theater | Connecticut Public Radio


Mike Lavoie.

There aren't that many jokes in the US Constitution. Either that, or there are too many, and they're all on us. Comedian Colin Quinn says most of you have never even read it. Who's gonna read something four pages long in this day and age?

Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

An Ode to Opera

Nov 6, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, the New York City Opera-- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

Connecticut Lyric Opera

Wagner's opera, "The Flying Dutchman," will get its Connecticut premiere this weekend, 170 years after the opera made its debut in Dresden, Germany. The Connecticut Lyric Opera will present Wagner's early masterpiece Friday night at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and Saturday night at the Middletown High School Arts Center.

T. Charles Erickson

We’ve become full-time fame seekers. Admit it: no matter what age, walk of life, or social standing, just being friended or liked by no one in particular makes our day. We create online personas, instantly publish, and look to find inspiration from the reality television that surrounds us. There, we can root for real cops, middle-class castaways, and cut-throat cooks. 

A New Take on an Ancient Greek Play

Oct 9, 2013
Gerry Goodstein

In performance now through October 13 at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the University of Connecticut is "Big Love," a play by Charles Mee. "Big Love" is an adaptation of an ancient Greek play. Joining WNPR News to talk about the production is reporter Ed Wierzbicki, who reviewed the show here and also talked about playwright Mee, the challenge of this production, and the outline of the story. 

Gerry Goodstein

The past and present intersect in the plays of Charles Mee. Known for taking those hefty Greek tragedies and re-imagining them for today’s audiences, his works like "Big Love" ask us—no, challenge us--to give some serious personal thought to our social responsibility as citizens.

Collective Consciousness Theatre

The tenth annual Arts for Healing Festival began on Wednesday. Yale New Haven Children's Hospital created the festival to feature art, music, poetry and performances by patients and health care providers.

OC Always/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

If you want to know how to act, our show is featuring free on-air acting lessons from Long Wharf Theater's award-winning artistic director Gordon Edelstein. Use Gordon's tips to gain acting chops.

Chion Wolf

He's widely recognized as Alcide from HBO's 'True Blood,' but did you know Joe Manganiello is a classically-trained actor who graduated from Carnegie Mellon? Or that he inhabited the role of Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams' iconic 1947 play "A Streetcar Named Desire," multiple times before landing his gig as a tall, brown-eyed lupine?

Chion Wolf

It just goes on and on. We're in New Haven today where the Yale Rep is getting ready to mount a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," but there's already one playing in Dublin at the Gate. There probably hasn't been one year in the last 50 when there wasn't a significant staging of this play.

(I)NTERVIEW: Damon Scott

Jul 2, 2013
CPBN Media Lab

 Damon Scott hosts a morning show-style afternoon radio program on 96.5 TIC-FM.  Originally from Hoisington, Kansas, he settled down in Essex, CT.  His ongoing success as the afternoon radio personality on 96.5 has opened the door for many more opportunities.  He owns his own creative services business, providing voiceover services for clients like Madison Square Garden.  He was also the first person to ever introduce a group at the Meadows, now called the Comcast Theater, and has since continued introducing bands and performers on a regular basis.

Hartford's outdoor concert season is about to start. And while that's fun for a lot of people, some call it a scheduled mass casualty event. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, binge drinking is a serious concern for law enforcement and public health officials.

PMO, Flickr Creative Commons

Jill Sobule has visited the Colin McEnroe Show, and what came out of it was one of our favorite shows to date. Now, she's teaming up with comedian Julia Sweeny, best known as a writer and actress for Saturday Night Live, to talk about their upcoming "Jill & Julia Show" at the Mark Twain House.

This conversation includes talk about choosing a new Pope, packing lightly, harmonizing, and self-doubt. And, of course, Jill sings a few requests.

A Second Act For Connecticut's Theaters

Feb 7, 2013
Chion Wolf

The Shubert Theater in New Haven turns 100 next year - At one time it was a test stage for future Broadway shows, but since then has struggled to make ends meet, and now the city wants to hand over operations and expenses to a private company.

But the Shubert’s a success story, in that it survived the wrecking ball, while other, once thriving performance and movie houses have fallen to pieces, long ago torn down and forgotten.

Jonathan McNicol photo

Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, joins Faith to talk The Killing of Sister George, the classic farce which brings Academy Award-nominee Kathleen Turner back to the Long Wharf’s stage as director and star. Plus, Gina Barreca returns for our continuing series on the seven deadly sins. This time: gluttony.

J Holt

Teaching business can be a pretty rigorous discipline, and sometimes a bit dry. But Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business has embraced an unconventional teaching tool - one that involves its professors taking to the stage. WNPR’s J Holt has this report.

In the black box theater at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Performing arts, the cast of Glengarry Glen Ross is taking their places backstage as a sold out crowd assembles in the lobby, and after a final check of the lights, 

Alistair Highet “And, I guess that’s it.”  

Dancing In The Big City

Jul 12, 2012
Christopher Duggan

The dance ensemble, the Brian Brooks Moving Company returns to Wesleyan University for a pair of performances tonight and tomorrow night at Wesleyan's Center for the Arts Theater in Middletown. On the program is the New England premier of his new work Big City. The dance company has performed all of the world. Joining us by phone this morning is dancer and choreographer Brian Brooks. 

Chion Wolf

Every summer, a world of arts and ideas descends on New Haven Connecticut - and we're here to take a look and a listen.

Today, we're broadcasting live from The Study at Yale - a beautiful, modern hotel, right in the heart of the city on Chapel Street.  We're only a block from a few of Yale's terrific art galleries. But honestly, during the Festival of Arts and Ideas, art is everywhere.  

Chion Wolf

(Before we go any further, this will explain why Pat Sajak is in Connecticut and, for that matter, on The Colin McEnroe Show.) Click on the audio to hear Pat Sajak and two of his friends talk about their lives, Hawaii Five-O and other pressing topics. 

Joan Marcus, with permission

Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre have received the largest financial gift in their history.  The funds will support the creation of new plays and musicals for the American stage.

The $18 million gift will permanently endow Yale’s ongoing new plays program, says Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy. 

"To our knowledge, it’s the largest gift in the history of the American Theatre specifically for programming, which is to say that funds from the endowment will go to the commissioning, development and production of new plays."

Flickr Creative Commons, Jay Erickson

Three former prisoners at Niantic's York Correctional Institution are staging a play mixing Dante’s Inferno with real life prison stories. WNPR’s Patrick Skahill has more.

When Lynda Gardner was sent to jail for larceny in 2005, she didn't think she'd be reciting lines from Dante's Inferno.  She just thought she was in hell.

"I woke up in York and decided for the first six months I was going to kill myself," Gardner said. " I felt dead."

Lanny Nagler/TheaterWorks

There is a remarkable play at TheaterWorks in Hartford about the life of one of America's greatest painters, Mark Rothko, and his struggle to be heard and seen in the way he hoped to be understood. And a look at the art and psychology of fashion with Bruce Clements and a fashion psychologist.

T. Charles Erickson/Long Wharf Theatre

We look at the play on now in Connecticut — Bell, Book and Candle. And the novel, The Variations, about a catholic priest, is featured.

T. Charles Erickson/Long Wharf Theatre

Enjoy the power of music with Faith: the life stories of Mick Jagger and Roseanne Cash, and the world premiere of the musical February House at Long Wharf Theatre.

Long Wharf photo gallery

It's dangerous business adapting a film as iconic as It's a Wonderful Life for the stage. For one thing, you're begging audiences (and reviewers alike) to compare your new adaptation to the source material, even to reassess the source material itself at every turn. Those comparisons and reassessments are nothing approaching fair, but they happen anyway. So let's dispense with as much of that as we possibly can at the top here.

Goodspeed Project Boosts East Haddam

Dec 30, 2011

In East Haddam, Goodspeed Musicals has created an Artists’ Village – they believe the only one of its kind in the country. The 17 new houses will serve visiting cast members for productions at the Opera House. As WNPR’s Sarah Miner reports, the project also aims to re-ignite the spirit of a historic district.

"Let's go in here....This is the Joffray House  ..This is a six bedroom house....”

There are certain formulas you get used to if you regularly see any amount of dramatic theater. One of them starts with a Renaissance play that would’ve been seen as ribald when it was new. To that, a production adds whatever it needs to to make the play reek with ribaldry in the present day: vulgar language; vulgar humor of the sexual and toilet and anatomical varieties; even vulgar, outsized anatomical touches themselves, through makeup and costuming.