Cape Rep Kicks Off 36th Summer Season

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Topics: Local Theater

The Fantastical House of Maya Mouse” playwright Holly Erin McCarthy.

Cape Rep Theatre is preparing to kick off its 36th season with a return to live performance under the summer stars. The fun will start on July 6 and will include two outdoor summer shows on Cape Rep's new outdoor stage, as well as children's outdoor programming throughout July and August.

After the year we've had, what better way to return to live theater than with a comedy? How about a comedy about live theater? Cape Rep's summer season begins with “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn, the perfect laughter-filled welcome back for returning audiences. It's the final dress rehearsal, and a theater company is putting finishing touches on their production of the British romp “Nothing On.” Will they remember their lines for opening night? Will the “showmances” within the company bring the production to ruin?

“'Noises Off' is the funniest play on the planet, and it's about theater,” said Cape Rep's associate artistic director Maura Hanlon. “It's a celebration of coming back together.”

Come ready for chaotic fun. “Noises Off,” directed by Maura Hanlon, with sets by Ryan McGettigan, lights by Susan Nicholson and costumes by Robin McLaughlin, will take place from July 7 to Aug. 21. The cast includes Tim Allgood,Jess Andra, Brooke Ashton, Belinda Blair, Matt Corr, Dennis Cunningham, Lloyd Dallas, Frederick Fellowes, Cara Gerardi, Holly Hansen, Garry Lejeune, Ari Lew, Selsdon Mowbray, Poppy Norton-Taylor, Nick Nudler, Dotty Otley, Kirsten Peacock and Ryan Sheehan. It promises plenty of laughter, comic chaos, theatrical shenanigans and lots of...sardines?

Next up is “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.” Adapted by Dwayne Hartford from the book by Kate DiCamillo, it will take place Aug. 24 through 29. Edward Tulane is a vain porcelain rabbit, more concerned with his wardrobe than with the affection of Abilene, the little girl who loves him. Lost overboard on a trip abroad, Edward begins a 20-year journey to learn what it means to love, the pain of losing that love, and the courage it takes to love again. The play will be directed by Maura Hanlon and assistant director Brielle Whalen, with music consultant Nick Nudler and movement consultant Kirsten Peacock.

“It's a gorgeous play. It's my favorite thing I've read in a really long time,” Hanlon said. “We were looking for a children's show to do in the outdoor theater for daytime. When I read the script I realized this is not a children's play. It's a play that entire families will enjoy. I like Kate DiCamillo's books, and this is a beautiful adaptation.”

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” will feature Macklin Devine, Ian Hamilton, Nell Hamilton, Baylie Hartford and Mia Lima of Cape Rep's Young Company. Cape Rep's Young Company (YoCo) Initiative is celebrating its fifth year of providing free professional theater training to young local actors.

“We have a wonderful range of experienced young actors,” Hanlon said. “We've been talking about finding a next step for some of these experienced young actors to perform in a professional setting. This is a play with bold physicality, music and creative storytelling. Many of the young actors in the company have been with us since the Young Company's iteration.”

Daytime shows for the young theater lovers in your life will take place all summer long. From July 6 to Aug. 26, a brand new play by local playwright Holly Erin McCarthy called “The Fantastical House of Maya Mouse” will delight audiences of all ages. Movie lover Maya Mouse's enormous ears are matched only by her equally enormous imagination, and everything she hears thrusts her into an amazing movie adventure. Hanlon said it's exciting to return to children's theater with something brand new.

“Those of us who are fortunate enough to live on the Cape get to benefit from the presence of a wonderful, brilliant, talented woman who loves children's theater,” Hanlon said of McCarthy. “Holly, Janine (Perry, Cape Rep's producing artistic director) and I were planning something for our children's shows, reading plays, but nothing was grabbing our imagination. We wanted something really physical, something with creative noisemaking, and soon I got an email from Holly with this wonderful, exciting idea for a story.”

The cast for “The Fantastical House of Maya Mouse” will include Ari Lew, Chelsey Jo Ristaino, Ryan Sheehan and Anthony Teixeira, with more cast members to be announced.

Popular puppeteer Mary Wilson and singer/songwriter Paul Kehoe will return in person this summer with Puppets, Paul and Mary. Enjoy Mary, Paul and their puppet friends as they bring you lots of laughter and catchy songs. You might even learn something new along the way. Puppets, Paul and Mary are perfect for ages 2 to 6 and great fun for anyone of any age.

Cape Rep's Summer Starlight 2021 will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21 with live entertainment and an online auction. Details will be announced as the date draws closer.

Hanlon said that more will be announced as time goes by, but plans are in the works for the fall season.

“Things are changing day by day, but we do have several irons in the fire for September, October and November,” Hanlon said.

Audiences can look forward to additional shows Cape Rep will announce as summer continues and autumn grows near. After a very long wait, it's great to have so much to look forward to.