Board President Terry Shea of the West Bay Community Theater – they emphatically and unpretentiously spell it “-er” – spent their first year making sure they are on a sound financial basis before putting on shows. “We will definitely be consciously picking musicals in particular that don’t get done a lot, yet are still quality entertainment,” he said. They expect to stage a first major production around January 2020 and a few small cabaret events before then. In about two years, they hope to become the resident company at a new theater in the old library in Wickford.
“I’ve always been one of those who said there’s too many theaters in RI, so I’m aware of the hypocrisy of me starting a theater, but it wasn’t taken lightly to make that decision because there was a need. People have been asking for it,” Shea said. WBCT is intended to fill a community theater gap in the East Greenwich-North Kingstown area left by the NK Players and the Academy Players, the latter having moved to Providence; a number of people from both are involved.
“The goodwill toward this has been amazing from the larger Rhode Island theatrical community. I can’t express enough how supportive everybody has been,” Shea said.