Since its opening in May of 2021, the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre has made several changes and updates and is planning several upcoming events for both Sacred Heart students and the community.
The SHU Community Theatre, located in downtown Fairfield, couples education with entertainment. This historic 400-seat venue holds a variety of arrangements including live concerts, theatrical performances, film screenings, author talks, and hands-on learning activities.
“As a very public-facing part of the university, we’re able to be at the interface between all of Sacred Heart’s resources,” said Matt Oestreicher, SHU Community Theatre Director.
The theatre has a variety of events planned for the future. Some of the artists who will be appearing on the community theatre stage include Jane Monheit in the Broadway on Post series on May 8, David Brooks in the Thought Leader series on Sep. 21, and Kevin Nealon in the Comedy series on May 18, which is the theatre’s first sold-out show.
“Now with the convenience of a shuttle that drops students off right outside the theater in the heart of downtown Fairfield, students now have the opportunity for a fun weekend that SHU has not been able to offer prior to the theater’s opening,” said senior Shane Hanney.
Information about other upcoming events as well as the purchase of tickets can be found on the SHU Community Theatre website.
The theatre is also holding a variety of events showcasing Sacred Heart students. The SHU band will perform at the theatre on April 29. In addition, the spring concert is on May 1. They will also be doing the first Sacred Heart University student-run and produced film festival on May 7.
“We’re initiating a lot of collaborations with students so they can really be hands-on as creators and participants in events,” said Oestreicher.
Also, on April 22, the award-winning filmmaker and Sacred Heart alumnus, Tomas Koeck, is presenting two of his original films. This will also be a fundraiser with the Atlantic Shark Foundation and the Connecticut Audubon Society.
As well as entertainment, the theatre also highlights non-profits. In the past, they have held fundraisers for breast cancer awareness, Operation Hope, and many other community groups.
Not only has the theatre undergone a plethora of changes since its opening, but they are also working to modify its services for the benefit of its audience.
“We’re changing almost everything so we can provide and create more content for the community, and we can work more smoothly,” said Oestreicher.
Some of these changes include upgrading their projector to show current movies and upgrading their sound system so they can handle bigger productions.
Although the theatre’s main season is September through June, they have arranged many events this summer, which will be their first summer fully open.
Over the summer, the theatre is holding a children’s program with Horizons, where Scared Heart will be working with kids and doing a performance on stage at the end of the program. They will also have a performance of the musical “Grease” at the end of the summer and have other musical theatre events that will be announced soon.
“I’m confident that this will drum up more interest,” said Hanney. “Sacred Heart always strives to make the college experience special for each student. Sacred Heart’s appreciation for the arts and its passion for this sense of community is something plenty of potential students would be eager to be a part of.”