Disgraced

 Disgraced  is playing at the Chester Theatre through July 15. This  drama raises a range of political and social issues. The playwright,  Ayad Akhtar, says  he just followed his characters around, writing down what they said in his head. He wasn’t sure that he understood the main character, but  he kept hearing him. Given the skills of the director and actors in this production, the audience may do better than the playwright. Nevertheless, there are many issues raised as the play unfolds.

Bob and I discuss some aspects of the play below.

Discussion of Disgraced

To order tickets and for more information, click below

Chester Theatre website

For reviews of the play, click below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Bar Mitzvah Boy

Chester Theatre Company’s first play of the season is Bar Mitzvah Boy. As  the first United States production of this  Canadian play, the company offers an absorbing experience, Although the focus is on a particular religion, audiences of all faiths or no-faiths will appreciate the humanity of its characters and the dilemmas they face which become evident as the action unfolds.

Bob and I were intrigued by the quality of the play and of the production. We discussed it on the way home and then again in the discussion recorded below.

To listen to our discussion of the play, click on the link below.

Bar MItzvah Boy Discussion

For tickets, click on the web site below

Chester Theatre web site

To read reviews, check below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

                                 Will Lebow and Tara Franklin

 

Chester Theatre Company 2018

Daniel Elihu Kramer

When you click on Chester Theatre Company’s website, you will see the following promise.  ” Big Stories. Intimate Setting.  Thought-provoking, contemporary theatre in the foothills of the Berkshires”

This is a promise they keep. We were  impressed when we discovered the theatre last season. located  in a small Massachusetts town with an excellent restaurant and a Town Hall that becomes a theatre each summer. Chester Theatre offers fine drama in a lovely setting.

We were looking forward to the coming season,  and even more so after we spoke with the company’s Artistic Director, Daniel Elihu Kramer. He not only gave us a preview of the plays, but  provided a sense of the process that goes into the unique experience which is theatre. Listening to him, you get a sense of what is special about theatre.

Daniel likes to say that the Chester Theatre is “40 minutes from everywhere.”  Even if it is a shorter or longer distance, the performances are  well worth the trip.

Click below to listen to our interview with Daniel.

Interview with Daniel Elihu Kramer

Then click on their website below

Chester Theatre Company website

Folk

Folk runs at the Chester Theatre Company until August 27. This is the fourth play in this company’s fine season . Folk is a  three character play staged in the round in the intimate space of the Chester Theatre.  Having seen this Town Hall converted into a proscenium and then  an arena stage shows the flexibility and imagination of the company.

Over the course of the season at Chester, Bob and I have enjoyed meeting a variety of characters in the different plays. Here we encounter three people brought together through music and acceptance of each other even though each is quite different. We come to know a  middle-aged working man, a beer drinking nun and a troubled fifteen year old girl  as they share songs and lives.

Listen to our discussion of the play, by clicking below.

Folk Discussion

For tickets and information about playing times, click on the website below

Chester Theatre Company website

Michele Tauber as Sister Winnie
Emery Henderson as Kayleigh
Micheal Sean McGuiness as Stephen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Brilliant Thing

For a unique theatrical experience, go to the Chester Theatre Company’s performance of Every Brilliant Thing which runs through August 13. Each year the Chester Theatre Company transforms Chester’s Town Hall into a theatre. This year, it is offering another transformation mid-season into a  theatre in the round. When Bob and I went, it was almost a full house with the audience surrounding the playing space. This was appropriate since the audience is an essential element in this one-man show. Joel Ripka is an extremely talented and engaging actor.  He tells the story of a man who from childhood onward   makes a list of all the wonderful things worth living for to persuade his mother not to take her life.

Listen to what Bob and I have to say about it by clicking below

Every Brilliant Thing Discussion

Then click on the Chester Theatre Website for tickets and further information about their season.

Chester Theatre Company website

Joel Ripka in performance of Every Brilliant Thing

Producing Artistic Director- Chester Theatre Company

         Daniel Elihu Kramer

When Bob and I interviewed Daniel Elihu Kramer, we had not yet seen Skeleton Crew which runs until July 23. Having now seen it and I And You  performed  at the Chester Theatre and having talked with Daniel, we know that our initial interest in what this  theatre offers was more than justified. We urge those who have not yet discovered Chester Theatre Company to do so. It lives up to its slogan  Big Stories, Intimate Setting.

Those of us who live in the area of  Southern Vermont and The Berkshires are fortunate in having a selection of outstanding theatres to attend at prices that are reasonable compared to New York City or other   metropolitan areas. Chester Theatre belongs among these theatres in ts mission and in its selection and production of plays that are thought provoking while entertaining. Listen to Daniel talk about the theatre by clicking on the link below and you will understand why you should  go to the website and order tickets for the current play and the two remaining plays in the season.

Interview with Daniel Elihu Kramer

Chester Theatre Company Website

 

Margarette Odette and Christian Henley
Ami Brabson and Daniel Morgan

I And You – Chester Theatre Company

Chester Theatre Company has an impressive and intriguing line-up of plays for their 2017 season. Its motto, “Big Stories, Intimate Setting”  followed by  the sentence,  “Thought-provoking, contemporary theatre in the foothills of the Berkshires ” seems to be confirmed by the plays that are scheduled. The season starts  with I and You. a play by Lauren Gunderson who is currently one of the most produced playwrights in this country.

When we interviewed Kristen van Ginhoven, the play’s director, she explained I and You is about two high school students who are working on an assignment which is due the next day about Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. They discover a great deal about themselves while exploring the poem.  When we interviewed her, Kristin had not yet started rehearsals. She since has. The play opens on June 28. You can go the website to order tickets.

 

Paul Ponterelli as Anthony
Lilli Hokama as Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to her Kristen van Ginhoven discuss the play in greater depth.

Interview with Kristen van Ginhoven

Chester Theatre Company Website