At the Abbey of Regina Laudis  • 249 Flanders Road • Bethlehem, CT 06751  |  Directions
For tickets and information visit: The Gary-The Olivia Performing Arts Center.

Go to Current Production Schedule.

companyIn 2014 Sally and Thomas Camm chose a name for the actors' company working at The Gary-The Olivia Theater. A theater company is a body of actors committed to preparation and performance of a play. The Clay & Wattles Theater Company is a 501-c3 performing arts and educational nonprofit organization. Thomas and Sally explain the inspiration behind their choice of the name:

The name Clay & Wattles has a literary reference in the W.B.Yeats’ poem, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ and communicates the importance of having a connection to nature in a person’s life. It starts, ‘I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made.’ theaterClay & wattles also are ancient building materials, found in nature and used throughout the world. They provide a strong yet flexible resource for building and a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to other conventional methods and materials. By analogy nature’s sounds, scents and movements permeate the stage at The Gary-The Olivia Theater and in fact are sometimes used to extend and enhance the set and stage design. Nature is clearly a part of the experience at The Gary-The Olivia. The presence and awareness of nature can help to ground the performer in his/her body, feelings, experience and intuition as they attempt to bring a character to life and draw out the humanness in a role. So on stage clay and wattles (nature) is a kind of touchstone, that if we are fortunate enough, helps us connect with and express our common humanity.

Mother DoloresThe Gary-The Olivia Theater is an open air theater that was built in 1982 and seats about 300 people. The theater is covered but opens at the back to the woods of the Abbey land, and the trees and birds are often a feature of the theatrical world that is created on stage. The link between drama and monastic life is an ancient one, but The Gary-The Olivia Theater in particular owes its existence to Reverend Mother Dolores Hart, the actress, who in 1963 gave up a successful Hollywood career to become a nun at the Abbey. Far from putting an end to her acting career, she discovered that monastic life transcended her acting vocation: Obviously a cloistered monastery is not the conventional place that one goes to realize one's potential as an actress. And yet, in my case, my vocation as an actress could only have reached its fullest expression, its fullest expansion because I was fortunate enough to have been called to a monastic way of life.

In the 1970's, a company of actors called the Act Association formed around James and Dawn Douglas, friends of Mother Dolores, and fellow actors. Patricia Neal and James Douglas performed together in A.R. Gurney's play Love Letters, and over the years productions by the group have ranged from Shakespeare to Sartre, from opera to musical reviews. The Theater has also performed musicals in recent years: My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Fiddler On The Roof, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls and Oklahoma, South Pacific and Fiorello. You can read the glowing reviews of these performances at the Clay & Wattles Theater Company website.

Sally The mission of Clay & Wattles Theater Company, as expressed by directors Sally and Thomas Camm, is organize, manage and execute a professional performing arts center Sally(theater, music, dance) that provides unique opportunities to integrate the arts, gives performers a professional and supportive environment in which to grow and develop their performing skills and provides audiences with rich, complex and compelling theatrical experiences of what it is to be human—and in so doing enrich the cultural landscape of Northwest, CT and the greater CT, NY and NJ region.

theater Currently the Camms produce two major productions a year, a play and a musical (with the goal of expanding the number and variety of productions in the future), along with an annual concert/fundraiser for the theater. The productions are attended by over 3000 people and are reviewed by major media outlets in Connecticut. Auditions are held each year and actors from the local community theater network, local colleges and universities, and from Actor’s Equity audition for roles in the various productions. And there are newcomers, young people who live in the area for whom the experience of acting at the Abbey theater has opened up a new and rich dimension to their lives. For more information on how to get involved visit the Clay & Wattles Theater Company website.

theaterThe Clay & Wattles Theater Company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater is pleased to announce its 2015 Season! The 2015 Season begins with a masterpiece—the lyrical and moving drama The Trip To Bountiful a play by Oscar Winner (To Kill A Mockingbird) Horton Foote. The play will run from June 12 through the 21st. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 pm and Sunday Matinees at 2:30 pm.

Performance Schedule

The Trip To the rarest of theater experiences, an evening which will prove an indelible memory.
World Telegraph
For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Clay & Wattles Theater Company website.
Tickets are also available at the box office in front of the theater 1 hour before the show.

A window into the world of artisan made foods!
11:00 am—4:00 pm Rain or Shine
Come to the Abbey's The Gary The Olivia Theater , 249 Flanders Road, on Saturday, May 30th from 11 am to 4 pm for a Farmstead Festival that will feature some of the top small farms and artisan food producers in the Northeast US.

The event will showcase locally made handcrafted cheeses from Cato Corner Farm, Abbey of Regina Laudis Dairy (as available), Artisan Made Northeast, Beltane Farm, Parish Hill Creamery, Woodcock Farm, baked goods from Wave Hill Breads, Middlebury Baking Company, Mayflower Grace Resort & Spa, jams and jellies from Winding Drive, local honey from Hilltop Apiaries, handcrafted chocolates by Philippe Niez, Savor cookies, lamb, beef and pork products from Bethlehem’s own Percy Thomson Meadows Farm, specialty food items from the Str-Eat Italiano Food Truck, Alpaca wool products from Bella Alpacas and goat milk soaps from All-Wright Acres. Local area artists will also be displaying their work. All products will be for sale.

Entertainment will be provided by the Clay & Wattles Theater Company (introducing its 2015 Season at The Gary The Olivia Theater), and Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B. will read from her much acclaimed autobiography “The Ear of the Heart”. Mother Dolores will be happy to sign any copies of the book that are purchased on that day. Also, come and meet Mother Noella Marcellino, O.S.B., (the “Cheese Nun”) who will be available for a Q and A session. Copies of her documentary (entitled “The Cheese Nun”) can also be purchased.

Event takes place in the roofed, open air The Gary The Olivia Theater, so come rain or shine! Admission to the festival is $18 purchased on-line until May 29th, 2015 at Clay & Wattles Theater Company web site and $20 at the gate (gate opens 10:30 am on Saturday, May 30, 2015) the day of the festival. Children 12 years and under are admitted free.

The Farmstead Festival is a promotional and fundraising activity for Clay & Wattles Theater Company and will assist the nonprofit with costs associated with the 2015 season at The Gary The Olivia Theater and with theater maintenance and construction projects. For further information please go to Clay & Wattles Theater Company web site or e-mail

Our musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning Man of La Mancha which will run from August 1st through the 16th. theaterFriday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. The musical tells the story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. Songs such as "All the Same", "Dulcinea", "I’m Only Thinking of Him", "The Impossible Dream", "I Really Like Him" and "Little Bird" will stay with you long after the curtain closes. The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Musical theatre at its finest, anywhere! A triumph.
United Press International

A third performance, a Concert/Fundraiser for The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled From Rags To Riches will take place on Saturday, September 19th from 3-6 pm with special guest artists performing dramatic readings, songs, and dances. The event includes wine, cheese, and chocolates and a reception with a meet and greet with the performers.

Don’t miss the 2015 Season which includes:
•Workshops (Voice, Drama, Dance – Times & Dates TBA)
•Main Stage Musical & Play
•Opening Night Gala with Cheese & Wine Reception
•Annual Fundraiser “From Rags To Riches” (Saturday, September 19, 2015) with Special Guest Artists Wine, Cheese and Chocolate reception

Special Offers: •Season Subscriptions for Groups and Individuals
•Special Rates for Seniors
•Youth 11 years and under—Admitted Free

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For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Clay & Wattles Theater Company website.
Tickets are also available at the box office in front of the theater 1 hour before the show.

The 2014 Season opened in June with performances of one act plays Blind Date and The Actor written by American Playwright Horton Foote. These beautifully written comedies set in the fictional town of Harrison, Texas delighted the audiences.
The musical for the 2014 season which received rave reviews was the classic Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun.

From the opening strains of the overture played by the fine eight-member orchestra under the direction of Jerold Goldstein, this production did not disappoint. For me, the show actually began when we got our first sight of the magnificent scenery designed and painted by Matt Wood...
New York based actress Chandra Albritton was cast in the title role and was a pleasure to watch. She nailed Annie’s spunkiness and sang her many musical numbers beautifully. Thomas Camm was also strong in the part of Frank Butler and his vocal ability matched that of Ms. Albritton perfectly.
From Opening Night Review by Nancy Sasso Janis