Our Friends in the New Haven Theater Company

New Haven Theater Company is hosting its first annual benefit Saturday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. the High Lane Club, located at 40 High Lane, North Haven. The event, called “Fall in Love with NHTC” will features songs and sketches with your favorite NHTC actors, comedy performed by the The Funny Stages, the group’s improv troupe, decadent desserts, and the musical stylings of the Keith and Mazer Trio. Tickets are $25. To purchase tickets, go to www.newhaventheatercompany.com.

The company is entering an exciting period of transition. T. Paul Lowry had set the NHTC’s direction for several years, creating children’s theatre, improv comedy and culturally relevant plays since 2005. However, Lowry moved out of state to pursue a job opportunity in the entertainment industry and the remaining company members were forced to make a decision: should the company fold or should it reconstitute and think of a slightly different way to move forward?

United by friendship, mutual respect and a common artistic ethos, a group of NHTC actors decided to soldier on. To fill Lowry’s role, the group voted to form a board comprised of Megan Keith Chenot (president), Hilary Brown (vice-president), Hallie Martenson (secretary) and Erich Greene (treasurer) to provide guidance and leadership. “It's thrilling to be working with people who all feel such joy at the prospect of creating theater together. We all share a love of storytelling as well as a love for the city of New Haven. There's a palpable sense that we are building something together that we can be proud to share with our city,” Megan Chenot said.

In addition to the board, the company is comprised of Ian Alderman, Rachel Shapiro Alderman, Peter Chenot, Jeremy Funke, George Kulp, Steve Scarpa, Jenny Schuck, Christian Shaboo, J. Kevin Smith, and Mike Smith. All of the company members have significant experience in a variety of capacities with NHTC, primarily in the company’s critically acclaimed productions of Glengarry Glen Ross, A Civil War Christmas and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.

New Haven Theater Company’s current mission is to celebrate the power of storytelling by providing New Haven with awesome theater experiences that are relevant and accessible to all members of our community. “We're excited to be working together to bring the city a fresh take on community theater,” Megan Chenot said.

The group is committed to continuing many of Lowry’s initiatives, including the Funny Stages improv comedy, the Listen Here short story reading series and Reel New Haven, the company’s yearly film festival. In addition, the company is currently in the midst of selecting its first play of 2011. An announcement will be made soon.

For more information about New Haven Theater Company, contact Megan Chenot via e-mail at NHTCpress@gmail.com.