Chester Theatre Company Announces Its 2023 Season
Under the Leadership of James Barry and Tara Franklin
Chester, MA – Recently appointed Co-Producing Artistic Directors James Barry and Tara Franklin are pleased to announce Chester Theatre Company’s 2023 season, the first under their direction. Barry and Franklin are known for their award-winning work on the Town Hall Theatre stage, and they are excited to now be heading the organization and programming works for Chester audiences.
Barry most recently appeared in 2022’s Pass Over. Previous works include Title and Deed, Tiny Beautiful Things (Berkshire Theatre Critics Award), The Aliens (Berkshire Theatre Critics Award), Sister Play, and more. Franklin has also taken home a “Berkie” for her work in On the Exhale. She has appeared in several other CTC productions, including Tiny Beautiful Things and Sister Play, sharing the stage with her husband, Barry, in both.
“We’re so proud to present this group of plays in our first season as Co-Producing Artistic Directors,” said Barry and Franklin in a joint statement. “Our beloved audiences can expect a full summer of high stakes, actor-driven story telling bookended by two very different plays that speak to the power and mystery of theatre itself. Our season embraces a compelling range of humor and heart, speaking poignantly to both our current American moment and timeless aspects of the human condition.”
“We’d like to acknowledge the generosity of Richard and Carol Seltzer,” said Franklin, “who are Season Sponsors for a remarkable fifth consecutive year.” Added Barry, “We are grateful for the steadfast support the Seltzers have shown Chester Theatre Company, and we are thrilled that they are with us for the 2023 season.”
The Making of a Great Moment
Written by Peter Sinn Nachtreib
Directed by James Barry
June 22-July 2
Actors Mona and Terry are on tour with an epic opus called “Great Moments in Human Achievement.” In New Hampshire. On bicycles. While camping. The Making of a Great Moment features a play-within-a-play, and it is an uproariously funny love letter to the theatre. Or is it?
Bill Bowers stars as Terry. Lara Dubin, CTC Resident Designer, will design lights. Nick Hussong, a Tony nominee for his work on Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Skeleton Crew, will design scenery and projections.
“Likely to resonate with anyone who’s ever had doubts about personal life choices…a nonstop delight.” (San Francisco Examiner)
Guards at the Taj
Written by Rajiv Joseph
Two friends stand guard at the site of one of the most stunning buildings the world has ever seen, the Taj Mahal. They protect it with their lives, yet they are forbidden from looking upon its beauty. But there is an ugly side to nearly everything. Perfection comes at a price, and those in power decide who pays and at what cost.
“An enlightening evening of theatre, sucking the audience in at every turn.” (Broadway World)
Written by Loy A. Webb
Directed by Christina Franklin
July 27-August 6
Rashad and Genesis have just gotten engaged. To celebrate, he wants to take her to a show by a local Chicago musician who’s made it big. When she refuses, revealing that the rapper assaulted a friend in college, the celebration is cut short. As their discussion grows into an argument, more secrets are exposed, and the past threatens to overshadow their future.
The Light is a “story of revelation, redress, and hopeful reconciliation cued at the intersection of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.” (Stage Left)
Christina Franklin, director of 2022’s Pass Over and 2021’s The Niceties (both Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominated), returns for her third season at CTC. Lara Dubin designs lights and James McNamara provides sound design.
Circle Mirror Transformation
Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer
Five very different people come together in a Vermont community center for an amateur acting class. They are there to learn about performing, but their games and exercises teach them more about themselves and each other than they do about theatre.
“Annie Baker’s play is an absolute feast. Circle Mirror Transformation is the kind of unheralded gem that sends people into the streets babbling and bright-eyed with the desire to spread the word.” (New York Times)
Former CTC Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer returns to direct. Tara Franklin joins the ensemble. Corinna May (two-time 2022 Berkie winner for Outstanding Solo Performance in Shirley Valentine at Berkshire Theatre Group and Outstanding Supporting Actress in Great Barrington Public Theater’s Things I Know to Be True) and Hero Marguerite make their CTC debuts, and Joel Ripka returns to the Town Hall stage for the first time since appearing in Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive. (CTC audiences will also remember his Berkie-winning performance in CTC’s Every Brilliant Thing.) Juliana von Haubrich will design scenery, Lara Dubin designs lights, Christina Beam designs costumes, and Nathan Leigh is designing sound.
In addition, CTC will be offering a special mid-summer special event:
Unreconciled (Workshop Production)
Co-written by and Starring Jay Sefton
Co-written by Mark Basquill
Directed by James Barry
The true story of a young boy who has his sights set on becoming and actor and the priest who exploits his love of theatre to abuse him. From a Catholic school in the suburbs of Philadelphia to a law office on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Unreconciled is the journey from finding your voice to then using it to save yourself.
Complete casting and additional production information will be announced at a later date.
All performances will take place at the Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, Wednesday through Sunday. Check www.chestertheatre.org for specific dates and times.
Single tickets and subscriptions go on sale to the public via www.chestertheatre.org beginning March 29 and by calling the box office after noon on April 10. Box office phone hours will be 12pm to 3pm Monday and Wednesday until the end of May. Check the website for phone hours June-August.
Individual ticket prices are $52.50. Chester and Middlefield residents, members of the military and their families, ConnectorCare enrollees, and those holding EBT/SNAP cards may purchase discounted tickets by calling the box office. Student Rush $10 tickets are available day of show. Single tickets and season subscriptions may be purchased online at chestertheatre.org, or by phone at 413.354.7771. Special rates for groups of ten or more are available.
Most performances will be mask optional but encouraged. Two performances of each show’s run will require everyone in the audience to be fully masked. Please visit the website for dates and details.