Welcome to ARTFARM!

ARTFARM is a non-profit, professional theater organization, based in Middletown, CT.  It was created and is being 
led by long-time local artistic leaders Dic Wheeler and Marcella Trowbridge. Every summer, ARTFARM brings outdoor Shakespeare to residents in Connecticut and beyond through its signature event, Shakespeare in the Grove. Throughout the year, ARTFARM continues to have touring shows, teaching residencies in local schools and arts centers, and a circus arts training program.


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The Politics of Laughter: 
A Tribute to Dario Fo and Franca Rame
Thursday, December 8 at 6 pm at the Buttonwood Tree,
605 Main Street, Middletown
Photo by Nicole Bengiveno, New York Times

ARTFARM invites theater activists and comedy enthusiasts to gather to honor the life & legacy of the iconic Italian actor/playwright/activists Dario Fo and Franca Rame. This tribute will take place at the Buttonwood Tree in Middletown on Thursday, December 8 at 6 pm.

The Politics of Laughter: A Tribute to Dario Fo and Franca Rame will be introduced by Wesleyan Theater Professor and Fo scholar Ron Jenkins, and will feature readings by actors from ARTFARM’s Ensemble, including Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge, Executive Director Dic Wheeler, and actor John Basinger (known to Shakespeare in the Grove audiences as King Lear in 2014). This will be an evening of comedy, memory and celebration. 

Italian actor/playwright/director/painter/designer/activist/Nobel Laureate Dario Fo died on October 13 of this year at age 90; his wife, actor/playwright/activist Franca Rame, passed away in 2013. They had been married and creating theater and havoc together in Italy and throughout the world since 1954.  Their unique brand of satirical theater serves as an inspiration for activists and theater makers around the globe, not only for the past sixty years but into the future. Up to their deaths Fo and Rame remained as thorns in the side of Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a billionaire turned politician who was repeatedly accused of misogyny, womanizing, corruption, and was ultimately brought down by a tax evasion indictment.

Ron Jenkins is Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University and a Visiting Professor at Yale. He had been the chief American translator of Fo and Rame (both for their written work and in performance) since the 1980’s, and is one of the pre-eminent scholars on their work in this country. He will discuss their work and legacy, as well as share some video selections of Dario Fo onstage at the Joyce Theater in New York. 

This will be followed by live readings of selections of the works of both Fo and Rame by members of ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove Ensemble. Attendees are welcome to bring short selections or Fo/Rame experiences to share, or simply to come and listen.

ARTFARM is a Middletown-based non-profit theater company, founded in 2001, which cultivates high-quality theater with a commitment to simple living, environmental sustainability and social justice.  


Now Booking: Isaac Newton's Little Apple Circus
A unique blend of CIRCUS and SCIENCE!

This 50 minute program – designed for schools, libraries, museums or community centers -- is equal parts performance, workshop, and comic demonstration. ARTFARM circus artists Dic Wheeler and Allison McDermott playfully embody Sir Isaac Newton and the 18th century French physicist and feminist Emilie du Chatelet.  These two giants of science present a series of circus skills such as juggling, plate spinning, partner acrobatics, diabolo, and the balancing of all kinds of objects (including peacock feathers, long poles, chairs, and one another). The real fun begins as members of the audience are brought on stage to help demonstrate the principles of Newtonian Mechanics. 

Isaac Newton’s Little Apple Circus introduces Newton's fundamental Laws of Motion -- the foundation of Classical Mechanics -- as well as the discoveries of Galileo which preceded them. Concepts introduced and explored in this fun and interactive experience include inertia, gravity, force, mass, energy, static and kinetic friction, velocity, gyroscopic stability and centripetal force. This feast of polysyllabic concepts will, however, leave not even the most restless young person bored or confused, but the hands-on spectacle of circus arts and comic acting will excite every participant to learn more about the forces in our universe that effect “everything from the flight of juggling balls to the movement of planets.”


The presentation is affordable and flexible, presentable in gyms, auditoriums, or just about any space with a 13 foot ceiling and a flat floor. For more information, or to book Isaac Newton’s Little Apple Circus , email info@art-farm.org or call (860) 346-4390.

Little Apple Circus rehearsal photos by Lauren Sitz.


AUDITIONS for Circophony Traveling Company
Tuesday, January 17, 6 - 9 pm at 
Oddfellows Playhouse.
For ages 12 - 18. Details HERE.

Auditions for Circophony's Spring Touring Company will be held on January 17. Their Spring show will premiere April 28 and 29 and will be available for touring performances through June, 2017. Schools, clubs and festivals are advised to book this popular company soon, before their Spring dates fill up.
For more information about Circophony auditions or booking the Company, contact info@art-farm.org

Also booking now -- limited dates are available for the Spring Tour of our Teen Traveling Circus -- 


   This gifted group of young performers annually tours a 45 minute circus performance to area schools, clubs, churches and art centers. Circophony is a collaboration between ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse. 

Each Fall ARTFARM circus teaching artists offer rigorous circus training to young people ages 12 - 18. In January members of the training program audition to be selected for the Traveling Company. Traveling Company members create a new circus  which premieres in April.

The show is only available to tour in May and June, 2017!

Last year's Circus of Joy performance thrilled audiences throughout Central Connecticut, and tour dates filled up quickly. Contact ARTFARM now to make sure that you can bring the 2017 Tour to your venue!

                                                                                 Fall 2015 Newsletter: Next Addition comes out Fall 2016

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