By now, most of the community is familiar with ACT of CT and the astonishing Broadway caliber work they produce. Now in their 5th season, ACT has earned a reputation for being one of the most high-profile and well-respected regional theaters in Connecticut. ACT has once again hit the ground running with their critically acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls, the highly anticipated Rock of Ages, and their upcoming run of The Secret Garden. Creating exceptional theater is only part of ACT’s passion. Since it’s inception, the concept of “making theater accessible for all” has played an important part of the theater’s mission.
Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine says, “The arts build strong and connected communities and it’s important that everyone is able to benefit from this. Theater can change lives and we are committed to making ACT accessible to a wider audience.”
To support this mission, the theater’s leadership created their First ACT! program. First ACT! supports and nurtures individuals, families, students, and working artists of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicity, and genders so that they may receive the highest level of theatrical opportunity possible.
First ACT! helps fund several of ACT’s programs including their Sensory Friendly Performances – a series designed specifically for patrons with sensory sensitivities who require adjusted production elements. First ACT! also provides scholarships and reduced/free tuition for their educational programs including conservatory, camp and private lessons. Additionally, First ACT! supports the theater’s Audience Access initiative which allows those from traditionally under served schools and communities, who may not have had the opportunity to experience live theater, the chance to attend a professional production free of charge.
The First ACT! program is entirely funded by the generosity of private donors. ACT’s Development Director Shelley Terry says, “First ACT! is just one example of how ACT gives back to ensure that everyone, regardless of potential barriers, can benefit from our work. Ticket sales only cover 40% of our annual operating budget. Fundraising events such as our Gala, scheduled for April 1, 2023, are of the utmost importance in order to fund First ACT!”
For more information on how to support this, and ACT of CT’s other community-based initiatives, please visit www.actofct.org •