CTC set to roll out a slew of returning favorites this winter | Arts & Living

WAKEFIELD, RI – As the COVID Omicron virus spreads across the state, the Contemporary Theater Company is taking certain precautions to delay the start of some winter productions.

“We have decided to push back the start of our 2022 season to try to avoid the worst of this wave,” the theater said in a recent announcement.

Wakefield Idol will now debut on January 27. The 17th annual 24-hour game festival is scheduled for February 5, and “Whodunit? An Improvised Murder Mystery” returns February 12 to the stage on Saturday.

Wakefield Idol

Wakefield Idol, from January 27 to April 14, is a karaoke-style singing competition where local singers compete for a cash prize of $1,500. In the final rounds, as the competition intensifies, the public votes to see who continues.

Strutting around and teasing the crowd with your talent – even when there are few or none – always invites large audiences to see the brave local souls parade through Wakefield Idol each year.

This usual 12-week show has the enduring appeal of “reality TV” in a live theater that draws crowds. It also captures the contestants’ embrace of praise, criticism and vulnerability in their quest for recognition as they search for Wakefield’s own gold ring in this knockoff of the American Idol TV series.

“It’s really about people who have extraordinary talent, even extraordinary passion, but who have other jobs. It’s a chance for them to show off their musical talent on stage to their neighbors,” said CTC Artistic Director Chris Simpson.

Even though the raw talent can sometimes make the faces of understanding viewers blush, it can be a launching pad for strangers or a place where people can let out a repressed artist inside of themselves.

“Come, be a local or local or whatever it is, get out there, share your skills, your talent, your passion… other locals want to experience what you have to offer,” said he said, peddling the program in his other role as chief theater promoter.

Maggie Cady, general manager of the theatre, said. “In our seven seasons so far, we’ve had people who have never sung in front of people before alongside people who sing every day. a good moment !

The show often sells out, so many people get subscriptions for the whole tour, she added.

“It’s great to see people coming in every week,” Cady said. “We have couples, groups of friends and parents with their children who have a night out together every week.”

24 hour gaming festival

The 17th annual 24-Hour Games Festival kicks off Feb. 5 with five plays and five writers who, in 24 hours, draw 15 fully rehearsed actors into these productions as the deadline approaches.

“The 24-Hour Play Fest is one of my favorite days of the year,” says CTC Artistic Director Tammy Brown. “We get to remember that the seemingly impossible is within reach!”

Maggie Cady, one of the directors of this year’s festival, said the around-the-clock design of the performance puts pressure on everyone, including the need to stay awake for part of the time to get the job done. .

“In the morning, the writers are either frantically trying to finish or they’ve fallen asleep,” she said.

“It’s exciting to get a first look at these pieces that didn’t exist six hours ago, and then to see on the show that night how the production crews took them in directions I wouldn’t have. never could have imagined,” she added.

Last year, the festival was virtual, and the 24-hour clock started behind the scenes, showing more preparation thanks to live streaming.

A lingering pandemic has kept the main theater closed. So CTC tried something different by going live in this show designed around writing, casting and producing six original 10-minute pieces created and performed in one day.

There were scrambles, hikes and brambles entwining the 40 writers, actors, directors and technical staff. They will put together six original 10-minute presentations that will air live beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday night and ending at 8 p.m. for the 24-hour round trip of production.

This type of performance involves 10-minute pieces and has steadily grown in popularity. They have appeared in schools, community theaters and professional productions for the past 30 years across the country.

24-hour plays have also long been known on the Broadway and off-Broadway circuits. The hallmark is their incredible work bringing artists together to create time-limited theatre.

Typically, a rehearsal process involves sorting through each moment and questioning each blocking choice, each gesture. In the 24 hour theater there is no time for questions.

Everyone involved must make a choice and stick to it because by tomorrow, the play will be just a memory. This makes these types of performances particularly fun to watch unfold.

Actors are trained to stay in character and keep the audience oblivious to dropped lines and missed blocking.

When the rehearsal process has barely allowed the actors to memorize their lines, let alone fully digest the character, audiences are better able to see the all-too-human moments of imperfection.

Detective story? An improvised murder mystery

This annual classic begins on Saturday, February 12 and ends on April 9. It focuses on thrillers with a twist: everything is improvised. The actors weave webs of secrets, deception and mystery through a different murder each week.

The program has always brought laughs, surprises, and fun storylines to the audience. “WhodunIt” is a murder mystery with over-the-top characters and personalities vying for your attention.

In 2020, just before the pandemic halted the production’s theatrical run — which is now returning for the first time in two years — she brought a few bootleggers, socialites, prohibitionists, spiritualists and minions making up an entire room on location.

It was the year to look back and bring back the 1920s with all the glitz, glamor and pizzazz that came with it.

The goal is for the audience to come to their own conclusions about the identity of the group’s killer and watch the story twist and turn to its climax.

So who is the target audience for this show and for improvisation in general at the CTC? Don’t ask Cady because she’s learned over the years that all kinds of audiences flock to the theater to see where the night will take them.

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