Since primitive man uttered his first “ugh,” humans have asked: Who am I? How did I get here? and Where am I going? We, at Elements Theatre Company explore those answers, and render the literature with imagination and integrity through a particular brand of storytelling called theatre. The transformative work to become the text—to inhabit another world and live another’s life—is both our pleasure and our privilege. We believe in the vitality of the word, and in the community born between playwright, actor, and audience. We seek to be available to that divine moment when inspiration, faithfulness, hard work, and love merge, and transport us beyond the familiar into something new.
About the Company
Elements Theatre Company is a resident theatre company from Orleans, MA. Founded in 1993, Elements Theatre Company has stirred and inspired minds and hearts of audiences both nationally and internationally through dramatic storytelling and imaginative stagecraft of both classical works, modern works, and original compositions. The Company’s commitment to the integrity of language and context, devotion to the transformative work to become the text, and courage to explore the scope of humanity in all its horror, loveliness and humor, has resulted in high acclaim for their performance authenticity and honesty.
Performances of the past decade include: Oliver!, Blithe Spirit, Ralph Vaughan William’s opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, fully staged in collaboration with Gloriæ Dei Cantores, All My Sons, King Lear, Quem Quæritis (an original work of the Mystery Plays performed in Latin), The Merchant of Venice, Talking Heads, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Cherry Orchard, Pillars of the Community, A Christmas Carol, God of Carnage, The Dining Room, Rumors, Lion in Winter, and Lady Windermere’s Fan.
Highlights of the Company’s mission include two tours in Tuscany, Italy performing original mystery plays in Latin, several Eastern U. S. and East Coast tours, and tours in New York City, Chicago and Boston.
True to Elements’ mission of conversation and education, the Company launched a panel discussion series in 2013: Arts in Conversation, with leaders in Arts, education, religion, media and social outreach with the aim to enrich public dialogue on the power of the arts to humanize or culture.
The Company regularly studies voice with specific emphasis in the Linklater method as well as other disciplines. In addition to the Company’s ongoing studies in specific techniques, playwrights and methods in London, New York, Chicago, and at Shakespeare & Company, Elements holds workshops with students, sharing their knowledge at schools and universities throughout the country. Elements Theatre Company is a premiere performing ensemble of Arts Empowering Life Foundation.
About the Director
Christopher Kanaga, CJ, current Artistic Director of Elements Theatre Company, has been a member of the Company since 2002. His experiences both as a performer and technical director have taken him from Cape Cod, across the United States, and to the international stage including the cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena, Johannesburg, Durban, Seoul, and Degu. He has worked with artists from Ireland, England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, on sacred art installations for the Church of the Transfiguration, Orleans, MA. Chris’ diverse skills and knowledge in theatre, art, architecture, and his many years as technical director, lend to his ability to oversee the transformation of performance spaces, enabling audiences to enter fully into the world of the performance. As an actor, his recent roles have included: All My Sons, Joe Keller; King Lear, Earl of Kent; The Merchant of Venice, Antonio; Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley; God of Carnage, Michael Vallon; Julius Ceasar, Mark Antony; Pillars of the Community, Karsten Bernick; The Lion in Winter, Henry II; Twelfth Night, Feste the Clown; The Cherry Orchard, Lopakhin; Lady Windermere’s Fan, Lord Windemere.
“a steadfast Kent” King Lear, Earl of Kent
“Mark Antony played by Chris Kanaga is stellar ”. When he projects words out like a lance such as, “Cry, havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!” you want to cry; when he orates of Caesar, he makes the famed words his.” Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cape Cod Times
The Theatre Company’s Impact
“As the company mission statement indicates, Elements Theatre Company is about more than entertainment: every piece they undertake explores the breadth of humanity – its horror, its loveliness, and its humor – with honesty. These actors hold up the mirror for themselves and in turn give us, the audience, the courage to look into that mirror too, and not shy away from what we find.” —the late Julie Harris, 5-time Tony Award winning actress and Arts Empowering Life Board of Reference
“Elements Theatre’s repertory stage company always delivers top-notch productions …a remarkably talented cast of actors who breathe articulate life into each line of Shakespeare’s poetic prose.” —Barnstable Patriot, USA
“Their professionalism and commitment to their craft are unmistakable.” —Broadway World, USA
“I commend (Elements Theatre Company) for seeking to be agents of change through art. “Encouraging the Other” challenges us to hold a mirror to ourselves and peer into our own prejudices and behavior. By doing so, we are stirred to make new choices, hopefully ones that lean toward mercy.” —America Magazine
“Elements is a company that strives for artistic excellence, continually training and refining their process. Their work is honest and inspirational.” —Louis Colaianni, Professional Theatre Voice coach
“Theatre is all about passionate curiosity, about learning about alternative journeys and worlds, and the Elements Company embodies that wonderful celebration of our current crucial need for lifelong learning, compassion, and joy in the processes of life.” —Nick Sandys Pullen, award-winning actor, director, and fight choreographer
“It is always a great pleasure to work with Elements. Their work is bold and full of humanity, underpinned by their commitment to excellence, both in the high artistic standards of their productions and the development of their skills and talents. Their production values are always very high, and the actors and production team are totally professional and dedicated to their craft. They are also a lovely bunch of people making work a joy!” —Joanna Weir Ouston, teacher and director at the Oxford School of Drama, former teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London