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WaterFire Theater Under The Stars Brings Live Theater and Film Screenings to the Valley Neighborhood

WaterFire Theater Under The Stars at the WaterFire Arts Center

The WaterFire Theater Under the Stars is the second-largest outdoor theater in Rhode Island and the first of its kind in Providence. Peter A. Mello, managing director and coCEO said, “In the spirit of the Governor’s ‘Take it Outside’ initiative our goal is to provide a safe experience for all Rhode Islanders by offering a wide variety of arts programming for the community at the WaterFire Arts Center.”

The WaterFire Theater Under the Stars will showcase a mix of live theater, dance, music, and performances, plus film screenings and educational presentations. The health and safety of visitors is a top priority. This unique outdoor theater offers visitors a safe ‘drive-in’ experience where original and national arts events may be viewed from the warmth and safety of patron’s cars, tuning into 102.9 FM to hear the audio. Images will be projected onto a 40’ widescreen with state of the art projection capacity. 

WaterFire’s new COVID-safe outdoor theater venue was conceived and designed by WaterFire creator, executive artistic director, and co-CEO Barnaby Evans, who said “In designing this new theatrical venue, safety was the first priority. We are also creating a hybrid form of enhanced live performance, using videography to bridge the intimacy gap imposed upon us all as citizens, performers, and audiences by the required COVID distancing and separation policies.”

Highlights at WaterFire’s Theatre Under The Stars

Constellations By Nick Payne
December 3-19, 2020

Constellations By Nick Payne

Roland (a bee keeper) and Marianne (a theoretical physicist) meet at a party. In that single moment, an unfathomable multitude of possibilities unfold. Their chance meeting might blossom into a meaningful relationship or a brief affair: it might lead to nothing at all. Each step along those possible paths in turn offers a new series of potential outcomes.

This unique production will offer audiences the chance to safely see a play — at the drive-in. Patrons can see the performance from the warmth and safety of their cars, tuning into our new FM radio station to hear the audio at the volume they prefer. There are also properly-spaced out outdoor seats available, under heating lamps, on a first-come, first-served basis. Constellations will add Spanish-language performances on select dates, where the audience may choose to hear the play in English or in Spanish by tuning into separate FM stations that will broadcast a parallel live performance of the play in Spanish. For more information, visit The production stars Rachel Dulude as quantum cosmologist Marianne and The Wilbury Theatre Group’s Artistic Director Josh Short as beekeeper Roland.

RI Filmmakers Showcase: Amaurys Anglero Jr.’s “We Lawless Few”
December 5, 2020, at 8:30 p.m.

Amaurys Anglero Jr.’s “We Lawless Few”

We Lawless Few introduces us to the Black Mamba’s. A psychopathic pseudo-family, as thick as thieves and as vicious as their name would suggest. We glimpse in at their lowest point as they struggle for survival against a foe too close for comfort in this fast paced Film Noir.

Mature Content Warning Rated R

Providence World Music African Film Festival
December 6, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.

Presented by PVD World Music, supported by The Wilbury Theatre Group + WaterFire Providence

Providence World Music African Film Festival will take place at the Waterfire Arts Center, This Drive-In Cinema festival will feature films made by filmmakers from Africa and Africa Diaspora with the aim of introducing the rich culture and creative heritage of Africa. The festival will also include live musical performances by Sidy Maiga, Balla Kouyate, and Yacouba Diabate.

Frida Kahlo: A Portrait – Film and Live Performance
December 7, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.

Still from the film "Frida"
Still from the film “Frida”

Includes a visual overview of her paintings and her life in photographs
“The Two Fridas” a live performance work by Saúl Ramos & Alex Rivera with Arte Latino of New England
The film “Frida” directed by Julie Taymor (2002)

A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her artwork.

Film Classic: Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”
December 8, 2020

Mature Content Warning Rated R

“Pulp Fiction” is Rated R

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American neo-noir black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino that tells several stories of criminal Los Angeles. The title refers to the pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels popular during the mid-20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue.

RI Filmmakers Showcase: The award-winning “KIKI – a film by Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon” plus a performance by RI’s Haus of Glitter
December 11, 2020 at 8:15 p.m.

KIKI - a film by Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon
KIKI – a film by Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon

KIKI – a film by Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon
A documentary about the KIKI scene, a creative community, safe space and alternative family structure which is created by a new generation of activist LGBTQ+ BIPoC youth, who are involved in the House and Ballroom culture in New York City. Sara Jordenö is an Assistant Professor of Film at RISD.

Opening Performance: The Haus of Glitter Dance Company
The Haus of Glitter Dance Company works, through movement and choreography, to shift the energetic center of the universe towards Queer Feminist BIPOC Liberation. In the work we share and co-create with audiences, we strive to embody ancestral liberation, healing and love in every step and every breath of our creative process and pedagogy. Our choreography aims to reach beyond the stage and into the streets; into our homes; into our institutions; into our hearts.

Death Drop Gorgeous by Brandon Perras-Sanchez, Michael Ahern, & Christopher Dalpe
Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 8:30 p.m.

Death Drop Gorgeous is a campy drag exploitation horror film set in the seedy gay nightlife of Providence, RI. Inspired by Giallo films & 80’s slashers, the movie balances dark humor, crime, mystery, and supernatural elements to create a unique cinema experience that has all the makings of a horror cult classic.

Small Moves, Big Pictures presented by Motion State Arts
December 13, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

Photograph courtesy Simon Olaoye

Live performances from Rhode Island dance artists Shura Baryshnikov and Steph TurnerAlex Davis, Jessica Davis and Julia Krasnow, Heidi Henderson, Kathryn McNamara, Katie Moorhead, Simon Olaoye, Ellen Oliver with drummer Micaiah Castro, and Andy Russ.

Dance films include favorites from the past three seasons of the Motion State Dance Film Series from Ali Kenner BrodskyRebecca McGowan and Jackie O’RileyEllen Oliver, and a new film from Taleen Batalian in collaboration with Heidi Henderson!

PLAFF Outdoors: An evening of films presented by the Providence Latin American Film Festival
December 14, 2020, at 5:30 p.m.

Providence Latin American Film Festival (PLAFF) continues its mission of promoting greater awareness and appreciation of excellence and achievement in Latin American motion picture arts through public screenings, as well as educational and other cultural programs, and thereby celebrating the vitality and creative contributions of Latin American cultures.

Rhode Island Black Film Festival 2020 award-winning film “Balloon Man”
December 16, 2020, at 8:30 p.m.

Chantal Potter’s “Balloon Man” is a moving documentary about Bill Costen’s discovery of the transformative power of flight. The rubber met the road in the early 1970s for Bill Costen. After being drafted by the Buffalo Bills, tragedy forces him out of his dream. Saying goodbye to a career on the turf, Bill takes to the air, becoming the first African American Hot-Air Balloon Master Pilot in the world. Balloon Man is an intimate portrait of a former NFL athlete who learned how to navigate through the clouds, told through the lens of his daughter, award-winning filmmaker, Chantal Potter. Bill found freedom in flying, proving that with a bit of faith, the sky’s the limit.

See the complete schedule of upcoming performances and film screenings.

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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