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Contemporary Theater Company Announces the BLACK AND FUNNY Improv Festival

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The festival will feature groups from across the country performing a wide variety of improv as well as local black performers doing a mix of scripted and improvised work

Contemporary Theater Company Announces the BLACK AND FUNNY Improv Festival

"During these times, I think we all can use a good laugh."


This Labor Day, you can get those laughs at The Contemporary Theater Company's 1st Annual Ocean State Black and Funny Improv Festival. The festival runs September 2-5 on their riverfront performance patio in Downtown Wakefield.

For years, the company has hosted the very successful Ocean State Improv Festival with performers from six countries and over a dozen states. Now they are hosting the Ocean State Black and Funny Improv Festival, exclusively featuring performers and teachers of color.

"This is such a fantastic opportunity to showcase some really incredible groups from around the country and right here in Rhode Island," says CTC Artistic Director Tammy Brown. "The Black Improv scene is so vibrant and diverse. We're excited to be able to share that with our local audience."

The Contemporary Theater Company is no stranger to improvised theater ("improv" for short), having produced their short-form showcase Micetro Improv since summer 2012, fully improvised plays like the popular Whodunit? An Improvised Murder Mystery, and the pandemic era's Patio Musical: An Improvised Musical on the Patio.

"I'm so excited to see all the joy and laugher that The Ocean State Black & Funny Festival will bring to Rhode Island," says the festival's Artistic Director Tiffany Fenton, "sharing in the talents of artists from both near and far."


The festival will feature groups from across the country performing a wide variety of improv as well as local black performers doing a mix of scripted and improvised work. On September 2 - 4, there will be nightly shows at 7 pm and 8:30 pm.

There will also be workshops on September 3 - 5 that anyone can register for from headliners at the festival, including Shannon Stott from Austin, Texas on connection, Stephanie Rae from Miami, Florida on musical improv, John Gebretatose from Minneapolis, Minnesota on emotions in improv, and the festival's Artistic Director Tiffany Fenton on taking risks.

"We want to send a clear message that improv is for everyone," says Brown. "By offering high quality workshops and shows, our goal is to encourage a whole new generation of Black Improvisors, and other folks who whose experiences haven't always been reflected on stage."

Stott utilizes improv as a tool to help people connect to themselves and others both on and off the stage. She encourages her students to carry Improv out of their theaters and into their workplaces, homes, and lives.

"The Ocean State Black & Funny Festival at the Contemporary Theater Company will be a great opportunity to showcase the diverse talent in the arts," says Fenton.


Everything at this festival is made up on-the-spot. This makes the festival full of one-of-a-kind experiences that you will not want to miss.

All performances and workshops will be held outside on the theater's performance patio.

For tickets more information about tickets and registration for workshops, visit www.contemporarytheatercompany.com.


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