Chester Theatre Company was founded in 1990 by Vincent Dowling and H. Newman Marsh. Over the years, The Miniature Theatre of Chester, as it was then known, grew from “little miracle of the Berkshires” (The Berkshire Eagle) to a company that “has produced a record that can rival the best the area has to offer.” (The Boston Globe)
Under the leadership of current Artistic Director Byam Stevens, CTC has earned a reputation for producing the best in contemporary theatre, consistently winning top honors with critics and audiences. But, the success of our productions is not strictly local — many CTC productions, including: Pride@Prejudice (2011), Last Train to Nibroc (2010), The Dishwashers (2008), The Bully Pulpit (2007), Two Rooms (2006), Duet For One (2006), The Retreat from Moscow (2005), Tea for Three (2004), Valley Song (2001), The Double Bass (2000) and A Moon For the Misbegotten (2000), have gone on to Off Broadway, regional, national, and international tours.
In fact, CTC has transferred 17 productions to other venues in the last 15 years, a record any theatre company would be proud of. Truly, CTC “delivers plays that grip the soul and fire the imagination.” (The Valley Advocate)
Acclaim for CTC programs is not limited to the Main Stage. In 2005, the company launched an educational outreach program that has two main components:
Random Acts, Michael Dowling’s hip, funny, hard-hitting play, commissioned by CTC to address hazing, bullying and coercive behavior in adolescents, has toured high schools and middle schools across western Massachusetts, winning the praise of educators and students alike.
The Gateway Playwriting Project and The Camp Shepard Project are after-school playwriting programs that teams middle school playwrights with professional actors, directors and designers to create new works performed before the general public. This innovative program received the Champions of Arts Education Award from the Massachusetts Alliance of Arts Educators, and was named a Creative Teaching Partner by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.