Spring is the season of renewal. After what seemed like an impossibly difficult time for artists, musicians and visionaries, a new season is upon us. Spring 2022 has brought innovation, artistry, and bold choices to stages all across the nation, and Connecticut is no exception. As local theater flourishes, check out these incredible offerings for a refreshing experience we’ve been deprived of for far too long.
Castle Craig Players, 59 W. Main St., Meriden
Meriden’s Community Theater group is bringing classic themes to the stage in a fresh new way. Based on the works of the great late Anton Chekvov, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will keep audiences laughing from start to finish. "It’s a hilarious play, but at the heart of the story is this family who's just trying to get along,” says director Oliver Kochol. Regarding the creative experience, he adds, "I’ve been lucky to have a cast that has really quickly bonded into a family, and they’ve been great to work with." The show, running today through May 22, will be presented cabaret style with table seating. Guests are invited to bring dinner and drinks to enjoy before and during the show.
The Arts at Angeloria’s, 223 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike #4222, Southington
This eclectic arts oasis, located on the Meriden-Southington line, hosts a wide array of events, shows, workshops and more. The upcoming production of the award-winning “La Cage Aux Folles” will run June 4 to 19. Joey Abate, an actor in the upcoming musical, will also soon take on another exciting role within the Arts at Angeloria’s realm – director. After La Cage Aux Folles, the Southington theater will be hosting productions of “God of Carnage” and “In a 1975 Ford Elite” – productions that will be directed by Abate. “After I graduated college in 2020, one of many personal creative goals became to pave the way for more intensive creative workshop opportunities for local artists,” he said.
Abate, whose original play, In a 1975 Ford Elite, is debuting on the Arts at Angeloria’s stage, is excited to gain more directing experience. “This is only the first step in that goal, and I’m very lucky that The Arts at Angeloria’s took a chance on my work and my visions to begin that journey,” he said.
The Seven Eight Dinner Theater, 470 Lewis Ave., Meriden
Meriden’s newest arts and entertainment venue is hosting its first public performance on May 15. As the theater is being constructed in the Meriden Mall, the creative team at the Seven Eight Dinner Theater decided to take their talents on the road with the dance showcase – “Shall We Dance” – at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. The professional dancers in the 78 Dance Company have been collaborating for months to produce this exciting original performance. Victoria Lang, a member of company’s media, marketing and entertainment team, is proud of the group’s progress. “We are so excited to showcase our dancers and all their hard work,” she writes.”It’s amazing to see where they started and where they are now.”
Square Foot Theatre & Tavern, 950 Yale Ave., Wallingford
Square Foot Theatre is known for high-quality shows produced in its “intimate theatre” space where every square foot is utilized. Today through May 22, the family-friendly musical – “Hello, Dolly” – will grace the stage. Guests are encouraged to bring their own food and visit the full bar on the tavern side of the Square Foot space. (Outside beverages are prohibited). While the tavern is reserved for guests over 21, the entire Square Foot Theatre experience is a great activity for audiences of any age.
Perhaps now more than ever, performing arts need the love and support of the community. To help your local artists thrive and enjoy an experience unlike any other, find these theater’s ticket links and treat yourself to art and culture.
Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves and surrounding areas. When she’s not teaching ELA at Washington Middle School she’s either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at firstname.lastname@example.org with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!