Connecticut Repertory Theatre is the producing arm of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Dramatic Arts. CRT produces under a year-round contract with Actors’ Equity Association, and serves as a cultural center for Connecticut and the New England region. CRT productions are directed and designed by, and cast with, visiting professionals, equity actors, faculty members and the department’s most advanced students.
Selling more than 19,000 tickets annually, and nearly 3,000 subscriptions, CRT presents a wide range of material including premieres, contemporary plays, classics of the American musical theatre, and great works from the canon of world drama presented with both traditional and experimental points of view. CRT is also the performance outlet for the Department of Dramatic Art’s internationally acclaimed Puppet Arts program, the only degree-conferring puppetry program of its kind in the United States.
CRT offers a subscription series of six plays and musicals during the academic year – two in the 486 – seat Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, two in the 241 – seat Nafe Katter Theatre (the Main Stage series), and two in the 116 – seat Studio Theatre (The Studio Works Series, emphasizing new, more experimental texts and forms). CRT offers the very popular, three production, Nutmeg Series each summer. Each year, some of those productions comprise CRT’s Morning Matinee Series, which introduces more than 3,000 middle and high school students and senior citizen groups to theatre at CRT.
A constituent member of The Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for the professional theatre, CRT is committed to the development of new work. CRT world premieres include Mike Reiss’ I’m Connecticut starring Jerry Adler and Joyce DeWitt, Brad Korbesmeyer’s Open Window (a co-production with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, later sold to CBS for development as a television movie), Ellen M. Lewis’ Eastville, and Puppet Arts adaptations of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Bell. Recent CRT regional premieres include Teresa Rebeck’s O Beautiful, Stephen Svoboda’s Odysseus DOA, Simon Stephen’s Punk Rock, and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot: A Play.
Guest artists recently at CRT include actors Terrence Mann, Jerry Adler, Joyce DeWitt, Kevin Meaney, Kim Zimmer, Andrea McArdle, David Patrick Kelly, Judy Kaye, Pat Sajak, Barett Foa, Steve Hayes, Liz Larsen, Patrick Kerr; directors Joseph Hanreddy, Paul Mullins, Robert Ross Parker, James Warwick, Victoria Bussert, Michael Montel, Nagle Jackson, B. Peter Westerhoff, Connie Grappo, Peter Bennet, Leah C. Gardiner, Larry Carpenter, and Peter Wallace; choreographers Sara Andreas, Gerry MacIntyre, Tony Stevens, Jayme McDaniel and Schellie Archbold; and designers Dennis Parichy, Campbell Baird, Jane Reisman, Mimi Sherin, Eric Renschler, Marilyn Rennagel, Crystal Tiala and Tim Hunter.