TORRINGTON — Keith Paul of the Desultory Theatre Club received a Litchfield Hills Creative Award on Nov. 22, from the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council for his work in sharing theater arts with the local community.

A Torrington native and graduate of the Torrington public school system, Paul found himself wondering how he could impact his hometown in a unique and positive way.

“About 10 years ago I found myself wondering, ‘What do you do in your hometown?’ How could I do something that was different?” Paul recalled.

That’s when he founded the Desultory Theatre Club. “The word itself — desultory — means random or haphazard,” Paul explained. This production company focuses on collaboration with artists from Litchfield County and beyond to bring a variety of unique live shows to Northwest Connecticut.

“I thought about all the places I had lived and traveled to and how they inspired me. I had so many ideas of things I wanted to do, and the theatre club has given me a way to share them,” he continued.

“It’s about creating a venue for different artists to come together, take non-traditional risks and learn something about themselves in the process.”

Non-traditional is an apt way to describe Paul’s venture, the Desultory Theatre Club. In February 2020, the club will have presented 150 shows all over the state. The shows are avant-garde, experimenting with different ideas and new ways of bringing theatre to life.

“We’ve done freak shows, burlesque shows, puppet shows; We’ve gone on national tour and presented our theatre works in alternative venues,” Paul explained.

Paul was even approached by Elmwood Productions, a film and puppet making company, out of Plainville, about being a part of a puppet horror movie. He, of course, dove right in. The experience piqued Paul’s interest in puppetry even more and he is now learning how to construct puppets himself.

In addition to his work with the theater club, he is also the production manager for the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. He will be putting on two holiday concerts with the orchestra, while simultaneously directing his first main stage production, “Jekyll & Hyde,” for the Warner Theatre, which opens in early February.

“These ventures are all part of the wanderlust things I want to do. It’s my precarious Bohemian lifestyle that I curated this way on purpose,” Paul said of his life journey thus far. He was honored by the recent award bestowed upon him. “It’s really all about our mission of sharing the arts,” he summed up.

Connecticut Media Group