Curtain Call's fortieth anniversary performance of The Merchant of Venice
Original Playbill of the 1972 production of Arthur Miller’s The Price
There will be much ado about Curtain Call as Stamford’s veteran performing arts company officially enters middle age this month with a fortieth anniversary performance of The Merchant of Venice. In keeping with Curtain Call’s enduring community-based traditions, the outdoor Shakespeare on the Green performance on July 14 will—as always—be cast entirely with local thespians, and will feature the requisite cutting of a giant cake, says executive director Lou Ursone.
The planned shindig “is really testimony to Stamford itself,” says Lou. “The legacy of this theater is that we have been supported by the community since our inception. And what’s remarkable is that we’ve endured despite our proximity to New York City [theater]. It can be really daunting to compete in this environment.” A brief history lesson: Curtain Call was a nomadic Stamford Parks and Recreation Department theater company before Al Pia, the original artistic director, was invited to “pick a barn” and settle in when the city acquired the Sterling Farms Municipal Golf Course property. To play on the nostalgia of the evening, Lou is now “trying to get the word out” to anyone who has ever performed in a Curtain Call production to join the festivities. The theater plans to proudly showcase the original playbill from Curtain Call’s inaugural 1972 production of Arthur Miller’s The Price.
Five years ago, Lou found the program in a dusty box of vintage playbills stored in the theater’s attic. Like everything at Curtain Call, the playbill, illustrated by noted theater and film artist Harold Seroy (a Curtain Call volunteer back in the day) “has held up remarkably well.”