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Monday, June 26, 2006

Chautauqua 2006 theater season announced

6/26/2006 - CHAUTAUQUA — The Chautauqua Theater Company, now in its 23rd season, is the resident professional theater and conservatory of the Chautauqua Institution.Under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors Vivienne Benesch and Ethan McSweeny, internationally known guest artist actors, directors, designers, writers and faculty join 16 of the finest emerging actors in America to produce three full productions, two staged readings of new plays and a host of related events in the newly renovated, award-winning Bratton Theater.

The schedule of performances for the 2006 season includes:

“The Cherry Orchard:” July 1 to 9, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Ethan McSweenyCTC favorites Lisa Harrow and Stuart Margolin, stars of last season’s “All My Sons,” return to Bratton stage as a brother and sister reunited to preside over the demise of their family estate. It is 1904. The peasants have been liberated. For generations, the family cherry orchard has thrived. Will social change spell its doom? Or a new beginning? In the week following Chautauqua’s exploration of the “new” Russia, CTC takes a look at Russia at the turn of the last century. From the playwright who best dramatized the irony that change is the only certainty of life comes one of the most sublimely human comedies ever created for the stage.

“The Art of Coarse Acting:” July 22 to 30, directed by Dylan Baker

What is a coarse actor? The coarse actor has a desperate desire to impress and is most anxious to succeed, but is hampered by one minor detail — the inability to act. It’s “Noises Off” meets Monty Python when the Bakersberg Community Theater undertakes an evening of chestnuts and masterpieces. From “The Cherry Sisters,” (a hitherto undiscovered Chekhov fragment) and “Streuth” (not by Agatha Christie) to “All’s Well That Ends As You Like It” (based on an idea by William Shakespeare), BCT! tackles the classics — and flattens them. Developed from author Michael Green’s hilarious book “The Art of Coarse Acting,” the comic madness is orchestrated onstage and off by film, television and Tony-nominated actor Dylan Baker (currently starring on NBC’s “Book of Daniel”).

“Twelfth Night:” Aug. 12 to 19, by William Shakespeare, directed by Andrew Borba

Orsino loves Olivia. Olivia loves Viola. Viola loves Orsino. From this classic triangle comes one of Shakespeare’s funniest and most moving comedies about the madness, mania, mix-ups and mistaken identity of that most fallible human emotion — love.Director Andrew Borba returns to CTC to bring his gift for language and his talent for humor to Shakespeare’s delirious exploration of that many-splendored thing.

CTC/NPW: New Play Workshops

Staged reading one: July 13 to 15; staged reading two: Aug. 3 to 5

CTC/NPW introduces Chautauquans to important new voices in the theater, to the staged reading as a thrilling theatrical event in its own right, and to the power of theater, unique among the performing arts, to speak directly and immediately to contemporary issues. In a uniquely Chautauquan twist, CTC/NPW chooses new plays that converse with or comment upon the corresponding lecture theme of the week. Guest artists, writer and director participate in a post-show discussion after each performance.

More information is available at

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