop and R&B music videos and TV shows plus numerous corporate films. As an on-camera advertising consultant for CNN, Ed commented on advertising trends and campaigns. He has been interviewed on TV & radio talk shows, in numerous trade magazines and featured in USA TODAY. Ed has participated in TV advertising trade panels, hosted award ceremonies, and given college, advertising club and community talks. He was also awarded an Ithaca College Communications Ceracche Outstanding Alumnus award.


Ed Libonati

Active in both the CT arts and community service, Ed serves on the Board of Directors for the Summer Theatre of New Canaan (CT). He is also an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. Ed has helped raise funds and has promoted local non-profits with commercials, videos or producing events for organizations like the Norwalk Aquarium and Maritime Center, Stamford Center for the Arts, the YMCA of New Canaan, New Canaan Horizons, The Pro Arte Singers, The First Presbyterian Church, The Labyrinth of Connecticut, The New Canaan Nature Center, The Powerhouse Theatre and New Canaan Country School. He is an avid sailor (at least once a year). Over the past 20 years with the Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Ed is inspired to create a performing arts center that will evolve and thrive in our exciting transforming and increasingly immersive culture.

Board of Trustees

Melody Libonati, Chair
Kimberly Jodka, Secretary
Warner Depuy
Adrienne Hepler
Ed Libonati
Robert Miller

Cathy Mishkin
Clement Pascarella
Janelle Robinson
Jeff Serkes
Olena Sharavarnyk

Artists Council

Lucy Arnaz
Laura Benanti
Harry Connick Jr.
George Faison
David Friedman
Peter Gallagher
Paul Gallo
Tony Goldwyn
Debbie Gravitte

Mark Jacoby
Jane Musky
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Kelli O’Hara
Suzie Pillare
Stephen Schwartz
Tommy Tune
Chip Zien