Founding Executive Director Talley Wilford and Board President, Laura Todd, both Eastern Shore natives, are thrilled to introduce The Groove Theatre Company, which will call 447 Race Street in downtown Cambridge home. Along with a band of visionaries and other artists, Talley and Laura are leading a mission of inspiring, challenging, and encouraging artists and audiences of all ages throughout the Eastern Shore.
One of the arts nonprofit’s goals is to enrich the lives of Eastern Shore families through artistic excellence and community engagement and accessibility by telling challenging and engaging stories that promote thoughtfulness in the way their future audiences view the world. One of the unique gifts the theatre has to offer the community is access to quality family programming through professionally staged theatre for youth as part of its seasonal repertoire. This will be a combination of youth and family friendly stories, both new and familiar, offered up as an after-school escape or a chance for younger engagement in the arts to promote excitement and enthusiasm for theatre at a young age.
Additionally, in a time where there is such division among us, the founders seek to offer a space to have respectful conversations and meditations on some of the more difficult conversations we face today, ranging from the social complexities within the worlds of high school and the workplace, to the drama of a modern family household. For these more mature audience members, they plan to stage stories that respectfully raise questions, concerns, and challenges of identity, race, classism and accountability that we encounter regularly in daily life.
“It means a very great deal to me to be able to start this in Cambridge, a town with a rich diverse history that stands uniquely against the backdrop of Eastern Shore culture,” says Talley. “People have said of me in the past, that I always choose to direct the ‘edgy’ plays, because I’ve directed things like Sondheim’s “Assassins” and Richard O’Brien’s “Rocky Horror.” But I don’t look for things that are ‘edgy.’ I look for which plays, in the context of their own script, speak truth to the humanity of their characters. Sometimes that truth can be very loud and very unsettling. We want to bring you new and exciting works that challenge perspective and relate to personal experience. And I believe Cambridge is a terrific location to be able to be as inclusive as possible to all walks of life.”
Laura added, “I couldn’t be more excited about having Groove Theatre coming to Cambridge. There are so many talented and passionate people that inspire me on a daily basis attached to this. This is something I’ve wanted to see happen for a long time and I know it will open the door to incredible opportunities for this community and bring a lot of special people together.”
The Groove Theatre invites you to its open house on Thursday, September 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 447 Race Street in Cambridge. There will be a silent auction, live entertainment, refreshments, and a chance to hear more about what they plan to do in the coming year and beyond. Their inaugural production of “Let the Right One In” will run October 11 through 21, suggested for ages 13 and up. Tickets are for sale at www.groovetheatre.com.
To learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer or about the event, contact the theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org.