The Interview: The Actress Gives A First Look at Greenwich Theatre Company
Conducted by Michael Raver
It’s been a while since Greenwich, Connecticut, has had its own theater company. While art galleries abound, plays and musicals have been scarce. Meanwhile, neighboring towns like Hartford and New Haven have been centrifuges for the performing arts for decades. However, that’s about to change. Joining the ranks of Hartford Stage, Playhouse On Park, Long Wharf and Yale Rep, Greenwich Theatre Company is the latest addition to the state’s flourishing theatrical landscape.
GTC’s co-artistic director, Andrea Lynn Green, a native of (ironically) Greenwich, New York, sheds light on what it’s like to form a new theatrical organization in Connecticut as well as the company’s inaugural project, a production of Yasmina Reza’s God Of Carnage.
What prompted you to start this company?
Greenwich, Connecticut has not had a professional theatre company in town for over 30 years. Why not give Greenwich its own unique, professional, affordable theatre, adding to its cultural hub? The stars aligned that this could happen now, and there is no time like the present. I’m an actor, and a theatre artist. The thought of facilitating opportunities for other theatre artists, and bringing exciting and challenging theatre to Greenwich and the surrounding communities enticed me. I know how impactful theatre was on me growing up, so I really believe in its power as a source of culture and education, as well as a tool for building empathy during challenging times, which, I think it is safe to say we are in right now.
What is your mission?
To inspire empathy by telling the stories of our shared human experience.
Why do you think there’s so much good theater in Connecticut?
I think there is a hunger and an appreciation for the arts in Connecticut. So many great artists have come out of the state, as well as so many that have relocated from New York to Connecticut. The ties to New York are strong, and in Connecticut you have the best of both worlds; the coast, some green, and an easy ride on Metro North to keep pounding the pavement.
What has been your biggest challenge with getting off the ground?
It has all happened so fast, and with such a small team of dedicated people. So far, the fact that we are all wearing many hats right now is the biggest challenge, but it is also kind of awesome. If you see me walking around town with ten hats on my head, now you’ll know why. Of course, another big challenge for any new theatre is finding the proper funding, and sponsorship. We’re hopeful!
What do you consider your greatest strength as a company?
Our eagerness to get it right. We are in our infancy, but the team is very determined to learn the best ways forward, for us and for the community. We don’t want to be a totally insular group. We want to cultivate relationships with local artists and beyond. We are different from every other company nearby, even just by the kind of space we are in. For starters, we are located right on the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, overlooking the Greenwich Harbor, and a short walk from the Metro North train station. The space itself is wickedly different; It’s cool, unconventional, and lends itself to a very distinct experience for audiences and artists.
What’s next for you?
We’ve got one more week left of of our inaugural production, Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. You can catch it Sept. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th. After that, we are presenting our first short play festival, which will be an evening of short plays by multi-award-winning playwright Jack Rushton, who is our Director of New Play Programming. It is a way to introduce him, and give people a taste of what to expect from those kinds of festivals we want to produce. We look forward to giving that same opportunity to more playwrights each year. That is slated for this November.
Greenwich Theatre Company operates out of the Greenwich Teen Center, at 100 Arch Street in Greenwich, Connecticut.
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