Frank Karpowicz’s architect rendering of the 2017 vision; riverfront performance patio scheduled for completion Sept 2015
Contemporary Theater

WAKEFIELD – The Contemporary Theater Company has long been surprising audiences and the community with its bold and ambitious moves. The company is thrilled to announce the purchase of riverfront property adjacent to the theater that they have occupied in Downtown Wakefield since 2012.

The purchase and upcoming renovation of the property at 321 Main Street is the keystone of a $390,000 expansion for the company that will include, most notably, a riverfront patio for outdoor performances set to open September 20, 2015, pending a successful capital campaign.

“After ten years of growing into a major part of the arts landscape in Rhode Island, we are on the verge of establishing a meaningful and permanent home where we can do more for and with our community than ever before,” says Artistic Director Christopher J Simpson.

The company is already 72.7% funded toward their total goal for 2015 through a silent phase of fundraising, and now turn to the community for further support. An anonymous donor has pledged a $30,000 matching challenge. As a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit, all donations to the theater are tax-deductible.

“If we are able to raise $30,000 by May 31, every dollar will be matched,” says Managing Director Marissa Dufault. “This $60,000 will provide the funds needed to install the beautiful riverfront performance plaza.”

Design and engineering for the riverfront performance patio has been donated by Landscape Architect and Civil Engineer Richard Bourbonnais, who says he is “excited to contribute a meaningful and lasting design that will strengthen our community and forever enhance our town’s access to both nature and the arts.”

The plaza will host music and theatrical events open to the public. The new facility will also allow for dramatically expanded educational offerings, new rehearsal space, costume and prop storage/workshop, and an artist residence.

The addition of the performance plaza will enhance the draw of the theater and expand what Downtown Wakefield has to offer to locals and tourists alike.

“I love working with the CTC,” says Ken Tetzner, owner of Phil’s Main Street Grill. “They’ve brought a ton of energy to Main Street and really helped expand the nightlife down here.  I’m glad to see them doing well and look forward to continuing to partner with them in the future.”

Over the last ten years, the company has grown from producing three nights of one show in 2005 to staging eight full mainstage productions and hundreds of second stage performances in 2015. The company employs four full-time and three part-time staff members who lead over 100 volunteers.

“This new facility at 321 Main Street will transform the CTC’s capacity to educate, empower, and enlighten all members of our community,” says Board of Directors President Terry Simpson.

Since moving to Main Street in 2012, the Contemporary Theater Company has become a key part of the revitalization of Downtown Wakefield, driving patrons to local businesses and attracting visitors to the area.

“The Contemporary Theater Company has brought so much positive change to Main Street and revitalized our business district,” says Dove and Distaff owner Carla Davis. “I anticipate their riverfront performance space will bring even more traffic to our local shops and restaurants.”

In just a few months, Main Street will be bustling with people listening to music and enjoying the Wakefield Village Association’s Thursday night River Fire events from the Contemporary Theater Company’s performance patio.

Tickets for performances and information about charitable donations are available online at or by calling 401-218-0282.

Click here for information about donating to the theater.