First Annual OCEAN STATE IMPROV FESTIVAL at the Contemporary Theater Company Announced

You walk into a dark, mysterious room with no idea what might happen... and an entire night of entertainment effortlessly unfolds before you. A typical evening for a theatergoer, but a far less common experience for the actors themselves.

The Contemporary Theater Company embraces the excitement of the unknown with the international 1st Annual Ocean State Improv Festival, June 7-11.

Twenty-eight troupes from nine different states and six countries perform thirteen shows over five days. With a schedule packed with Rhode Island favorites alongside world-class visiting artists, this new festival launches the summer season with a bang.

"Improvised theater has a long and glorious history, from ancient fireside storytelling to 16th century Commedia Dell'Arte, to theater games and modern incarnations like 'Whose Line Is It Anyway"', says CTC Artistic Director Christopher J Simpson. "We've been inventing live entertainment throughout the ages, and the tradition is as alive and glorious as ever."

The Contemporary Theater Company is no stranger to improvised theater ("improv" for short), having produced their short-form showcase "Micetro Improv at the CTC" every Friday at 9:30 pm since summer 2012. In recent years they've delved into more ambitious projects like Slamming Doors, last summer's full-length improvisEd French Farce, and winter 2017's Whodunit: An Improvised Murder Mystery.

"Improvised plays have given the company new energy - no one else in the northeast is pursuing them the way we are," says Ashley Macamaux, Associate Artistic Director. "As an actor, it's unbelievably challenging, positive, and rewarding to improvise a full-length play."

Audiences are responding to the improv, too. Whodunit sold so well that the company added three extra showings.

The festival will feature numerous genres and styles of improv, from a 45-minute Shakespearean-style play to a twenty-minute improvised comic book. Newport's award-winning troupe "The Bit Players" will be featured on Wednesday night, and the Austin, TX foursome "Paralellogramophonograph" (PGraph, for short) will be the centerpiece, with hour-long plays on both Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm.

"PGraph was here in 2015, and their performances were among the most delightful shows ever on our stage," said CTC Communications Director Maggie Cady. "I'm so glad they're coming back!"


Everything at this festival is made up on-the-spot. This makes the festival full of one-of-a-kind experiences, and the talent is through the roof.

RI Natives Ben Rameaka and Molly Lloyd will be featured at the festival as well, representing the New York-based Upright Citizen's Brigade, where they both regularly teach and perform in their group Airwolf.

For tickets more information, visit www.contemporarytheatercompany.com.

Calendar of Events

Micetro Improv

Every Friday at 9:30 pm
Our troupe of improvisers make up scenes and songs on-the-spot. It's fun, it's real, and every performance is truly unique! The players vie for your vote to be the Micetro Champion and win the coveted Bucci Helmet!

Tickets: $8, Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

Fairy Tea Party

May 21 at 2 pm

Enjoy a magical afternoon of tea, snacks, and treats amongst the flowers at one of the Contemporary Theater Company's favorite events of the year. Fairies lead little ones on a scavenger hunt around the Kinney Azalea Gardens! Come with the family or have a fun afternoon with friends and let your inner fairy out!

Tickets: Adult - $25, Children - $15, Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, 2391 Kingstown Rd, Kingston, RI 02881

Wakefield Idol Summer Concert

June 4 at 4:30 pm

The best of the best are back for one afternoon in a Wakefield Idol Concert! This fundraiser for the Contemporary Theater Company brings together your favorite singers from the last several seasons of Wakefield Idol for an afternoon of amazing music on the beautiful performance patio!

Tickets: $30 Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company Performance Patio, 321 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

June 16-17, 22-24, 29-30, July 1, 6-8 at 7 pm

This anti-fascist farce by Italian playwright Dario Fo delves into the political realm where you never know if you can trust what those in charge claim. Did an anarchist fall from the window of a police interrogation room? Or was he pushed? The authorities wouldn't lie to a reporter, would they? This physical, clown-infused comedy is perfect for our shifting political landscape.

Tickets: Adult - $25, Student - $15, Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Can ($18 in advance)

Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

Shakespeare on the Saugatucket

Wednesdays and Sundays in July and August at 7 pm

Enjoy the beautiful words of the Bard under the stars and amongst the flowers on the Contemporary Theater Company's Performance Patio situated on the banks of the Saugatucket River. This year we tackle love in all forms with All's Well That Ends Well in July and Cymbeline in August.

Tickets: Free, Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com,

The Contemporary Theater Company Performance Patio, 321 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean

July 14-15, 21-22, 27-29, Aug 3-5, 10-12 at 7 pm

One Man, Two Guvnors is a hilarious reshaping of the classic comedy Servant of Two Masters! Down on his luck, Francis Henshall suddenly finds himself at the beck and call of two employers - rivals in the local mob scene. As Francis frantically tries to keep everything straight, the twists, turns, and confusions mount for a stupendous night of fun!

Tickets: Adult - $25, Student - $15, Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Can ($18 in advance)

Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

Farm Dinner

July 20, Cocktails at 6 pm, Dinner at 7 pm

An evening of great food, company, and entertainment on the beautiful performance patio behind the Contemporary Theater Company. Enjoy a locally-sourced three-course meal featuring ingredients from several Rhode Island farms, cocktails, and music on the banks of the Saugatucket River tucked away in the heart of Downtown Wakefield.

Tickets: $55 Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company Performance Patio, 321 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

Slamming Doors: An Improvised Farce

Aug 18-19, 24-26, 31, Sept 1-2 at 7 pm

Slamming Doors was so much fun last year, it's back by popular demand! A full-length farce is created on-the-spot before your eyes. The actors know nothing about the characters, plot, or lines until they step onstage - it's all made-up in the moment with all the twists and turns you love in farces!

Tickets: Adult - $25, Student - $15, Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Can ($18 in advance)

Box Office: 401-218-0282, Website: http://contemporarytheatercompany.com, Email: info@thecontemporarytheater.com, The Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879

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