Depot Theatre plans for coolest season yet

WESTPORT Its been nearly 30 years coming, but the Depot Theatre in Westport finally has air conditioning.

Three large air conditioning units have been installed to keep the Depot Theatre at a comfortable 72 degrees. Installing the air conditioning was a challenge because of the historic nature of the structure. Located at Westports train depot, the 19th Century structure has no insulation.

Chris Casquilho, the Depots new managing director, hoped that the new air conditioning would allow more people to attend shows. Increased attendance would help the equity theatre take its performances to the next level, he said.

I think our challenge is to increase our revenues so we can increase our artistic staff. That will improve the quality of productions, said Casquilho.

Casquilho added that the air conditioners are super quiet and wont interfere with the enjoyment of the shows.

The next step with the air conditioning is to find ways to insulate the room without changing its character, said Casquilho.

Before coming to work at the Depot, Casquilho served as the director of development and, later as the executive director for the Firehouse 5 Playhouse in Livingston, Montana, which is just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Casquilho has worked off-Broadway as a carpenter, electrician, technical director, and production manager, as well as serving as the technical director at SUNY Potsdam in 2003. He helped launch a new performing space and shop for the Civic Theatre of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and co-founded the Fantod Theatre company in Chicago in 1998. He started at the Depot Theatre in April.

The Westport Depot Theatre will kick off its 2007 season this week with Hank Williams: Lost Highway, a spectacular musical biography of the rise and fall of the brash, forever-young, always-legendary singer/songwriter who stands among the greatest innovators of American popular music. This entertaining journey features over 20 Hank Williams favorites - including I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Jambalaya and Hey, Good Lookin.

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