Sep 25, 2012

CT Humanities awards grant to Oddfellows

Middletown, Conn.- Oddfellows Playhouse is pleased to announce that is has received its very first grant of $6,500 from Connecticut Humanities in support of its winter production of A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration.  This play is being produced as a joint venture with Connecticut Heritage Productions.

Connecticut Heritage Productions is helping to fund this production because of its unique combination of historical significance, audience appeal, and educational opportunities.    A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, was written by Pulitzer Prize (1988, How I Learned to Drive) winning playwright Paula Vogel.  Vogel, the former Chair of the Playwrighting department of Yale and a writer-in-residence, had this play premiered at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT in 2008, then transferred to Boston's Huntington Theatre Company in 2009.  Later this year, it is scheduled to have it off-Broadway debut in New York City. 

Vogel has been quoted as having written the play because she was tired of having Christmas shows made with no American heritages; only Victorian (British) shows are ever put on.  The play is set is Washington D.C. on Christmas Eve in 1864, during the Civil War.  President Lincoln has just been reelected and General Sherman is marching troops into battle.  The play intersects historical figures with fictional characters.  The play not only entertains, but it is meant to educate and inform about the real-life struggles and the human spirit that endured during one of the most difficult times in our history.

The production will be including a multi-generational cast of local adult actors and students from the Teen Repertory Program.  With generous funding from the Connecticut Humanities, director Peter Loffredo will be incorporating the local historical society, Historian Richard Slotkin, and ethnomusicologist Ellen Lueck into the production process to help educate the cast about the play’s historical significance, and provide community conversations on performance evenings with the audience. 

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration will be performed at Oddfellows Playhouse from December 6-15.  Ticket information can be found online at, or call 860-347-6143.  For more information about the Connecticut Humanities, please check out their website at

Oddfellows programming is made possible through the generous support of the American Savings Foundation, the CDBG Scholarship Program, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, the CT Department of Education, CT Humanities Council, Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Carse Foundation, the Fund for Greater Hartford, the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, the Irving Kohn Foundation, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex United Way, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middletown YSB, the National Endowment for the Arts, Northern Middlesex Cable Advisory Council, Pratt & Whitney—Middletown, Price Chopper Golub Foundation, the Stare Fund, Stop and Shop Foundation, Thomas J. Atkins Foundation, Triple Frog, LLC and WESU (88.1FM).