Rain fell intermittently, but theatergoers were undeterred as a sea of umbrellas blossomed over an entranced gathering for the reprise of iMarvel, a play by A Broken Umbrella Theatre Company. The Westville-based theater company, whose members wrote the play based on the works of New Haven author Donald Grant Mitchell (aka Ik Marvel), presented a round of three 45 minute shows in Edgewood Park Sunday.
The show was supported by the Tremaine Foundation and Friends of Edgewood Park, as the kick-off to their 100-year anniversary celebration.
Originally presented during Westville’s 13th Annual Artwalk, Sunday’s event included a “Draw your Dreams” art station under the Edgewood Park gazebo, a bonus for the children who drew from their imaginations on long sheets of mural paper. One of the themes explored in the iMarvel play is the importance of activating our imaginations as the encroachment of so much technology crowds our ability to dream, wonder and explore.
Posting on A broken Umbrella’s Facebook page, theatergoer Laura Macaluso had this to say: “Fabulous and fun! Thank you for bringing great art to the park—a NH jewel. Looking forward to seeing your Halloween show. The songs & singing, the dancing, the enthusiasm and spirit—and, most especially, the reworking of a New Haven ‘tale.’ I loved every minute of it!”
City Seed’s Farmer’s Market, a huge photographic art sale at the Jennifer Jane Gallery, the normally bustling Manjares Cafe, and the round of shows Sunday drew an impressive crowd despite the threatening skies. Appreciative theatergoers were able to borrow umbrellas from the theater company’s canopied station, where a donation box was placed to further the work of this highly acclaimed team of actors, writers, singers, artists, dancers and dreamers.
The company will be presenting a new production in October entitled VaudeVillain at John Cavaliere’s newly restored Lyric Hall Antiques & Conservation building (Whalley Avenue), home to an historic theater complete with a balcony and proscenium. The theater space played silent movies earlier in the 20th Century, long before the building fell into disrepair and the theater space was all but forgotten. The show is based on the series of historic murders perpetrated by a Westville killer - an appropriate theme for the Halloween season in which the shows will be staged (Oct., 23 ,24, 30, &31), but not for children 12 years and younger.
A Broken Umbrella Theatre will feature another program called Memory, Music and Mystery, which is billed as an “interactive, community art project (that will be appropriate)for all Ages!” on Halloween weekend. To participate, stay tuned to A Broken Umbrella’s website or visit the Facebook page.