Noah Haidle's New Play BIRTHDAY CANDLES Gets Workshop at Chautauqua Theater Company

Noah Haidle's New Play BIRTHDAY CANDLES Gets Workshop at Chautauqua Theater Company

Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy, will continue its support of new play development with the 2017 New Play Workshop of Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle, directed by Vivienne Benesch.

The New Play Workshop (NPW) Program is the arm of Chautauqua Theater Company dedicated to fostering important new American Playwrights and providing a safe and stimulating playground for artists to develop new work for the theater. As such, it is at the core of Chautauqua Theater Company's mission as a cultural and educational organization. New play development is made possible at CTC in part by a generous grant by the Roe Green Foundation.

Birthday Candles is written by Noah Haidle and directed by CTC's former Artistic Director, Vivienne Benesch, who is now the Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC. Birthday Candles follows Ernestine Ashworth on a magical 100-year journey from her 17th birthday through her 117th. Birthday Candles was commissioned by Detroit Public Theatre and will premiere there in 2018.

The cast of Birthday Candles includes Dan Pearce (Machinal, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Annie Purcell (The Coast of Utopia, Awake and Sing!), Jed Diamond (All My Sons), and 2017 Acting Conservatory members Will Harrison, Kelsey Jenison, and Maggie Mason.

The creative team includes Amelia Bransky (Set Design), Mari Taylor (Costume Design), Alex Miller-Long (Lighting Design), and Jordan Tani (Sound Design/Original Music).

Noah Haidle (Playwright): Noah's plays have been produced Off-Broadway, regionally and in various countries such as Germany, Norway, Sweden, Bosnia, New Zealand, Finland, England, Mexico, Austria, and Switzerland. He is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

Vivienne Benesch (Director): After 12 seasons as the Artistic Director of Chautauqua Theater Company, Vivienne is now thrilled to return home to her family as a guest director. Among the multitude of productions she directed for Chautauqua Theater Company, a few favorites include: The Profane, The May Queen and The Romeo & Juliet Project. As an actor with CTC, favorites include: Fifty Ways, Arcadia and Reckless. She is now the Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has just completed her first season there, which featured several CTC alumnae both onstage and off. Vivienne has also directed at, among other theaters: Trinity Repertory Company, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and at the Juilliard School, where she was on faculty for the last several years.

Tickets to the New Play Workshops are $20 and seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (716) 357-6250. Single event ticket is required, which also serves as a Chautauqua Institution gate pass 4 hours before and 4 hours following the start time of the performance.

Chautauqua Theater Company's 2017 Season includes Noises Off: 6/30-7/16, Detroit 67: 7/21- 7/30, Romeo and Juliet: 8/11-8/18, and the 2017 New Play Workshops, Birthday Candles: 8/1-8/4 and Building the Wall: 8/2-8/5.

Entering its 34th 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 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.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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