Light the lights

Raising the curtain on new possibilities


The Ocean State Theatre Company, which transformed a former Verizon garage and warehouse on Jefferson Boulevard into its new home with a 400-seat theater, held its official grand opening Friday with a ribbon cutting and congratulatory remarks from elected arts officials. Congressman Jim Langevin made the correlation between the arts and the economy, saying the arts are an important element to creating an environment that attracts new businesses and hence jobs to the state. And Langevin also made a connection between the arts and politics. “The arts don’t divide, they help to unite us,” he said. And he wants to see the arts integrated with efforts to enhance job opportunities in science and technology. Elaborating on Langevin’s themes, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts said the arts build community and called the company’s decision to locate in Warwick a great addition to state and city goals to develop the nearby Warwick Station District and plans for a community of office, retail and residential uses benefiting from the confluence of air, rail and highway transportation. Also speaking before the curtain rose on the company’s production of the Neil Simon comic fable, “Fools,” were Rep. Frank Ferri, Randy Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson. “Warwick is so much more than malls and the airport that is named for our capital city,” she said. She urged theatergoers to be sure to visit Warwick restaurants and extend their visit, maybe even spend the night in a Warwick hotel, which had her audience laughing. Amiee Turner, OSTC artistic director who served as master of ceremonies, said it is “refreshing to see what the arts can do.” Turner, at right, directed “Fools” that runs through Feb. 10. The season continues with Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” Feb. 20 to March 10, followed by David Mamet’s “Race,” March 27 to April 14 before closing with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I from” April 24 to May 19. Additional information is available on the OSTC website at (Warwick Beacon photos)


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