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Seven Angels Theater Brings a Major Theater Buzz to Waterbury

By Elisha Neubauer

When Semina DeLaurentis, a television Equity actor, was facing the infamous LA writers' strike of 1988, she decided to pack her bags and head home to await the conclusion of the situation in the comfort of her hometown. While DeLaurentis was planning a vacation from her acting career, fate had other plans- ones which led to the foundation of the Seven Angels Theater.

Shortly after DeLaurentis arrive home, she was approached with a question: did she think the Waterbury area could support a professional theater? Not having considered the option before, the question intrigued her- and before she knew it, she had found a small performance space to adapt for shows. Determined to increase the cultural value of the Waterbury area, DeLaurentis connected with several family and friends in order to launch her newly founded obsession.

In December of 1989, Seven Angels Theater brought Nunsense to Waterbury. Twenty-one sold out shows later, the organization was flooded with letters, phone calls, and a waiting list?all requesting the professional shows continue.

Today, Seven Angels Theater hosts five mainstage equity productions each season. "Over the past few years we have produced world premiere plays including Lou Diamond Phillips' play, Burning Desire that he wrote are starred in," says DeLaurentis. "Others are Born Fat and the Connecticut Premiere of Living on Love starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Steve Vinovich." The theater also offers several Stage II Community productions. "These give non-equity actors a chance to use their skills," DeLaurentis points out. The space is also home to several comedy shows, concerts, and other special events throughout the seasons.

For the youth, the theater offers exciting summer camp programs which help to elaborate and accentuate their skill set in the field. "Our Summer Theatre camp is in its 25th season and is offered to three age groups: 7-9, 10-12 and 13-18 year olds," DeLaurentis announces. Classes in Theatre (scene study, theatre games, improvisation and Shakespeare), Music/Voice and Movement/Dance are Monday through Friday, 9-3PM."

While the summer camps and classes are an excellent source of education for the actors of the Waterbury community?they're not the star of the show. The Halo Theater Awards have made a name for themselves, bringing the theater buzz to the area in a big way. "Each Spring, we have our Halo Theatre Awards," says DeLaurentis. "These celebrate the best in High School Theatre in Connecticut. This past year we had 64 schools participate! Each year the Halos keep growing and growing!"

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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