Theater

Cotuit Center for the Arts produces 6 or 7 main stage productions and a dozen or so black box productions each year. We also have a monthly staged reading series held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.  We welcome suggestions for future productions.

Click here to submit a proposal for the Black Box Theater
Click here to submit a proposal for the 2nd Wednesday Staged Reading Series

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Opening Weekend SNAP and Student Rush Tix!
Present your SNAP card or Full-time Student ID at the box office during the hour before curtain and get HALF-PRICE admission! 
Cotuit Center for the Arts -- Making the arts accesssible, thrilling, and nurturing for all.

 

2nd Wednesday Theater: Fat Pig

February 10

Second Wednesday Theater at Cotuit Center for the Arts presents a staged reading of “Fat Pig” by Neil Labute on Wednesday, February 10, at 7:30 PM in the Art Studio.

Tom loves Helen. Really loves her. She’s smart, pretty, and has a great sense of humor. But she’s also fat. Tom’s co-worker Carter and ex-girlfriend Jeannie discover the affair and are merciless in their derision of the “fat pig.” For Tom, that just may be a deal breaker... or will true love conquer all?

The Vagina Monologues

Sunday, February 14 at 7:30pm

Join us for a staged reading of Eve Ensler's hit play The Vagina Monologues, directed by Aisha Stewart and Tara Galvin.

Bicycle Face

February 25 & 26

This February, award-winning poet, actress and Cape native Hannah Van Sciver will perform her one-woman smash-hit solo show Bicycle Face at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. The forty-minute original play tells the interconnected stories of three fictional women, separated by a century each, navigating the changing landscape of feminism, censorship and cycling. Proceeds from both shows will benefit two local non-profit women’s organizations, WE CAN & Independence House.

Belle of Amherst

Open March 3

In The Belle of Amherst, Emily Dickinson welcomes audiences into her lifelong Amherst homestead in mid-19th century Massachusetts. While Dickinson found solace in solitude through much of her life, acclaimed playwright William Luce weaves her poems, diaries, and letters into a one-woman portrait of one of America’s greatest and most prolific poets, mixing Dickinson’s encounters with close friends and family with the poet’s own, often amusing observations. “Full of passion and poetry and heart” (New York Daily News), The Belle of Amherst illuminates a brilliant wordsmith through the words she left behind.

Souvenir

Opens March 8

At the turn of the last century, Florence Foster Jenkins was a New York phenomenon where she rose to fame for her annual sold-out recitals at the Ritz Carlton and Carnegie Hall. Crowds went wild when Mrs. Jenkins tackled the most difficult arias in opera, festooned in fabulous costumes.

The only trouble was: Mrs. Jenkins could not sing. Not a note. Still, Florence, a YouTube sensation far ahead of her time, could not be deterred from her dedication to music and voice lessons with her accomplished and compassionate accompanist, Cosme McMoon.

Souvenir chronicles the sidesplitting journey of Mrs. Jenkins and Mr. McMoon to Carnegie Hall. A musical odd-couple that will have you laughing – till you cry!

2nd Wednesday Theater: Album

March 9

Album by David Rimmer is, simply put, a play about the complexities of being young and growing up, a conventional plot written for teenage audiences to relate to. However, Album is intrinsically woven with specific problems and situations that involve growing up in the 1960s. As we see four high schoolers struggle with their sexuality, with parties, with friendships, and with an obsession with The Beach Boys, suddenly parallels are drawn between many different generations. Old and young alike find something that resonates with their life experiences and the play becomes a beautiful gift that connects the audience to each other through its laughter and tears. 

Unsafe

Opens March 31

March 31 – April 10, 2016 at Cotuit Center for the Arts
April 14 – 30, 2016 at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Co-produced by Boston Public Works Theater Company and Cotuit Center for the Arts

As a mid-winter blizzard blankets Manhattan under three feet of snow, a troubled young man with nowhere to go crashes his widowed stepmother’s 40th birthday party. His arrival triggers a flurry of memories - fond, painful, and frightening – and unwittingly exposes his family to the danger that haunts him on the abandoned, snow-covered streets below. This psychological thriller by Jim Dalglish was selected as a semifinalist at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

Jerry Finnegan’s Sister

Opens April 7

This highly acclaimed comedy about unrequited love reminds us of our own challenges of growing up, particularly those of relating to someone of the opposite sex. You’ll be laughing heartily throughout as you remember your own adolescent awkwardness. An irresistible and charming show that taps into familiar territory from our past and makes us laugh at ourselves and the challenges of growing up next door to someone of the opposite sex.

2nd Wednesday Theater: The Lost Episode

April 13

Second Wednesday Theater at Cotuit Center for the Arts presents a staged reading of “The Lost Episode” Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 PM in the Art Studio.

Second Wednesday Theater is a monthly play-reading series of rarely performed classics, undiscovered gems, and exciting new works. 

The ABCs of NYC

Opens April 14

Take an alphabetical journey down the Great White Way!  This original musical revue features the best of Broadway.  Starring Martha Paquin, Jared Hagan, Meghan Magrath, Hannah Carrita, and Anthony Teixeira. Produced and directed by Holly Erin McCarthy.

Love Letters

April 16

Special benefit performance of A. R. Gurney’s beloved classic play

Veteran actors Pam McArdle and Dr. Waldo Fielding will present two performances of Love Letters in our main perfoprmance space as a benefit for Cotuit Center for the Arts.  

Absence

Opens May 5

Helen Bastion is 74 years old, but age has not taken its toll on this matriarch’s will or her need to control her family, from her compliant husband David to her resentful daughter Barb. But when she begins to suffer lapses of memory, her steely facade begins to crumble. As words lose their meaning and reality fragments, Helen’s own sense of self starts to dissolve. Is she truly disappearing, or is she becoming something greater, as the mysterious, mocking figure known as Dr. Bright promises her? Helen struggles desperately to find meaning in an existence that is slowly and inexorably becoming a void.

2nd Wednesday Theater: Frankie & Johnny & the Clair de Lune

May 11

Second Wednesday Theater at Cotuit Center for the Arts presents a staged reading of Frankie & Johnny & the Clair de Lune Wednesday, May 11, at 7:30 PM in the Art Studio.

In the City that Never Sleeps, is it possible to find real love after one night together? Join Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally’s fated duo, Frankie and Johnny, a guarded waitress and a passionate short-order cook, as they discover the world is smaller than they expected, there is no such thing as a mere coincidence, and love can be as simple as deciding to embrace it.

Steel Magnolias

Opens May 17

A group of Louisiana women bond and gossip at a local beauty shop while following the marriage and motherhood of one of the customer's daughters. M'Lynn is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby and as friend Truvy fixes the women's hair for the ceremony, they welcome a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle. Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn't bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process. Based on the author’s family experience following the death of his sister from diabetic complications after childbirth, this play began as a short story to give his namesake nephew an understanding of his deceased mother. It eventually evolved into a play performed Off-Broadway before being adapted for film in 1989.

BOOM!

Opens June 2

"Sex to Change the Course of the World"—a grad student's online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of an evening of "no strings attached" sex. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Will they survive? What about the fish in the tank? And who is that woman pulling levers and playing the timpani? An epic and intimate comedy that spans over billions of years, boom explores the influences of fate versus randomness in the course of one's life, and life as we know it on the planet.

2nd Wednesday Theater: Shakespeare: Drawn & Quoted

June 8

Second Wednesday Theater at Cotuit Center for the Arts presents a staged reading of Shakespeare: Drawn and Quoted, by Jim Hurley, Wednesday, June 8, at 7:30 PM in the Art Studio.

This original comedy is a play in three acts. It concerns the relationship between two retiree snowbirds who are both life long singles and meet in a Shakespeare Adult Ed class at a Florida Golf Community. Bernie Sanders is an avowed bachelor and somewhat of a womanizer, who finds himself in the class after loosing a bet to his friend Claude. Claude is in the class to get close to his love interest Helen. Bea Armstrong, a retired English Literature professor, is the teacher of the class and cousin of Helen. While Bea does not disdain men, she keeps them in line with her sharp tongue and biting wit.

NOW: The Songs of Karen Carpenter

Opens June 9

A musical tribute to one of the most iconic singers of all time, presented by Brave Horse Music, which brought you The Beat Goes On, What the World Needs Now and Love is Blind. The Carpenters were the biggest-selling group of the 70s. No fewer than ten of their singles went on to become million-sellers, and by 2005 combined worldwide sales of albums and singles well exceeded 100 million units. Yet the Carpenters were much more than creators of beautifully crafted and hugely successful hit records. Within the space of just a few years their unique and inimitable sound had brought a new dimension to the world of popular music.

Billy Elliot

Opens July 7

Based on the Academy Award nominated 2000 film of the same title, Billy Elliot tells the story of its namesake star, a young boy from a family of coal miners in a depressed working-class mining town in Northern England who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, even though his father wants him to box. Set during the history-making 1984 miner’s strike, the show follows Billy, the youngest child of a blue-collar family that has recently lost its Mum, as he discovers his unlikely and extraordinary gift for ballet. While Billy’s father and brother take to the picket lines of the violent and life-changing strike, Billy secretly begins to study the art of dance with the help of a hard-drinking, chain-smoking local dance teacher. But as Billy blossoms and thrives, the world and lives around him continue to wither — and his only escape may be to audition for the prestigious Royal Ballet School, a place no working-class boy has ever gone, or been allowed to go to, before.

My Music and Me

Opens July 8

Composer/pianist Glenn Starner-Tate presents his musical autobiography.

"Write a super-hero story in which YOU are the super-hero," she said, "and make sure you have at least one magical power."
(Bronwen Prosser at the Cotuit Center for the Arts summer Solo Show workshop in 2012.)

"There once was a little boy in a basement in Kansas," he wrote, "who could play the piano WITHOUT piano lessons." 
(Glenn Starner-Tate, participant in that solo show workshop.)

2nd Wednesday Theater: July 2016

July 13

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.

The Fat Ass Cancer Bitch: Fifty’s a Bitch

Opens July 29

Edgy, unapologetic, funny, wickedly honest, hell-bent, and loudmouth, Christine Rathbun Ernst is a writer, poet, and performer. Her play about her battle with breast cancer, “Reconstruction or How I Learned to Pay Attention,” has been performed throughout New England. She performed “The Further Adventures of a Fat Ass Cancer Bitch” at Cotuit Center for the Arts in 2011, “The Fat Ass Cancer Bitch Goes Shopping,” there in 2012, "The Fat Ass Cancer Bitch Outside the Box" in 2013, "The Fat Ass Cancer Bitch Outside the Box and Occasionally al Fresco" in 2014, and "The Fat Ass Cancer Bitch Turns 49" in 2015.

Driving Miss Daisy

Opens August 4

Daisy Werthan, an elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta, is determined to maintain her independence. However, when she crashes her car, her son, Boolie arranges for her to have a chauffeur, an African-American driver named Hoke Colburn. Daisy and Hoke's relationship gets off to a rocky start, but they gradually form a close friendship over the years, one that transcends racial prejudices and social conventions.

Wonderland

Opens August 8

Off with her head! A 21st century girl is magically transported to Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland in this play with music.  Join us for another wild, original production from Theater Under the Stairs this summer.  A family show that parents can enjoy as much as the kids will.  

2nd Wednesday Theater: Aug 2016

August 10 

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.

The Money Shot

Opens September 1

This raunchy, acerbic Hollywood satire presents four characters perched on the showbiz power ladder. Two screen idols past their peak and in desperate need of a hit assemble to discuss a sensitive professional matter with their respective partners. The scene they’ll be shooting together the next day will be climactic in more ways than one, as their psychotic director wants them to have real, honest-to-badness sex on camera. (The term “money shot” comes from pornographic film.) But before they commit their coupling to digital eternity, they want to clear it with their partners. The meeting starts nasty, turns nastier and finally segues into no-holds-barred and often hilarious confrontation.

2nd Wednesday Theater: Great American Musical Singalong! The Sound of Music

September 14

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.  Join us in September for a sing-along rendition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The Sound of Music.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Opens September 20 

This infamous play examines the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George. Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests and draw them into their bitter and frustrated relationship. Set in three acts with two 10-minute intermissions, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won a Tony Award and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, both for Best Play. The dialogue in the first act has been hailed by some critics as some of the greatest in all of American theatre.

Frost/Nixon

Opens September 22

Frost/Nixon is a historical drama based on the real-life interviews between British media personality, David Frost and disgraced former American President, Richard M. Nixon. Written by first-time playwright Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon mixes the real words of the two figures with fictionalized dialogue among the men and their respective teams. Within the structure of the play, the interviews are presented as a kind of boxing match — a crucial turning point in both of their careers in which only one of them can emerge victorious.

Venus in Fur 2016

Opens October 6

Playwright Thomas Novachek is at a loss. There are simply no actresses talented enough to play his leading lady. Then in walks Vanda, a mysterious siren with the uncanny ability to inhabit his character. All bets are off when the audition quickly escalates into a seductive power play. With loads of cheek and a hint of the erotic, Venus in Fur keeps you on the edge of your seat as you question "who is really in charge here?"

2nd Wednesday Theater: Oct 2016

October 12

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.

Glaspell & Shaw One Acts

Opens November 3

One-act plays written by Susan Glaspell & George Bernard Shaw, directed by Garry Mitchell.

2nd Wednesday Theater: A Few Good Men

November 9

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.

In November we will read A Few Good Men, by Aaron Sorkin, presented by Martha Paquin. This Broadway hit about the trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay sizzles on stage. The Navy lawyer, a callow young man more interested in softball games than the case, expects a plea bargain and a cover up of what really happened. Prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to defend his clients and, in so doing, puts the military mentality and the Marine code of honor on trial. 

Scrooge

Opens November 22

November 15 – December 18

Join us for this charming stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by renowned writer-composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse. It is closely-adapted from the 1970 musical film Scrooge starring Albert Finney, which earned Bricusse an Oscar® nomination for his score.  A holiday hit for the whole family.  

Butter Ball

Opens December 1

This original and “highly inappropriate” Thanksgiving comedy takes the dysfunctional family holiday to a whole new level of absurdity. Holidays can be slippery...and this year, Turkey Day gets extra dysfunctional and family a little more than absurd. Experience an evening of pure catharsis with this incredibly fun show about the neuroses of family members and their holiday expectations. 

2nd Wednesday Theater: December 2016

December 14

A monthly play-reading of rarely-performed classic, undiscovered gems, old chestnuts, and exciting new works.