Orson Welles, William Castle And The Stony Creek Theater

by Frank Rizzo

William Castle is best known as the director and producer of a series of B-horror films of the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s who upped his reputation in the late ‘60s as producer of the classic Rosemary’s Baby.

Orson Welles is best known as the wunderkind stage and film director-producer-writer-actor and film auteur of what is arguably the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane.
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But what both men had in common—master of middlebrow suspense and imperfect genius of the stage and screen—was a little summer theater in the hamlet of Stony Creek on 128 Thimble Island Road in Branford.

According to Castle’s autobiography, he was a 25-year-old in 1939 and hungry to make his mark in show business when he obtained Orson Welles’s telephone number and persuaded him to lease him the Stony Creek Theatre, which Welles used the previous summer to re-fashion a play by William Gillette. That production, Too Much Johnson, was supposed to have featured a mix of film and live performances but turned out to be a legendary disaster with the cinema aspects never making it to the production and audiences baffled by what was happening on stage. Read More…

Playhouse on Park 2019-2020 Season

Playhouse on Park Executive Director Tracy Flater and Co-Artistic Directors Sean Harris and Darlene Zoller have announced their 2019-2020 Season.

Season Eleven opens with NUNSENSE, by Dan Goggin. Revel in the madness of this hilariously funny musical comedy, featuring a troupe of dancing, singing nuns. NUNSENSE follows the crazy antics of five nuns from the Little Sisters of Hoboken convent. When their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally serves some tainted soup, poisoning 52 of the sisters, the five surviving nuns must band together to raise funds for their burials. Directed by Playhouse co-founder and co-artistic founder Darlene Zoller. Music Direction by Melanie Guerin. NUNSENSE runs September 18-October 19, 2019.

Running October 30-November 17, 2019 is Barbara Lebow’s A SHAYNA MAIDEL, a powerful and poignant drama of survival and strength about two sisters trying to reconnect after years of separation brought on by the Holocaust. Directed by Dawn Loveland Navarro, A SHAYNA MAIDEL explores family, faith, and forgiveness in the pursuit of a better future. Read More…