Our Town Opens At Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town, tonight through October 16 in the Nafe Katter Theatre, Storrs. For tickets and information, call 860-486-4226 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre opens its main stage season with the most produced play of the 20th century, Thorton Wilder's Our Town. One of the most innovative young directors of the 21st century, Robert Ross Parker, of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys, will be directing this allegorical story of "our growing up and our marrying, our living and our dying." Still riveting, relevant, and resonate, the enduring success of this play has been in the magic and beauty of its sheer simplicity and its urgent life-affirming message. Come on home to Our Town.

The role of Stage Manager will be played by Obie Award-winning actor David PatRick Kelly. His Broadway credits include Feste in Twelfth Night , Ilya Ilyich Telegin in Uncle Vanya, and Osip in The Government Inspector. MR. Kelly has appeared at Hartford Stage in Woyzeck, Tartuffe, Othello and Tooth of Crime. In 1998, he received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence. MR. Kelly recently received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination (Outstanding Featured Actor) for his role in When I Come to Die. MR. Kelly appeared as Luther in the 1970's film classic The Warriors. Other film credits include 48 Hrs., Malcolm X, Crooklyn and Flags of Our Fathers. David Lynch created the role Jerry Horne on Twin Peaks for MR. Kelly and his many television guest appearances include Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Spenser: For Hire, Ghostwriter, Third Watch, Hack, Kidnapped, Law & Order, Gossip Girl, and Louie.

UConn Alumna Mary Cadorette also joins the cast as Mrs. Gibbs. Ms. Cadorette is best known for her television show with John Ritter, Three's a Crowd, her performance in 42nd Street on Broadway and her reign as Miss Connecticut 1975.

Our Town allows audiences a unique look into the lives of the inhabitants of Grover's Corner, a small New England town at the turn of the 20th century. The Stage Manager guides the characters and audience through three distinct facets of the human journey: Daily Life, Love, and Death.
Director Robert Ross Parker said, "It's the form that I find so special. I find it exciting to engage with a work that is inherently theatrical. It actively engages the audience's imagination to complete the details in a way that only the live stage can. And that is surprisingly rare."
The Stage Manager opens the play by guiding the audience through the town's daily life, allowing us to experience the feelings of tradition and continuity that pervade life in an early 20th century New England town. We observe the budding friendship, and later marriage, of young Emily Webb and George Gibbs. We are confronted with the parents' coming to terms with the loss of their children and witness a child's fear of getting married and growing up. The brilliant simplicity of Wilder's artistry allows audiences an intimate look into the universal emotional human journey that we all travel.

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Robert Ross Parker (Director) is the co-artistic director of the Obie award-winning Vampire Cowboys with Qui Nguyen (Nguyen, he, and the company were listed among NYtheatre.com's 2004 people of the year.) For Vampire Cowboys he has co-authored and directed Vampire Cowboy Trilogy (published by New York Theatre Experience), and A Beginner's Guide to Deicide. He directed Soul Samurai, Fight Girl Battle World (nominated IT award for best direction, best production, winner best ensemble), Men of Steel, Living Dead in Denmark, and Alice in Slasherland. Other recent directing credits include Goodbye Cruel World (Roundtable Ensemble), Hamlet{solo} (Edinburgh 07, SoloNOVA 08 at PS 122, Canadian tour), Children's Letters to God (national tour), StaiNed Glass Ugly, Slicing Andre, and Lady Convoy (NYC Fringe). At the Toronto Fringe, Robert directed Pseudolus and A Midsummer Night's Dream Project for Cabbagetown Theatre. He was the associate director for Silent Laughter off-Broadway, and the assistant director for High Fidelity on Broadway. For LAByrinth Theatre he co-produced the Barn Series in 2002 & 2003.

The Design team includes: Kailey Hays-Lenihan, Scenic Designer; Maureen Fitzgerald, Costume Designer; Calvin Anderson, Lighting Designer; Michael Freyer, Sound Designer; David Alan Stern, Vocal and Text Coach; and Adrienne Macki-Braconi, Dramaturg.

THE CAST
The cast will feature Equity actors David PatRick Kelly as Stage Manager, David Sitler as Dr. Gibbs, Mary Cadorette as Mrs. Gibbs, Brad Bellamy as Mr. Webb, Carolyn Popp as Mrs. Webb, and Ken O'Brien as Joe Stoddard/Constable Warren/Professor Willard.
Mary Cadorette (Mrs. Gibbs) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from UConn and has worked extensively in theater, television and film. She co-starred with John Ritter as Vicky in the 1980's sitcom Three's A Crowd and her recurring role in the TV sitcom Night Court. Her Broadway credits include 42nd Street directed by Gower Champion (original chorus/Peggy Sawyer understudy in 100+ performances). Her regional theatre credits include South Pacific (Nellie Forbush), Twelfth Night (Viola), Bell, Book and Candle (Gillian Holroyd), Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (Eva). She recently founded Chapeau Rouge Dance Project and works with the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (core faculty), Wesleyan's Center for Creative Youth (annual guest artist) and Glastonbury High School (drama club director/choreographer).
David Sitler (Dr. Gibbs) is making his debut with CRT. He was last seen as Claudius in Hamlet with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in NYC. He's worked on Broadway (An Inspector Calls), National tours, with over 20 companies in the NYC area as well as regionally from Maine to Utah in roles from Atticus to Scrooge. TV work includes Law and Order-SVU, As the World Turns and the award winning films Ghetto Dawg, Synapse and Twelve. He also wrapped a short film In Session earlier this summer.
Carolyn Popp (Mrs. Webb) is making her debut with CRT. Her Off Broadway credits include Emily Tallentire (lead) in the American Premiere of The Hired Man. Her regional theatre credits include Dancing at Lughnasa (Seven Angels), An Inspector Calls (Ivoryton Playhouse), Defiance (Hippodrome), The Miracle Worker (Northern Stage), 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do!, Harvey, Broadway Bound (Surflight Theatre), Footloose (Shenandoah Music Theatre), Carousel (Clarence Brown Theatre), Cabaret (Trump Plaza), and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Union County Playhouse). TV credits include Mrs. Chuck Noblet opposite Stephen Colbert in Comedy Central's Stangers with Candy.
Brad Bellamy (Mr. Webb) is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and an artist in residence at Manhattan Punch Line. He most recently appeared on Off-Broadway in Alphabetical Order and in the Drama Desk nominated So Help Me God. Regional credits include Actors Theatre, The Alliance, Cleveland Play House, The Dallas and Denver Centers, and Long Wharf. Brad's film appearances include Ira and Abby, A Kiss for Jed Wood and Undone. On television he's been seen in It's Not Easy Being Me, Law & Order SVU, Conviction, 30 Rock, and in commercials for AARP, Snickers, Sprint, Nabisco, and many others.
Ken O'Brien (Joe Stoddard, Constable Warren, Professor Willard) appeared in the inaugural production of the Nafe Katter Theatre, Julius Caesar (Cassius) in 2004. A Connecticut resident, he is originally from New Hampshire. He received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and later pursued graduate degrees in Special Education and Administration from Hunter College and SCSU respectively. He received his M.F.A. in Acting from UConn in 2001. Past roles with CRT include Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, Charlie in The Foreigner, and Malvolio in Twelfth Night.
Michael John Improta (George Gibbs) is a junior BFA acting major. His past credits include Dreamplay (Quarantine master/demon chorus member) at the NYC Fringe, Othello (Ciprean Soldier) at the CRT, Antony and Cleopatra (Antony) at the Shakespeare West, Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Chamber Music (Assistant to man in white) and Pippin (Leading player) at the ECA.
Kelsea Baker (Emily Webb) is a senior BFA actor. Her CRT credits include Pride and Prejudice (Lydia Bennet), A Flea In Her Ear (Eugenie) and Othello (Ensemble). Other recent credits include Dog Sees God (C.B.'s Sister), Hole In the Head (Shirley), along with LARK projects including End Times (Penelope) and The Rootwoman (Ms. Janie) written by Prof. Michael Bradford. This summer, Kelsea trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC.
The ensemble cast will also feature BFA actors: Bryan Swormstedt, Hannah Kaplan, Ryan Marcone, Laura Zabbo, Jason Mack, Will Graziano, Adam Schneemann, Coles Prince, Alyson Danielczuk, Kaitlyn Gorman, Krystal Sobaskie, and Jason Mack (Child Actor).
INFORMATION

Please call 860-486-4226 for tickets or for more information. Please call or visit the box office for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change. Tickets available online at www.crt.uconn.edu.

Weeknight evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Weekend evening performances start at 8 p.m. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $6 - $29.

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