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New London Little Theatre welcomes the public back to the stage

Performing once more for live audiences, the New London Little Theatre has shifted its focus from producing stage plays to “art by appointment” experiences and other types of organic live performances, including the monthly Open Mic, Jazz Night and private events.

Madisen Radabaugh performs on the deck of Happy Sol in downtown New London during Porchfest on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Madisen Radabaugh performs on the deck of Happy Sol in downtown New London during Porchfest on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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During the pandemic, the Little Theatre volunteers took the time to make some interior improvements to the historic facility, including building a cocktail bar that will be open during live performances that are steadily being added to the theater’s busy schedule.

Little Theatre Auditorium

The New London Little Theatre has shifted its focus from producing stage plays to “art by appointment” experiences and other types of organic live performances, including the monthly Open Mic, Jazz Night and private events.

Held at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, Open Mic features local musicians, storytellers, poets, comedians and other live performers. Open Mic is held before a live audience in the updated theater, which now includes a new cocktail bar.

To sign up to perform, email bethany@littletheatreauditorium.org . Walk-ins are welcome.

The first Friday of each month is host to Jazz Night, beginning at 7 p.m.

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The public is invited to attend events scheduled for summer 2022, including “Sunrise at Midnight,” a play written by Taous Khazeem and performed Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m.; polka dancing with Jolly Huntsman on Saturday, June 25; and a night of square dancing July 30, featuring Kyle Ollah and Company.

The second annual Porchfest will begin at 11 a.m June 4, and will feature local musical artists performing on New London area stages, including at the Little Theatre. The event was created in celebration of the late Bill Gossman, former mayor of New London, and is organized by the New London Arts Alliance.

Small Stages Artist Residency

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Steve Ackerman of Heart of the Beast in Minneapolis was the Small Stages artist in residence at the New London Little Theatre. He brought an inventive puppet show to town.
Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune file photo

The Little Theatre Auditorium hosted its inaugural artist-in-residence — puppeteer Steve Ackerman of Minneapolis-based n The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater — in the summer of 2021 through the Small Stages Artist Residency program. This summer, the theater is inviting a performance artist or group of artists to “to develop, expand or adapt their practice in place-based performance-making to interactive art experiences, or performance installations” in New London.

The residency will take place in August and September for a four- to six-week period, including workshops and open studio tours for the public to participate and enjoy, and culminate in a performance for the public.

The Little Theatre, 24 Central Ave. E., was built in 1921 as a community playhouse and restored and modernized in the 1990s to preserve its role and history as a local center for the arts. Additional updates were made in 2020 while the theater was closed during the COVID pandemic.

For more information and an up-to-date schedule, visit littletheatreauditorium.org or follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/littletheatreauditorium

Kit Grode joined the West Central Tribune as the features and sections editor in July 2021. She oversees the weekly Showcase and Extra feature segments and also the WCT's special sections.
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