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What's Up Magazine

Annapolis Consortium of Theatres

Oct 25, 2012 04:07PM ● By Anonymous

Several professional and community theater companies have grouped together to form the Annapolis Consortium of Theatres (ACT), whose overarching goal is to promote theater and the arts in the region. Originally founded in 2009 by members of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Annapolis, The Colonial Players, Inc., Dignity Players, Four Seasons Playwrights Circle, and Standing O Productions, the ACT slowly developed a rough draft of the organization’s goals. Even with good intentions, however, the plan never fully materialized into action and the ACT went dormant.

Flash forward to late 2012. By now, three new professional theatre companies were performing in Annapolis—Bay Theatre Company, Infinity Theatre Company, and Compass Rose Studio Theater. And they had been actively marketing their performances, in addition to each of the aforementioned companies continuing their strong tradition of theater production. With so many options for theater-goers, the question again arose of how to effectively engage and inform the public about the plethora of live performances?

Lucinda Merry-Browne, founder and producing artistic director of Compass Rose Studio Theater (and formerly the co-founder of Bay Theatre Company), facilitated a meeting of theatre minds—revisiting the ACT with the leaders of the Annapolis theatre community. Since the initial January meeting, ACT has fully regrouped and is currently developing a strategy.

Some of the goals—such as the sharing of resources—are already in action. “We are already sharing many of the same technical staff personnel and will be offering technical theater workshops and collaboration behind the scenes,” says Merry-Browne. She also explains plans to support each other by making promotional literature available in each other’s venues, creating a poster displaying the name and logo of each organization, and by sharing a table at community events, such as First Sunday Arts on West Street.

Ultimately, Merry-Browne says, “The quality of life in any community is only as good as its cultural offerings, which articulate and reflect the values, aspirations, and challenges of its people.

“Theater is a living reflection of what it means to be human. It tells stories, which, if told well, take us to places we have never been and reveals new truths about the experiences which we already know. Traveling elsewhere to see theater is exciting and fun. Theater in one’s own backyard is an incredible gift to the community.”

To learn more about the ACT, visit or visit any of the member theater companies’ websites.

Members of the Annapolis Consortium of Theatres at a June meeting, left to right: Mickey Handwerger, Dignity Players; Lucinda Merry- Browne, Compass Rose Theater; Carolyn Kirby, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre; Connie Harold, Four Seasons Playwright’s Circle; Susan Baum, Compass Rose Theater. In rear, left to right: Ron Giddings, Standing O Productions; Tom Stuckey, Colonial Players; and Anna and Alan Ostroff, Infinity Theatre Company.