(Newport, RI – May 9, 2017) — On Friday, May 5th, 2017, The Newport Opera House & Performing Arts Center celebrated the history and future of Washington Square with its annual event for supporters, entitled “A Theater Happening in Washington Square!” The event drew over 350 attendees who enjoyed a moveable feast of music, dance and theater in the historic buildings surrounding the square.
Washington Square has seen a lot in 300 years— but nothing quite like Friday night, as Andalucían flamenco reverberated through the Old Colony House, where the original Declaration of Independence was read. It was a night unlike any other in Washington Square’s remarkable history, with performances hosted in its time-honored buildings: BankNewport (built 1929) kicked with a dynamic jazz duo; Karol Richardson Boutique (1930) played host to a classical string trio; Jane Pickens Theater (1834) delighted with a contemporary theater staging; and the Opera House Theater itself (1867), as part of our educational mission, highlighted talented young emerging artists.
The performances were followed by festivities in the Happening Tent in Eisenhower Park and remarks by Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop, Washington Square Advisory Commission Chair Lily Dick, and Opera House Theater Executive Director Brenda Nienhouse. As a “kiss goodnight,” the Opera House Theater held a grand lightshow finale for the public, which illuminated the entirety of the square and its surrounding buildings.
“We had a tremendous night and we thank everyone for their continued support!” said Opera House Theater Board of Directors Chairperson Alison Vareika.
“The evening was an example of the world-class talent that will once again grace the Opera House Theater’s stage,” said Nienhouse. “It was a first-class event.”
We look forward to opening in 2018, in the year of the Opera House Theater’s 150th anniversary.