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On set of the New Haven Theater Company's production of The Seafarer. Photo submitted by NHTC.

On set of the New Haven Theater Company’s production of The Seafarer. Photo submitted by NHTC.

There is something special about small theater. Perhaps it’s how close you are to the stage or the smaller audience you are watching with. Whatever it is, this intimate experience allows the viewer to immerse themselves into the performance, almost as if they’re part of the production. While watching the New Haven Theater Company’s production of The Seafarer this is exactly what I felt. I only get this feeling while watching local theater in New Haven.

I managed to get a front row seat at the company’s stage in back of the vintage English Building Markets. I was surprised to get an up close view considering I arrived just 10 minutes before the show began. Within seconds of taking a seat the lights went down and I was having a morning drink with Sharky and Richard at their house in Dublin. Things turn for the worst when Sharky finds himself drunk and playing a round of poker for his soul when a few guests arrive.

The Seafarer is written by Irish playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Deena Nicol-Blifford. According to the press release Nicol-Blifford says, “It’s a play where not everything is what it seems and sometimes people can surprise you. The play seems quite brash and hard-edged, but it’s really very elegant and lyrical.” The cast features  Peter Chenot (Nicky), George Kulp (Mr. Lockhart), Jim Lones (Richard), Steve Scarpa (Ivan), and J. Kevin Smith (Sharky).

The Seafarer continues this Thursday – Sunday at 8pm. Tickets for all shows are $20. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.newhaventheatercompany.com.

What else is playing around town?

Detroit ’67 – Presented by Collective Consciousness Theatre. November 20-23, 8pm. Tickets

Twelfth Night – Presented by Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, Co-op After School and Elm Shakespeare Company. November 21 & 22, 2:30pm & 7:00pm at Co-op High School, 177 College Street.

WAR – Presented by Yale Rep. November 21-December 13, 2014, 2:00pm & 8:00pm. Tickets

-Stephen Grant