Arts & Culture

How To Get Involved In Connecticut’s Theater Community

July 21, 2014 7:00 AM

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So you want to play a part but aren’t sure how to get involved in Connecticut’s theater community? Well, the good news is that the Nutmeg State has lots of opportunities throughout the state to do so. Looking for inspiration? Whether it’s your local theater or the great theaters that bear the names of some treasured Connecticut icons such as Katharine Hepburn or Eugene O’Neill, you don’t have to travel far to become part of the dynamic theater community. Here are some of the top theaters in Connecticut to get involved in or become a part of.

Regional Theater

Ivoryton Playhouse
103 Main St.
Ivoryton, CT 06442
(860) 767-9520
www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

On the banks of the Connecticut River, in historic Essex, sits one of the state’s cultural icons — the 280-seat Ivoryton Playhouse. For over 100 years, the playhouse was the summer home to Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Betty Grable, Mae West and others. Recently, the entire building has been renovated and became a year-round production facility for professional theater. Get involved by volunteering to usher or help with a special event, by becoming a member, sponsoring or even donating items such as towels for its actor housing needs.

Hartford Stage
50 Church St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 525-5601
www.hartfordstage.org

Fresh off winning four 2014 Tony Awards, Hartford Stage (HS) is buzzing with excitement these days. There are plenty of ways to get involved including auditions, jobs, volunteering and so on, but one of its strengths is the education program, which serves more than 21,000 students annually. Among its abundant education offerings are in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes and after-school programs.

Other prominent regional theaters to consider becoming involved in include The Kate in Old Saybrook, the historic Shubert Theater in New Haven and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford.

Related: Top Outdoor Theaters In Connecticut

Community Theater

Hole In The Wall Theater
116 Main St.
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 229-3049
www.hitw.org

With its origin coming from a “hole-in-the-wall” bookstore, HITW Theater maintains its pay-what-you-can admission policy, although donations of $20 and $25 are suggested. Although overlooked by a Board of Directors, HITW relies solely on the contributions of community members (such as you) for creativity, work and financial support. Its mentality is basically that theater should be available to everyone, through the support of everyone. One can even become a voting member of future productions through attending General Meetings.

Curtain Call
1349 Newfield Ave.
Stamford, CT 06905.
(203) 329-8207
www.curtaincallinc.com

Theater workshops and classes are a fun way to get involved at Curtain Call. Classes are for ages five to adult and happen this fall after school, on evenings and weekends. Self-described as “Fairfield County’s most active community theatre organization,” there are multiple opportunities to get involved, from the needs of year-round plays and musicals such as painting, set building, performing, technical aspects, customer service (box office), ushering, costume help, public relations, marketing and more.

Two Planks Theater Company
Monroe, CT
(203) 246-5991
www.twoplankstheater.org

Are you a rookie and want to dive into theater? TPTC may be a good place to start. It works with novice (and veteran) performers to help them evolve on stage in acting, voice and dance. TPTC is a place that envelopes the love of theater on multiple levels, excels at developing and nurturing talent and is dedicated to helping others become passionate about theatrical arts. Two Planks helps performers develop performing skills, build confidence, gain exposure to theatrical setting and the behind-the-scenes aspects through volunteer opportunities and workshops.

Connecticut Theatre Company
23 Norden St.
New Britain, CT 06051
(860) 223-3147
www.connecticuttheatrecompany.org

Audition for “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Christmas Schooner” or help with ushering, marketing or the fine arts side of theater as an intern, mentor or volunteer. Community teams to get involved in include technical, graphics, house operations, stage crafting and others.

Also to consider is the Ridgefield Theater Barn, located in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Related: Top Indie Movie Theaters In Connecticut

Edward Main is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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