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Bravo! An Improvised Musical

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in News | 0 comments

The music soars and the actors all come together for the triumphant finale, which none of them have ever sung before! Everything is created onstage in the moment in the Contemporary Theater Company’s fall production, Bravo! An Improvised Musical, playing October 14 – November 18. Tickets available here. A brand new musical premieres every night as these performers take the stage. Everything is made up on-the-spot, and the actors know nothing about the show before it starts. Bravo! captures that magic and love of musicals with an incredible twist. This is the Contemporary Theater Company’s third fully-improvised play format. They have previously performed audience favorites Slamming Doors: An Improvised Farce and Whodunit? An Improvised Murder Mystery, which will return this January. Bravo! An Improvised Musical takes it to the next level with songs as well as plot, characters, and dialogue all made up on-the-spot. “It’s been incredible listening to the cast in rehearsals,” says stage manager Maggie Cady. “We have such talented musicians creating new songs and the plot of a whole play each night!” The team behind the company’s 2015 production of Sweeney Todd is back together for this brand new project – creating a new musical every night. Directed by Christopher Simpson, music direction by Jean Maxon-Carpenter, assistant directed by Tiffany Fenton, starring Jason Shealy (Sweeney Todd) and Eden Casteel (Mrs. Lovett) alongside Christine Cauchon, Sophie Kreyssig, Clayton Michaud, Ryan Sekac, and Chelsea Swan. “With a project this complex, the level of expertise and creativity required of everyone involved from actors and musicians to the lighting designer and crew is incredible,” says Music Director Jean Maxon-Carpenter. “Instantly creating a new full-length musical every night requires a lot from us all.” How do you rehearse for an improvised show? Cady compares it to athletic training – you work on the skills that you will need in the moment and exercise those muscles. In this case, it is practicing creating lyrics, melodies, and a complete story on the fly. “At a rehearsal we might practice five or six opening numbers in a row set in different locations,” says Cady. “Getting the cast to be able to work together as a team is essential.” Tickets for performances...

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An Iliad

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in News | 0 comments

The Iliad and The Odyssey, attributed to Homer, are among the oldest stories we have. Their tales are timeless – how war tears us apart, and the difficulty of putting life together after. An Iliad, Homer’s work brought to life by a modern storyteller in a one-man show, brings the Greeks and Romans to the stage of the Contemporary Theater Company this fall. Tickets available here. In An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, a modern storyteller relays this classic. A strong anti-war message is at the heart of this play, performed by a single actor and a musician – the muse. Matt Fraza takes on this tour-de-force role, which he has played before. “I first saw An Iliad when I took a group of students to the premiere in 2010,” says Communications Director Maggie Cady. “I fell in love with it then, and I’m so excited that we’re bringing it to our audience now.” The previews for the production, Fridays September 8 – 29 at 7 pm, will be staged on the Contemporary Theater Company’s outdoor performance patio. Fraza has performed and directed for the Shakespeare on the Saugatucket series on the patio and feels very comfortable with the intimate yet open space. These previews will be Pay-What-You-Can. “The gardens stay beautiful throughout the fall, but our patio season had ended in August before,” says Cady. “This show is perfect for the patio because the audience is so close to the actor that it feels like Matt is telling the story directly to you.” In October, An Iliad moves indoors as part of the Contemporary Theater Company’s mainstage season. The set is described as “an empty stage,” a perfect fit for the black box theater. “It’s a beautiful play with a strong message,” says Cady. “An epic story in just an hour and a half.” Tickets for performances available here or by calling 401-218-0282. Previews on the performance patio – Sept 8, 15, 22, 29 at 7 pm Performances in the Theater: Oct 5-6, 12-13, 26-27 at 7...

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