The Company Theatre is a tale of the American dream. It began when 2 young women from the midwest moved to Boston with a vision to create and tell stories. Upon her graduation from the Kansas City Art Institute, Zoe Bradford teamed up with Jordie Saucerman to work on film and theatre projects. They were asked to coach dramatics and design sets and props for a Boston based children’s theatre. Encouraged by a group of young performers, they soon formed their own theatre company.
In 1978, in a church basement, with a budget of $50, Bradford and Saucerman produced their first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Company Theatre was born. The theatre quickly outgrew this basement home and moved to a 600 seat Weymouth school auditorium to accommodate the sell-out crowds. Peter Pan put Company on the map when the 2 directors collaborated with officers from the South Weymouth Naval Air Station to create flying rigs for the actors. Grease put a convertible sports car on stage. The choreography was so precise and elaborate with the production of Oliver that it set the standard for all future Company shows. The high energy performance of A Chorus Line had patrons seeking tickets from scalpers in the parking lot!
Bradford and Saucerman realized a multi-talented musician was necessary for the continued growth of the theatre. Michael Joseph was asked to musically direct West Side Story in 1984. He knocked it out of the ball park and the existing creative team was greatly enhanced. Company’s musicals became increasingly popular. Joseph’s combined talents to conduct, musically direct and train performers allowed Company to take on epic and challenging musicals.
As the theatre’s popularity exploded, numerous adults and children auditioners had to be turned away. Realizing there was a need within the South Shore community for arts programs, these 3 directors created the Academy of the Company Theatre (A.C.T.). This outlet for youth ages 7-18 has become an acclaimed training center for the performing and visual arts. The artistic team began their first summer workshop in 1987, with 14 students. Within two years, A.C.T. had over one hundred students participating in a variety of courses.
While continuing to produce 3 shows a year, the directors took on the task of writing an original musical. In 1990, Gloryland won the prestigious Moss Hart award and received much critical acclaim. Over 20,000 people experienced the spectacular pagentry of this original production. It’s ironic that a show about our country’s homeland was written and produced at a time when The Company Theatre was itself homeless.
With strong community support, the goal to purchase their own space was realized in 1992 when a downpayment was made on an existing theatre complex in Norwell. At this time, Bradford and Saucerman invited Joseph to join them as a full partner. With newfound opportunity, Company began its quest to improve all technical and artistic aspects of their theatre; where award-winning musicals and plays, including the original musical Paragon Park have been performed.
Having a home gave Company the impetus to expand educational programs for youth and teens, allowing them to produce four youth musical and dramatic productions annually. Close to 200 students now attend the A.C.T. summer workshop. Over 60 classes are offered that range from cooking, computer animation, digital photography, Bollywood dance, and classical voice. Many former students perform professionally on Broadway, in national and international tours, regional theatre, and television and film. Studio One was recently instituted to provide a training ground for children and adults in voice, acting, dance, and audition preparation.
The Company’s Theatre’s success would not have been possible without the continued support of loyal patrons! Stronger than ever, the Company attributes its success to its long time dedicated staff and artisans who are proud to bring their craft to our audience throughout the year. Their quest for excellence in producing passionate, energetic and professional quality theatre has established the Company as a true treasure of Boston’s South Shore.
37 years of Quality Entertainment