Board of Directors
Charles Johnson, President
Carol Seltzer, Clerk
Jeffrey Siegel, Treasurer
JAMES BARRY, Co-Producing Artistic Director
James is thrilled to follow in the footsteps of his friend and frequent collaborator Daniel Elihu Kramer as Co-Producing Artistic Director of Chester Theatre Company, a position he proudly shares with his wife, Tara Franklin. No stranger to Chester audiences, James has appeared in numerous CTC productions over the past 12 seasons including Wittenberg (Berkshire Eagle best actor of the 2011 season), Arms On Fire, Sister Play, The Aliens (2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Outstanding Ensemble Award), The Night Alive, Title and Deed, Tiny Beautiful Things (2020 Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Outstanding Supporting Actor Award), and Pass Over.
A proud member of Actor’s Equity for 20 years, James has appeared on Broadway (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), on 1st National Tours (Million Dollar Quartet), on Television (Hulu Original Difficult People), as well as several of the most renowned off-broadway and regional theaters in America, including The Public, The Atlantic, Yale Rep, The Berkshire Theatre Group, The Arden, The Paper Mill Playhouse, The Geffen, The Great Lakes Theatre, Syracuse Stage, and both New York and Chicago Irish Repertory Theatres. Local audiences may know his work with Berkshire Theatre Group where he directed recent productions of Million Dollar Quartet (2017 Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Outstanding Direction of a Musical Award) and Working: A Musical (2019 Broadway World Best Director of a Musical), and at the MacHaydn where he directed this past season’s production of Forever Plaid. He has also directed for Arkansas Rep, Wagner College, Smith College’s New Play Reading Series, and the 78th Street Theatre Lab. As a musician and composer, James created original scores for productions of Three Sisters/No Sisters at The Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. and for the 2020 Smith College mainstage production of Julius Caesar. He also releases original rock music under his own name and with the band Secret Pint.
James holds an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College and a BFA in Acting from The University of Connecticut. He loves living in western Massachusetts with his wife,Tara, their son Sam, and their dogs Luna and Willie. www.jamesbarrystuff.com
TARA FRANKLIN, Co-Producing Artistic Director
Tara Franklin, a Berkshire native, has enjoyed a professional career in the theatre for the past twenty years, working in New York, Chicago and regionally. Locally, she has been seen in numerous productions with the Berkshire Theatre Group, where she also began her career as an educator, both as an artist-in-residence and the head of the apprenticeship program. At CTC, Tara has performed in To the Moon and Back, On the Exhale, Sister Play, Bar Mitzvah Boy and White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. In New York, she spent two years at the McKittrick Hotel performing in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. An adjunct faculty member at Smith College, Tara teaches acting and had the opportunity to direct Men On Boats for the Mainstage season. She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch and an MFA from UConn.
ANGELA COMBEST, Marketing and Development Director
Angela Combest comes to CTC from Chicago, where she was Executive Director of River North Chicago Dance Company. Prior to that, she was with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She has held nearly every job one can hold in the performing arts, from set designer to grant writer to AEA stage manager to planner of galas for 500 plus. Angela is also a fiber artist, and she owned and operated a yarn dyeing business in Chicago for several years. She serves as Co-Chair of the Events and Development Committee on the board of The Northampton Survival Center, a food pantry serving 18 communities. She found her voice as a storyteller, having competed and performed in many regional shows, including Valley Voices (Grand Slam Finalist), 99 Second Story Slam (Slam Winner), Tell Me Another, and The Moth (Slam Winner).