The mission of Clay & Wattles Theater Company is to organize, manage and execute a professional performing arts center (theater, music, dance) that provides unique opportunities to integrate the arts, gives performers a professional and supportive environment in which to grow and develop their performing skills and provides audiences with rich, complex and compelling theatrical experiences of what it is to be human – and in so doing enrich the cultural landscape of Northwest, CT and the greater CT, NY and NJ region.
Since 2007 the theater has been led by Sally and Thomas Camm (whose theater connection to the Abbey of Regina Laudis goes back to the 1987 production of Pablo Casal’s Oratorio, El Pessebre). Currently the Camms produce two major productions a year, a play and a musical (with the goal of expanding the number and variety of productions in the future), along with an annual concert/fundraiser for the theater. Auditions are held each year and actors from the local community theater network. local colleges and universities and from Actor’s Equity audition for roles in the various productions. 3,500-4,500 theatergoers attend performances each season.
Through its promotional and development activities the theater is reaching out to local businesses and other funding sources that will help secure the financial stability of the theater into the future.
“Nature penetrates the stage in such a strong and unique way at The Gary-The Olivia Theater. We think this effects all of our performers, and perhaps brings out more of an honesty and authenticity in the characters they play. For us, finding the physical expression of a character is one of the keys to bringing forth the human truth in a particular role. The close presence of nature and the surrounding Abbey land held by a working community of Benedictines helps to ground the stage and our performers.” Sally & Thomas Camm, Artistic Directors, Clay & Wattles Theater Company
The Gary-The Olivia Theater on the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT is a place where professional and serious theater students alike come to perform in a one-of-a-kind and transforming environment. Built in 1982 through the generous support of donors spearheaded by Oscar winning actress Patricia Neal, this roofed, open-air theater is surrounded by the lush Connecticut countryside and seats approximately 300 people.
Our season runs from June through September, featuring some of the top talent in the area and presenting productions that both entertain and stimulate our audiences.