Page 35 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 35

Square Foot Theatre Celebrates 12 Seasons Of Special Shows
 by Bonnie Goldberg
   On the Fourth of July at a picnic, it’s hard to be- lieve that getting hit in the head with a baseball bat could ever be considered a happy accident. Just ask Jared Brown who at six had his life changed dra- matically and his contact sports activities ended abruptly.
 Luckily for Jared, they were replaced by his join- ing a children’s choir. A chance audition for a part in the musical “Oliver” at Amarante’s Dinner Theater changed the direction of his life again as Amarante’s soon became “a second home” until he was 16. He claims “the stars were aligned even though I suf- fered a traumatic brain injury.”
 Show business is clearly a central part of his life these many decades later and luck is still on his trail. Early on, an interview on a North Haven cable station led him to donate classes at his newly es- tablished Studio of Performing Arts to a charity, the Jamie A. Hulley Foundation.
 The charity was named in memory of a young girl who died just short of her 21st birthday who loved the arts. Jamie’s mom, Judy Primavera, realized when she met Jared that he and Jamie had performed on stage together. Thus began a long-term relationship with Jared getting funding from the foundation for projects like producing “Footloose” and starting his current love, Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford at 950 Yale Avenue in 2007, which became a non-profit theater in 2013.
 Now celebrating 12 seasons, with 80 produc- tions, featuring 3,200 acting roles, for 25,000 pa- trons, Jared Brown and his co-founder and life part- ner Patrick Laffin, the director of education, can look back with pride. Jared describes Square Foot Theatre as “a community in every sense of the word where artists and patrons get involved in a partner- ship based on core values.” Square Foot is a friendly term to say all are welcome, no matter your skill set, experience level, age or background. Your enthusi- asm is your ticket in the door, whether you want to be on the stage, behind the curtain or front row in the cabaret audience.
 A team of professionals, in direction, dance, set design, costumes and acting are ready to help you achieve your potential and grow in this colorful and nurturing theatrical world. The company also delights in bringing live productions into the class- room setting, thanks to Patrick Laffin and the Edu-
 cational Outreach Programs.
 Musical theater is the focus and mission of Square Foot. With the joyful blend of actors as young as four and as seasoned as 75, the resulting works are truly remarkable. Each season features an inten- sive college program like this year’s “Assassins” by Sondheim, a high school show of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and an all-adult cast doing “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” A past favorite “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will inaugurate the 13th year in October because of rave reviews and popular demand. The season will be focused on su- perstitions and numbers and announced on July 17.
 Still on the docket for this summer are Disney’s “Frozen, Jr.” July 31 to August 3, the work of the Summer Theatre Program with students from five to 18, working from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., concentrating their skills on singing, dancing, acting and char- acter development. Parents are even encouraged to work “hands on” Monday, Wednesday and Fri- day from noon to 3. Going from the blue ice to the green jungles, August will feature “Tarzan, the Stage Musical” August 8 to 11, a feat that Jared calls “chal- lenging” as Patrick will be getting Tarzan to “fly.” For tickets (adults $28, children and seniors $26) call 203-793-7383 or go online to www.squarefootthe- August 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. will showcase Angela Nacca in “Sassy, Classy and a Bit Bad Assy

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