Cape Theater: It’s Been A While

Cat Theatre 1This week the Cape Cod Theatre Coalition celebrated its 20th anniversary. Twenty years of community theaters working together to support each other on Cape Cod. I have to admit it’s been too many years since I went to a theatre production here on the Cape. It’s been even longer since I was IN a production. I didn’t realize how much I missed the theater until the lights went down at The Cotuit Center for the Arts. There is no other experience like live theater! We were treated to a sampling of musicals in production at a handful of theatres including The Cotuit Center’s “Pirates of Penzance”, “Sweeny Todd” from The Academy of Performing Arts and “South Pacific” by the Barnstable Comedy Club. Any given weekend there are dozens of theater productions across the Cape. If you haven’t been, you are missing out. There is an infectious energy to live theater that you cannot catch in a movie theatre or from TV – no matter how “awesome” your home theatre system is.

I got a little nostalgic seeing some of my old friends on stage, including Michael Ernst (Pirates of Penzance) and Marcia Wytrwal (Music Director from Barnstable Comedy Club). After the celebration, I sat down on my couch in the quiet of my living room and kicked the bottom drawer of my coffee table. This drawer is filled with theater reviews and clippings from various productions I was lucky enough to be part of. It hasn’t been opened in many years. It took me several days to work up the courage to open the drawer.

I have been fortunate to make so many friends through the theater community. In fact, it was a play at the Barnstable Comedy Club that gave me the chance to meet Cheryl Park from 99.9 The Q for the first time! We both auditioned and were cast in the 2001 production of “Crimes of the Heart”. Cheryl was the worldly Meg, while I played the somewhat manic Babe. I dug out a review from the Barnstable Patriot: “Wilson especially shines as Babe… Wilson’s flair for comedy is evident…Park’s Meg is also strong. She connives and manipulates to get what she wants easily from her less worldly sisters, even though her non-triumphant return home is hard to swallow.” Cheryl asked me to make sure everyone knows that she pulled my head out of a stove several times during that production… literally. I, in turn, taught her how to light a cigarette without burning her eyelashes.

We are lucky to have more theaters on the Cape than I could begin to name (over 60, I think). We are also lucky to have so many talented people on our little sand spit. I have shared stages with doctors, lawyers, real-estate agents, scientists, engineers, teachers and even a priest – and these aren’t character roles I am listing. These are my neighbors with careers and jobs who enjoy playing with their alter-egos from the stage. When you hear someone talk about the ‘theatre community’, know it isn’t limited to the stage.

It would be hard for me to pick a favorite role or production: Forsine from “The Miser” (with Michael Ernst & Cleo Zani [photo]) at Eventide Arts in Dennis, Mrs. Kendal from “The Elephant Man” at the Cotuit Center, Meredith from “First Night” at the Barnstable Comedy Club… Comedies were definitely my favorites.

I generally stayed away from musicals. Let’s just say that I am better at introducing songs than singing them. That said, I did have a brief walk-on roll in “On A Clear Day” with Steve Colella at the Barnstable Comedy Club under the agreement that I wouldn’t have to sing … I lip-synched the curtain call (ask Marcia Wytrwal… she couldn’t look at me without losing her composure and laughing from the piano).

In the coming year, I am going to make a point to go to more Cape theater productions. Who wants to go see a show with me? Better yet, who wants to go to an AUDITION with me?

Click here for the Cape Cod Theater Coalitions events listings and theater auditions:

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.


  1. Seriously, I’ll go see some shows with you, Cat! Great post!

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