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It’s the eve of the New York City Marathon, and Stephen, preparing for his first race, needs a good night’s sleep. His wife is in London on business and he has the apartment to himself. Until Emily, his wife’s ex-roommate, shows up unexpectedly and in crisis in the wee hours of the morning. Late night conversations become late night confessions and connections. A witty, insightful journey from the author of The Nibroc Trilogy.

Performances August 1-12.

Running is sponsored by Cipora Brown and Steve Feiner.


Jay Stratton*

Melissa Hurst*

*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
in the United States


Author: Arlene Hutton
Directed by: Ron Bashford
Set Design: David Towlun
Lighting Design: Jill Nagle

Costume Design: Heather Crocker Aulenback
Sound Design: Tom Shread
Stage Manager: Rhonda Picou*

*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
in the United States


“It’s no secret that Chester appreciates playwright Arlene Hutton’s ability to create characters who are as real as if they were plucked from the audience and begin talking – not reciting lines but talking like human beings. Further, they’re likeable. We accept their idiosyncrasies which upon getting to know them better turn out to be – well, understandable, even charming. The team led by Director Ron Bashford shaped the marriage of playwright Hutton’s script with the uncanny ability of actors Jay Stratton and Melissa Hurst to inhabit their roles. The Designers come through again. Artistic Director Byam Stevens is three-quarters of the way to a banner season. There’s a strong company at work.”
–Donna Bailey-Thompson, The Arts. Etc.

“While Hutton’s play is aptly named, the literal meaning of that title is only part of what this two-hander is about. Emily is obviously running away from something, — and, Stephen is running an emotional as well as physical race. Though again a straightforward, character driven play, Running affords the actors to make the most of the authentic, humor spiced dialogue. Stratton and Hurst give appealing and convincing performances. The play has some interesting things to say about the stresses and realities of the changes that are part of growing out of one’s hopeful young adult years — especially in the light of the social and economic changes that have torpedoed so many lives. The playwright segues gracefully from the humorous aspects of the basic situation to the melancholy that takes over when she touches on the darker themes of the losses of middle-age, failed dreams and loneliness. Given Hutton’s knack for dialogue and characterization, the timeliness of the setting, Running is sure to have many other productions.”
–Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp

“It was a real pleasure to finally see the work of playwright Arlene Hutton on stage. In many respects I liked her style of writing, she has the ability to capture the inanity and non-sequiturs of typical middle class folks.The premise is simple, and director Ron Bashford kept the play moving, and the dialogue natural. Still, even with all the naturalness of the conversations, there is a structure. I liked Stephen and Emily. They are 50-somethings, like me, facing the results of the choices they have made and the hands life has dealt them. During the course of the play we do come to understand both the characters better. Was it the acting, or the writing that made them such fascinating characters? I enjoyed spending 90 minutes in their company.”
–Gail Burns and Larry Murray, Berkshire On Stage

Melissa Hurst gives a performance that’s free-spirited and vulnerable. She easily embodies the pain of betrayal while peppering her remembrances with gleeful nostalgia. She’s a delight to watch. Jay Stratton gives an equally strong performance…he elicits an empathetic longing for Stephen’s youth and passion, both irreparably lost as time runs on.
–Robbin M. Joyce, In the Spotlight