Monday, March 14, 2011

CTC School Summer Theatre Institute

Cover of 1971 Summer School Brochure.
Designed by Steven Rydberg.  Model: student Kathleen Sullivan.

Initiated in the summer of 1971, The Children's Theatre Company and School's educational activity (both performance and technical theatre education) embraced a summer component in which theatre-related coursework and other pursuits would encompass the entire day for a period of four to six weeks.
The Summer Institute would always culminate in performance (early on, just one production up to as many as four different productions in 1983) and, with rare exception, the productions would be original scripts -- often created by guest playwrights and sometimes relying heavily on student improvisational work to inform and guide the text.
This was found to be an excellent "audition" for certain local playwrights to be considered for mainstage commissions.  In one instance (1984's "The Troubles: Children of Belfast" by resident playwright Thomas W. Olson with composer Alan Shorter), the summer school production was expanded and became part of the mainstage season four years later.  Faculty, too, would sometimes participate in the shows as performers.

Chronology of Summer Theatre Institute productions:
1971: Children; Goodbye, Goodbye
1972: The Boy Friend; Musical Chairs
1973: Babes in Arms
1974: Changes
1975: The Squeeze
1976: The Empty Place
1977: Three Can't Fit in a Rickshaw
1978: A Taste of Berries
1979: Summer Matters
1980: Equinox; Stargazer

Audio of "Stargazer:" 

(Copy the http:// line and paste it into a new window of your browser.  It should take you to the download link where you can download and save to your computer)

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

1981: Desert in Flower; The Great American Family; Merely Players
Audio of "Desert in Flower:"

Video of "The Great American Family:"
Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

1982: Across Town; The Contenders; Ten-and-a-Half
1983: Aviation; Catch Me a Z; The Convention Grill - Part I; One That Goes Out
1984: Raisin' Cain; Raymond in Space; The Troubles: Children of Belfast

Summer School 1972:  Sandy Wilson's "The Boy Friend"
Center: Debbie Tice and Steven Rydberg.
CTC Summer School 1973.  Rodgers & Hart's "Babes in Arms."
Front row L to R: Sue Batchelor, Kim Livingston, Nance Campbell, Rick Thompson, Sara Schimke.

"Babes in Arms" Gerald Drake, Garry Lewis.
"Babes in Arms." Bain Boehlke, Gerald Drake, Steven Rydberg, Julie Williams, Mary Winchell.

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