WAKEFIELD, R.I. — The Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield is throwing back the curtains and letting in the summer sun with a lineup full of comedy and improv.
The first show of the season on the mainstage is The Book Club Play, a comedy written by Karen Zacarías. As the title implies, the play focuses on a book club. According to Maggie Cady, General Manager of The Contemporary Theater Company, the book club members are upper class people who get “taken down a notch” when they start getting filmed for a documentary.
“Things start going kind of awry and their lives start getting put on display,” Cady said. Under the powerful lens of a camera the members start to read different books and reveal their true selves.
The show will be put on every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. from June 21 to July 27.
Audiences won’t have to wait long after the run ends before another comedy, Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire, opens on August 2. Veteran theater-goers may recognize Lindsay-Abaire’s name since his work has been put on at The Contemporary Theater Company in the past.
“The best word to use for it is it’s an adventure,” Cady said of Wonder of the World.
At the center of the play is a woman who leaves her husband and goes on a solo trip to Niagara Falls, where she meets many new people who all have their own weird quirks. There’s spies, boats, secrets, a love story, and, ultimately, chaos.
The show will take over the 7 p.m. slot on Friday and Saturday nights until August 31.
Cady said they like to put on comedies during the summer since it gives people something to laugh about after a long day at the beach.
The theater is also launching an exciting and entirely improvised new project this summer with a serial soap opera. Every Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. there’ll be a new showing of To Be Continued… An Improvised Soap Opera.
“Much like a real soap opera, the story builds every week,” says Cady. “You can watch these characters over the course of the summer and what happens to them. But every episode stands on its own as well, so you can jump in for any show and have a great time!”
Cady said the actors have about as much idea about what will happen next as the audience does.
“We just know who we are, and then take it from there,” she said.
For those who want to keep up from week to week, the theater has season tickets available. At 6 p.m. before every soap opera there’ll be live music from the local group Anamcara, made up of DJ Collin Van Pelt and Wakefield Idol judge Katrina Fortier. The patio bar will also be open beforehand where people can sit, relax, and admire the town’s Riverfire.
Not only is the theater offering new entertainment, they’ve also made some exciting changes to the patio where Shakespeare on the Saugatucket is performed every Wednesday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
“We expanded the patio this spring, so there’s more gardens and more space for audiences and the show,” Cady said. “It’s really transformed the space, and we can’t wait to perform out there!”
Throughout July there will be a showcase of Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Henry IV, Part I will play through August. Though Cady said the new gardens give the patio a more secluded feeling, it’s still in the middle of town and people strolling by can stop and watch the performance.
For the eighth summer in a row, the theater will put on a weekly improv show, Micetro, at 9:30 p.m. every Friday. Improvisers will compete every week for the chance to claim the title of Micetro for themselves.
With six shows offered every week, there are plenty of options to draw anyone out for a night at the theater.