An immersive theater experience for small groups, Gem of the Valley sends the audience on a theatrical journey through the town of Chester, bringing it to life in unexpected and enchanting ways.  Equipped with a pair of headphones that contains an hour-long soundtrack, participants will be guided through the middle of town, where the real world and the fictional world of the show begin to blur.  A cast of over 20 characters await, woven into the fabric of the world around them.

Created as a theatrical gift for audience members and featuring the town of Chester as its setting, Gem of the Valley is also a celebration of Chester Theatre Company’s 30th season.

Audiences will need to be able to walk (with regular stops along the way) for much of the show, both indoors and outdoors.  Due to the nature of the show, there can be no stoppages for any reason until it is over.  If you have physical limitations, please contact the Box Office to see how we can support your participation in the show.


What is immersive theater?

Immersive theater is a form of theater-making that puts the audience into the world of the show.  While it can take many different forms, this kind of theater typically offers audience members a kind of agency not possible in conventional plays by freeing them from their seats.  Performers and audience members have direct connections with one another, creating the potential for intimate and poignant work.   While still rooted firmly in the foundations of staged theater, immersive theater seeks to create an immediate experience for the audience as much as share a story with them.

Is this an audience-participation kind of show?

Not really.  Although audience members engage directly with them throughout the production, the performers are also there to guide the audience through the show without putting them on the spot.  Audience members might be offered a gift, directed to examine an object, play a game, listen to a private story, or discover a secret nearby.  The goal is to empower the audience to have a rich, personal experience with the performers while still feeling in control of their choices.

How much physical exertion is involved?

The show is a guided tour of sorts, asking audience members to walk at a moderate pace to various locations around town.  The total amount of walking is under half a mile across a one-hour long show.  There are occasional stairs, both outdoors and indoors.  Participants with limited mobility are encouraged to contact the Box Office for questions and support.

Is it kid-friendly?

While the content of the show is kid-friendly, the navigation of the show needs some maturity.  Audiences should be 14+ to attend the show.

How would inclement weather affect the show?

We will perform the show unless the weather creates an unsafe environment for performers and/or audience members.  If it is raining, we encourage you to bring an umbrella.  Exceptionally hot weather might compromise the show for some audience members; please use your discretion on whether or not to attend in those circumstances.

Where should I park?  Is the show at Town Hall Theatre?

Audience members should park near the theater and sign in at Town Hall with our staff upon arrival.

What if I’m late to the show?

Due to the nature of the show, it is impossible to accommodate late audience members.  We advise you to show up with time to spare before the show begins.  Detailed instructions about when to arrive will be provided upon purchase of your ticket.


Support for GEM OF THE VALLEY is generously provided by Art Angels and Eggtooth Productions.