210601scl CTCFile

Ari Kassabian, front, and Daria-Lyric Montaquila, in mask, act out their roles as Juliet and Romeo respectively during a 2018 performance of Romeo & Juliet: Shakespeare on the Saugatucket at the Contemporary Theater Company. CTC recently announced a full slate of summer programming.

It’s been a quiet year at The Contemporary Theater Company, but this summer that is going to change. With shows up to six nights a week on their outdoor patio, The Contemporary Theater Company is living up to their motto of “here to play.”

“For me this summer is all about fun and community,” says new Artistic Director Tammy Brown. “We’re embracing the fun and excitement of bringing original shows to life and telling stories in brand new ways.”

The season kicks off with “Patio Musical: An Improvised Musical on the Patio,” which was a hit in the summer of 2020. The cast of improvisers ask the audience for a title, pitch four potential plots based on that title for the audience to vote on, and then perform a brand-new musical where everything from the songs to the characters are made up on-the-spot. This means that every show is completely different.

“I’m so ready for our second season of the patio musical,” says Executive Director Chris Simpson. “For me as a director, drummer, and occasional participant, the challenges never stop and the rewards are unlike anything else! I really hope people will come and check this show out multiple times – it’s an absolute blast.”

Patio Musical opens May 28 and will run on Friday nights at 7 pm until July 11 and then pick back up on Wednesday nights from June 23 – Aug. 25 at 7 pm.

In June, the company will bring back Shakespeare on the Saugatucket, featuring the premiere of “Dearer Than Eyesight: Scenes of Love from Shakespeare,” adapted and written by CTC ensemble members Amy Lee Connell and Julian Trilling. The show plays Fridays – Sundays at 7 p.m. June 18 – July 11.

“We’ve produced a lot of Shakespeare over the years,” says Brown. “I love the idea of taking Shakespeare and re-inventing it with modern context for a modern audience. This is why I was excited to have some of our ensemble members create a new show that explores modern love through a Shakespearean lens.”

June will also feature the return of Monday night jazz concerts on the patio, which have become a weekly favorite among locals. They start June 21 at 7 p.m. and run through the summer.

As Riverfire returns to the Saugatucket River, the theater will have cabarets every Thursday night in July at 8 p.m. featuring music and more from the CTC ensemble and Wakefield Idol favorites.

“Our Christmas Cocktail Cabaret is so fun every year, why not bring the fun and music all the way into the summer!” says Brown.

Each cabaret will have a different theme like “Red, White, and Blue Cabaret,” “A Midsummer Night’s Cabaret,” and “Showtunes Cabaret” with different songs and performers each night.

Frequent performer, director, and teacher Ashley Macamaux is premiering a new, devised, family-friendly clown show called “Fools of Another Nature” featuring Macamaux, Maggie Papa, and Susie Chakmakian. Don’t worry – no scary clowns here. Think more Charlie Chaplin than Bozo.

“When I realized I had knack for clowning, I was 17 or 18,” says Macamaux. “Ten years later, I’ve been able to grow as a person and an artist with the CTC being my main teachers and supporters. So now it’s time to clown!”

The show is being created from scratch and follows three clowns as they have a normal day at home entertaining their imaginary friends, sleeping beside enormous monsters, and falling in love with inanimate objects. Fools of Another Nature plays Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. July 16 – 31.

August brings “Bethel Park Falls” by Jason Pizzarello. The play is a collection of vignettes in a local park that is being sold to a large corporation and how the loss of the community space puts life in perspective for the folks in town. Funny, thoughtful, and poignant, it is perfectly set on the CTC patio.

“We have missed our local community so much this past year,” says General Manager Maggie Cady. “I hope that everyone will come join us for the chance to be together as a community again. Let’s laugh together, sit in wonder together, and talk with our friends and neighbors again on this beautiful patio.”

More information and tickets for all of the show and camps can be found at www.contemporarytheatercompany.com.

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