At Yale Summer Cabaret: ‘Provocative’ productions aim to spark the imagination

Yale Summer Cabaret’s “50 Nights: A Festival of Stories” will explore the theatrical tradition of storytelling with three “provocative and deeply moving productions that will spark the imagination,” say the organizers.

“Imagination burns most brightly in the simple act of storytelling,” write the organizers. “Stories are how we imagine ourselves — who we are, where we have come from, and what we wish to become.” The 38th season of the Yale Summer Cabaret is led by artistic director Tanya Dean and producer Reynaldi Lolong.

The season opens on Wednesday, June 20, with a production of “The K of D, an Urban Legend” by Laura Schellhardt, directed by Dean. One actress brings an entire town to life as she tells the tale of a rural Ohio community dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy, a gang of “nervy” kids on the cusp of adulthood, and a grieving young girl who may or may not have discovered a terrible power. The play will run through Aug. 17.

Adam Rigg’s “Of Ogres Retold” will be staged June 22-Aug. 18. Rigg’s play is an original work of puppet theater inspired by Japanese folk tales. Of the play the organizer’s write, “the magical and the macabre collide in an engaging investigation of beauty, storytelling, death, and puppets.”

The final production of the season, “The Secret in the Wings,” is a play in which “fairy tales come to life in the most unexpected ways when a sullen beast and a wary young girl wander down the path that connects ‘once upon a time’ to ‘happily ever after,’” according to the organizers. Written by Mary Zimmerman and directed by Margot Bordelon, the performances will run June 23-Aug. 19.

Following select performances, audiences will be invited to gather outside to hear a short story read aloud. Each week, a different theme will tie the stories together — “Magic Realism,” “Every Love Story is a Ghost Story,” and “New Haven Tales.” The Fireside Series occurs each Thursday and Saturday and after select performances.

The Yale Summer Cabaret’s “50 Nights: A Festival of Stories” will be staged from June 20 to Aug. 19. Performances are Tuesday-Sunday at 8 p.m. (doors open for dinner at 6 p.m.), and Saturday at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1 p.m. and refreshments will be available). Tickets start at $20, and subscriptions to all three shows are $70. Student and group pricing is available. For tickets and more information, visit www.summercabaret.org or call 203-432-1567.