860-291-2988 • 69 Main Street, New Britain, CT 06051 • info@phoenixtheater.us

Past Shows History Directors Current Show Directions

The Evolution of Phoenix Theater

by Christopher Ryan


At the tender age of sixteen, by the “Shape up or ship” out edict of my father, I was introduced to Sam Capuana and Otto Byram, both were icons of local theater.  They showed me their theater, The Oval in the Grove Playhouse in Farmington, CT, which was a 120-seat summer stock house in the round.  From the moment I set foot inside the building I felt a sense of magic, a feeling of being at home.  My first job was cleaning and painting the bathrooms, thus began my lifelong passion for live theater.

Acted, directed, and produced shows with local companies.  Among these houses were: The Producing Guild, The Nutmeg Players, Theater  Newington, Theater Mania, The Theater District, Mark Twain Masquers, The New Britain Rep and many others.

Joined The Hole in the Wall Theater Company.  Directed the musicals, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show and others.

Moved to New York to study acting and directing.  Tutored by Joan See in private sessions.  Worked extensively with The Actors Conservatory Theater.

Returned to CT.  Formed Underdog Productions as a touring theater company.  After presenting the musical “Hair” at the Sting in New Britain, the show was picked up by Broadway Play Productions and we hit the road.  “Hair” toured the Northeast playing in Three to Five Thousand seat houses.  We also toured “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”  (abridged) for nine years.

Formed Phoenix Theater Co.  After watching many theaters close their doors, I built Phoenix as a Theater Hub.  Any group or venue was welcome to use our space for rehearsals.  Anyone that needed props, lights, sound equipment, costumes, flats, or set pieces could borrow them at no charge.  This is a philosophy that I still practice to this day. As Phoenix I directed and produced such shows as: Dracula, Broadway and Beyond, Parallel Lives, Insignificance, Greetings, Play on, Rocky Horror, Nunsense, The Odd Couple, Evita, Cabaret, and many others.


Phoenix Theter Company Mission Statement

The Phoenix Theater Co. will provide local artists and theatrical production companies with technical and performance support free of charge. Any arts organization needing props, platforms scenery, lighting or sound equipment, etc. will be helped.  The theater will support itself by presenting top-quality plays and musicals at Trinity on Main Arts Center in New Britain CT.



















860-291-2988 • 69 Main Street, New Britain, CT 06051 • info@phoenixtheater.us