Curtain Call: Theaters keep on giving — how about you?

Giving Day is coming. On March 1, Giving Day, “powered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” will mark its fifth year for the marathon fund-raising event. All you have to do is contribute $10 or more to your favorite non-profit at

Hoping to upgrade its sound system, the Ridgefield Theater Barn is one of the non-profits hoping to benefit from the event. The theater is asking that donations be made on March 1 during its Impact Vine Hour, 10 to 11 a.m., or at any time during that day. Considering how much our community theaters give to us, this is the perfect time to give back. Really, just a $10 donation goes a long way for this community fund-raising drive.


Phoenix Stage Company: When the Phoenix Stage Company was located in Naugatuck, it was selected as one of six theaters throughout the United States to be a part of the American Association of Community Theatre’s AACT NewPlayFest in 2014. It was an honor then, when the theater was a small, 70-seat theater in a storefront space in a strip shopping center. Now in its new home in Oakville, which is a larger venue and has a much larger staging area, Phoenix Stage Company has been given the distinct honor of being the first theater to be selected a second time for this honor.

According to the Phoenix, AACT’s festival is a national event that takes place over a two-year time period. Not many theaters are able to read new plays and produce them, but playwrights cannot get their plays published if they are not produced. AACT has an agreement with the Dramatic Publishing Company. The winning plays of the festival are published in Dramatic Publishing’s anthology.

Here’s how it works: AACT will send six new plays to the Phoenix, which will rank what it considers its top four. The Phoenix will then get assigned one of the top-rated plays. Ed Bassett, general manager and artistic director of the Phoenix, expects to announce the new play and performance dates sometime in October.

The NewPlayFest is in keeping with the Phoenix’s own commitment to new works, and recently released its call for new works submissions for consideration in the 2020 New Work Project. Congratulations to Ed Bassett, the Phoenix Stage Company and all who make the AACT event possible. It’s a great opportunity for a local community theater to gain national recognition as well as a national reputation. Bravo!

‘Music Man’ auditions

Mark your calendars for The Music Man auditions at Blessed Sacrament Children’s Theatre. This is the full-fledged Bob Tansley production. Auditions for the show will be held at Post University’s MacDermid Hall (Room 116) in Waterbury on March 11 and 18. Email for a specific time, since times will be assigned consecutively.

According to Tansley, all pre-K through eighth grade students are welcomed to join the cast. “We take all children and reject no one,” said the enthusiastic director, who enjoys introducing children to theater. “We will also work with special needs kids, but would like to meet their parents prior to rehearsing to make sure that they stay safe and that we are aware of their needs. Parents of special needs kids will be allowed to attend rehearsals,” explained Tansley. Performance dates are scheduled for June 21-24. For additional information on audition material and songs, contact Tansley at the email address provided above.

Joanne Greco Rochman was a founding member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and is an active member in the American Theatre Critics Association. She welcomes comments. Contact: