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Chautauqua Theater Company announces 2016 Mainstage Season
In the Next Room (or the vibrator play),
 The Profane, and The Taming of the Shrew 
(June 17, 2016)

Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors Vivienne Benesch and Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, is proud to announce mainstage programming for the summer of 2016. The season will feature Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), directed by Larissa Kokernot (July 1-10); The Profane, a commissioned play by Zayd Dohrn (July 22-31), directed by Vivienne Benesch; and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (August 12-19), directed by Andrew Borba. 

“With a Tony-nominated treasure from this last decade, then our commissioned play, and a Shakespeare classic with a twist, we’ll be generating a lot of summer heat on CTC’s mainstage all season,” says Artistic Director Andrew Borba. “These plays are magnificent, melancholic, humorous, and insightful. Sarah Ruhl, Zayd Dohrn, and Shakespeare all tackle characters and relationships that couldn’t be more timely and yet are as old as Adam and Eve.”

A Provocative Comedy

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) kicks off Chautauqua Theater Company’s 33rd season from July 1-10. Set in the twilight of the Victorian age, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) is a mischievous comedy that illuminates the lives of six lonely people. A local doctor finds himself obsessed with the marvels of new technology and while his patients find relief in his office through the use of a strange new device, his wife remains a mere bystander “in the next room.”  Unexpected sparks from the emerging era of electricity, equality, science, and sexuality ignite Sarah Ruhl’s Tony nominated play. 

A Chautauqua Commission

In Zayd Dohrn’s new play The Profane, Raif Almedin is a first generation American – a writer and a father – who prides himself on being modern, liberal, and tolerant. But when his daughter falls for the son of a fundamentalist, Raif finds himself cast as the intolerant patriarch of his own fast-changing family. The third play commissioned by Chautauqua Theater Company and the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, Dohrn’s searing tale follows two immigrant families forced to grapple with each other’s religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and deep-seated prejudice. CTC Co-Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch directs this workshop production. 

“I believe Zayd Dohrn is one of the truly important writers of our time,” says Co-Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch. “He has his eye and ear on the pulse of our times and is unafraid to reflect it back to us with a strong point of view. His profound curiosity about social, political, and cultural issues is matched by an acute attention to interpersonal psychology and great storytelling. We are thrilled to be working with him on his latest work at Chautauqua.” Dohrn was in residence at Chautauqua Theater Company in 2015 and will return in 2016. CTC has previously presented two of Dohrn’s plays, Sick and Muckrakers, as part of The New Play Workshop Signature Staged Reading Series. The Profane runs July 22-31. 

Shakespeare for the Whole Family

Love, power, gender roles, and companionship reach raucous heights in Chautauqua Theater Company’s unbridled new spin on Shakespeare’s comedic battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew. Closing the season, the production will feature the entire 2016 Conservatory company. “This play challenges us in  today’s politically correct world,” says director and CTC Artistic Director Andrew Borba. “but that also provides us a much needed opportunity to laugh at ourselves. I promise that with the combination of the extraordinary talents of those who will be the leading classical actors of tomorrow, Shakespeare’s language, and a dash of contemporary spin--which I refuse to reveal at this time--this production will be anything but tame!” The Taming of the Shrew runs August 12-19.

The New Play Workshop Signature Staged Reading Series: July 14-16; August 3-5

Continuing to build on the incredible momentum of new play development at Chautauqua Institution, CTC will once again produce two Signature Staged Readings. This series is presented as part of The New Play Workshop. 

Tiny Houses by Chelsea Marcantel from July 14-16 and The Glow Overhead by Nick Gandiello from August 3-5. 

TICKETS Single tickets for the 2016 season go on sale in April. Tickets to In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), The Profane, and The Taming of the Shrew are $35; tickets to The New Play Workshop Signature Staged Readings are $20. For more information visit 

July 1-10: In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Lucie Tiberghien 
July 14-16: The New Play Workshop Signature Staged Reading 1
July 22-31:The Profane a new play by Zayd Dohrn, directed by Vivienne Benesch
August 3-5: The New Play Workshop Signature Staged Reading 2
August 12-19: Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Andrew Borba

The Chautauqua Theater Company is entering its 33rd Season, Chautauqua Theater Company is the resident professional theater and Conservatory of the Chautauqua Institution. Internationally known actors, directors, designers, and writers join 20 emerging artists drawn from the nation’s top training programs to form a unique company that produces a vibrant summer of work in the historic Bratton Theater. Dedicated to the next generation of theater artists, the development of new work, first-rate productions of modern and contemporary classics, and fresh insight into Shakespeare’s canon, CTC produces the best of a year-round regional theater within an eight week summer season. 

The Chautauqua Institution is the pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution is a 140-year-old community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities.