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 the Actors’ Equity Association and serves as a cultural center for Connecticut and the New England region. CRT productions are directed, designed by, and cast with visiting professional artists, including Equity actors, faculty members, and the department’s most advanced student artists. CRT operates on the belief that the synergy between professional and advanced student artists creates a unique learning environment for the development of extraordinary theater.
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 sfour plays and musicals during the academic year – one in the 476–seat Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, and three in the 237–seat Nafe Katter Theatre (the Main Stage series.) CRT’s Morning Matinee Series introduces more than 3,000 middle and high school students and senior citizen groups to theater at CRT.
A constituent member of The Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for 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, Leslie Uggams, Pat Sajak, Jerry Adler, Richard Kline, Joyce DeWitt, Liz Larsen, Ariana DeBose, Jennifer Cody, Kevin Meaney, Kim Zimmer, Andrea McArdle, David Patrick Kelly, Judy Kaye, Barrett Foa, Brandy Burre, Mariand Torres, Steve Hayes, Patrick Kerr; directors Joseph Hanreddy, Paul Mullins, Robert Ross Parker, Victor Maog, 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.