Nearly 300 supporters of ACT — A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut — raised money last weekend for the professional theater company that will offer self-produced, limited-engagement runs using Broadway and professional talent.

Ridgefield residents Katie Tomlinson Diamond, ACT’s executive producer, and Daniel Levine, the theater’s artistic director, said they saw a gap in the already impressive town arts programs and dreamed of filling it.

The goal is to bring an equity theater to Ridgefield with four limited-run shows a year.

“We believe that, with the addition of ACT of CT, the Ridgefield arts community will be elevated to that of an ‘arts destination’ town,” said Levine, “and not just in Connecticut, but in all of New England and the tri-state area.”

Ridgefield’s own Stephen Schwartz who has written such musicals as Godspell, Pippin and Wicked and has contributed to lyrics for a number of successful shows including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt and Enchanted sang “Chanson” from Baker’s Wife. He also sang “For Good” (from Wicked) along with Kara Lindsay who currently stars on Broadway as Glinda, the Good Witch from the North.

Mr. Schwartz’s career as a lyricist and composer has spanned over four decades.  He has won three Academy Awards, has been nominated for six Tony Awards, has won three Grammys and has received a number of other awards including a special Tony for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.  He will serve as Artistic Advisor to the theater and one show per season will be dedicated to his work as part of the “Presenting Stephen Schwartz!” series.

Also performing were Broadway stars Aaron Tveit, Lindsay Mendez and Juliet Lambert Pratt.  Collectively these professionals have starred on Broadway in such shows as Les Miserable, Wicked, Newsies, Mary Poppins, Next To Normal, Grease, Godspell, Passion, Hairspray, and much much more.  The audience was spellbound as they belted out highlights from their vast repertoires with Bryan Perri, Musical Director and conductor for Broadway’s successful Wicked accompanying on piano.  Mr. Perri also serves as Resident Musical Supervisor for ACT.  

To learn more or to contribute, email ACT of CT at actconnecticut@gmail.com or visit www.actofct.org.  

ACT is a nonprofit.