Well-known writer, actor and director Kevin Broccoli, a native Rhode Islander, is an amazing theater resource. Broccoli is widely known as prolific and talented. However, one of Broccoli’s largest contributions to the theater community is his prescient idea of reaching out to work with others throughout the state. Broccoli rejected the idea that the only really talented actors are in New York City. He used his own gifts and abilities to showcase the astounding number of talented people right here in the Ocean State.
Broccoli’s Epic Theatre Company is about to start an exciting new chapter by joining the Artists’ Exchange in Cranston, RI, as the first ever resident theater company. While Broccoli’s Epic Theatre was growing, the Artists’ Exchange also saw a steady growth during the past decade. This growth spurt was marked most recently by the opening of a second venue: Theatre 82. This additional venue allowed the organization to expand its program and event offerings, acting as a growing resource to many.
In September 2013, Epic Theatre Company and the Artists’ Exchange will officially join forces when Epic Theatre moves into the Black Box Theatre at the Artists’ Exchange. As a resident theater company, Epic will benefit from the established venue, and Epic’s productions will receive operating support, such as staffing, box office management and promotional support.
The Artists’ Exchange will benefit as well. Epic Theatre will help keep the line-up lively at Black Box and Theatre 82. Epic Theatre also will have the opportunity to stage larger scale productions at Theatre 82. “Kevin is such a pleasure to work with, and is such a talent, it’s no surprise that he has a great following,” says Elaine McKenna-Yeaw, director of the Artists’ Exchange. “He’s the perfect addition to our growing organization and we look forward to seeing where this takes us.”
Broccoli’s work as Epic’s resident company will continue to prioritize showcasing local talent. He also will include Rhode Island premieres, works by women playwrights and plays that deal with LGTB issues. “Epic has always had a wonderful relationship with the Artists’ Exchange,” says Broccoli. “To create a partnership between Epic Theatre and this terrific organization that will give the company a permanent home to rehearse, workshop, and perform will allow our group to progress to another level. We’re thrilled to start producing theater for the intimate space at the Artists’ Exchange and the brand new space at Theatre 82.”
Epic Theatre Company will begin the first season at its new venue with Martin McDonagh’s A Behanding in Spokane. A genre that Broccoli greatly enjoys, A Behanding is a black comedy about the protagonist’s long-lasting search for his missing hand. He stops at a sleazy motel where the action unfolds. Escalating events develop involving hostages, gunfire and explosives. A Behanding will run September 13th through the 28th at Theatre 82.
The Artists’ Exchange is located at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston and Theatre 82 is located at 82 Rolfe Square. For more information, visit artists-exchange.org. For more information about Epic Theatre Company, please visit the website epictheatrecompanyri.org.