• Kevin Broccoli

Epic Is Ready For One Sweet Summer

Updated: May 10, 2019

Epic Theatre Company is excited to announce a summer for everyone with two familiar classics that will touch the heart and revive the spirit. After the success of previous edgier warm weather fare, the theater is thrilled to turn its attention to programming that’s accessible for all ages and audiences with new adaptations of the perennial classics Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden.

“If you had told me a few years ago that we’d be doing a summer like this, I would have thought you were crazy,” says Epic Artistic Director Kevin Broccoli, “I’ve always tried to avoid doing anything that felt safe or mainstream, but we’ve really been using our mainstage season to examine the troubles of the world and how we can fix it, so it felt like we had earned the opportunity to explore stories about kindness and childhood. These two novels are personal favorites of mine, and I can’t wait to have the theater be filled all summer long with laughter, love, and compassion.”

Charlotte’s Web is the story of a pig named Wilbur who befriends a tender-hearted spider named Charlotte. Soon, Charlotte has turned Wilbur into a celebrity to protect him from a standard barnyard fate, and the two develop a bond that outlasts even the shortest of lifetimes. Broccoli will direct the July production, which will feature Epic regulars Justin Pimentel as Templeton, Ian Hudgins as Wilbur, and Kerry Giorgi as Charlotte. Karen Foster adapts the iconic novel by E.B. White.

“I found myself becoming very moved as I read the play,” says Broccoli, “I had forgotten how elegant the story is, and its depth of feeling. It’s a book that has something to teach all of us, no matter our age, about life and how to live it.”

In August, the theater will turn its resident home at 50 Rolfe Square into The Secret Garden. The timeless story of spoiled young Mary and how she and those around her learn to heal after a tremendous loss by finding a hidden paradise is sure to warm the heart of anyone who sees it. The beautiful novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett is transformed in a gorgeous new adaptation by Gwen Beaton. Fresh off her dynamite performance in "American Drag," Megan Ruggiero will be directing a cast that includes Erika Fay Greenwood making her Epic debut as Mary.

“When I started telling people what we were planning on doing this summer, the reaction was ‘Oh, so you’re doing children’s theater’ and I would say, ‘No, we’re doing Epic theater,’ says Broccoli, “These are shows we felt still fit our mission and while it’s wonderful that I can finally invite younger audiences into our space, we think these plays are going to offer something for everyone, and that’s what’s making us so excited.”

Both Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden will be presented at the Artists Exchange, home of Epic Theatre Company, located at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston, Rhode Island.

For more information, e-mail Info@EpicTheatreRI.org.

Poster Design by Elena Semenkova

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