CCRI Players bringing Shakespeare to Warwick in first-ever summer series

July 12, 2017

photo of Derek Smith as Hamlet

Derek Smith, a graduate of CCRI and Rhode Island College, will play Hamlet next month at the Knight Campus in Warwick.

The Community College of Rhode Island Players will present their first Summer Repertory series, performing “Twelfth Night or What You Will” and “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” at the Knight Campus in Warwick.

The plays feature CCRI students, alumni, a number of prospective CCRI students who are still attending high school and a few outside guest artists.

The program was established to give CCRI students the opportunity to experience the world of “summer stock” theater, in which productions are developed for a summertime audience in a condensed time frame.

“There are already countless opportunities for CCRI theater students to learn about all elements of production during our existing annual season. With this new addition to our season we look forward to taking our professional training to the next level,” said Associate Producer and CCRI Players Vice President Victoria Ezikovich. “This program allows us to, in an educational setting, experience the reality of being a working theater artist.”

Each play will be rehearsed for two weeks, followed by a week of technical rehearsals and a short run.

“We're really looking forward to presenting these two wonderful Shakespeare plays to audiences this summer and beginning what we hope will become a tradition of summer theater at CCRI,” said Producer and CCRI Players President Trey Hendley.

“Our partners in the Music program have been presenting a summertime musical revue titled ‘Hello Broadway!’ for almost a decade with fantastic success,” said CCRI Theatre Program Coordinator Ted Clement. “We look forward to expanding this tradition of summertime performing arts at the Community College of Rhode Island. We believe this program will be an invaluable learning opportunity for our students, and a great asset to the community at large.”

The project also serves as a recruiting tool for the Performing Arts Department. During late spring, a team of past and current CCRI theater students visited Rhode Island high schools to present scene work and engage in a dialogue about the college’s program with students who are actively involved in the theater.

Cranston High School West drama teacher Nancy Vitulli described the visit as a “wonderful opportunity for our students to see and hear from others who share a passion for theater.”

Several high school students who attended these talks auditioned and were cast in the show, and a number of students who are more focused on technical theater will serve as run crew and board operators.

“Twelfth Night” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, July 20 to 22, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 23 in the Bobby Hackett Theater. “Hamlet” will run at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Aug. 10 to 12, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, in Room 0540. General admission costs $12; the cost is $10 for students, seniors, and CCRI faculty and staff. For reservations call 401-825-2219.

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Last Updated: 7/12/17