Chautauqua Theater Company to Present THE MAY QUEEN, 7/18-27

Chautauqua Theater Company to Present THE MAY QUEEN, 7/18-27

Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), under the leadership of Vivienne Benesch Artistic Director and Sarah Clare Corporandy Managing Director, is proud to present The May Queen a world premiere comedy by Molly Smith Metzler from July 18-27, directed by Vivienne Benesch, on the Bratton Theater Mainstage.

Molly Smith Metzler's The May Queen is the second play commissioned by CTC and The Chautauqua Writer's Center through a generous grant from The John C. Court Family Foundation.

The May Queen stars Emma Duncan (Jennifer Nash), Mary Bacon (Gail Gillespie), Kate Eastman (Nicole Chee), Greg Fallick (David Kindt), and Joe Tippett (Mike Petracca).

Everyone who graduated from Kingston High School class of '97 wonders what happened to their May Queen, Jen Nash. Some say she became one of Spitzer's hookers; some say she married a sheik in Dubai. But when she suddenly resurfaces in town and starts temping at the Vallor Group, things are a far cry from what they expected. The second play commissioned by CTC and The Writer's Center, The May Queen is a savvy comedy with a gigantic heart.

"Being able to develop this play with Metzler over the last year and a half has been one of the most rewarding artistic experiences of my tenure here at Chautauqua," says Benesch. "I am so proud that the world premiere of this tender and wonderfully funny play will serve as the capstone to 10 years of New Play Development here at CTC."

The production is designed by Lauren Helpern (set), Tracy Christensen (costumes), Scott Bolman (lights), and Steven Cahill (sound). Bonnie Brady is production stage manager.

Molly Smith Metzler (Playwright) grew up in Kingston, NY. She is the author of The May Queen (commissioned by Chautauqua Theatre Company & The Writer's Center) and is thrilled to be in the Bratton Theater for the third time (her play Close Up Space (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist) was a part of the 2010 NPW; her play Carve was featured in 2011 NPW). Molly's plays-which also include Elemeno Pea and Training Wisteria-have been produced across the country and Off-Bway at such venues as Manhattan Theater Club, South Coast Rep, Actors' Theatre of Louisville (Humana), The Kennedy Center, and many more. She has developed plays at The O'Neill, Williamstown, Playwrights Horizons, SPACE Ryder Farm, Ars Nova, Primary Stages, Hedgebrook, and more. Education: SUNY Geneseo (BA), Boston University (MA), NYU Tisch (MFA) and The Juilliard School (AD), where she was a two-time recipient of the Le Comte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center. Molly is currently at work on new plays for South Coast Rep, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, and Manhattan Theatre Club. She lives in Port Washington, NY with her husband Colin McKenna (author of Dark Radio, NPW 2013) and their daughter, Cora.

Vivienne Benesch (Director) is celebrating her tenth season as Artistic Director and her nineteenth summer of work with Chautauqua Theater Company. Since 1989, when she began as a member of the Conservatory, she has performed in over fourteen productions here, including the world premiere of Kate Fodor's Fifty Ways, Three Sisters, Arcadia and Reckless (in both 1989 and 2008.) She has directed over fifteen CTC productions and most recently conceived and directed the inaugural Chautauqua InterArts collaboration, The Romeo & Juliet Project.

Vivienne is an OBIE Award-winning actress who has worked extensively on and Off-Broadway, in film and television and at many of the country's most celebrated theaters. She performed with Maggie Smith in the London revival of Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque, on Broadway in Arthur Miller'sAfter The Fall and Terrence Rattigan's Deep Blue Sea and off-Broadway in Michael Frayn's Benefactors, Lee Blessing's Going To St. Ives and Shakespeare's Troilus & Cressida among many others. Regional work includes leading roles at the Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC), The Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Alley Theater, A.C.T., The McCarter, Long Wharf, and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Her TV & film credits include Teeth, American Splendor, Tenderness, Corn, Paradise, "Damages," "The Good Wife," "Six Feet Under," "Sex and the City," "The Education of Max Bickford," "The Division" and multiple episodes of "Law & Order."

As a director, Vivienne's most recent non-CTC credits include Deborah Salem Smith's Love Alone, John Logan's Red and Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room (or the vibrator play) for Playmakers Repertory Company in North Carolina; The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Arms and the Man, A Month In the Country, The Seagull and Getting Out for the Juilliard School, as well as a highly acclaimed production of Richard III for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Star Ledger Top Ten in Theater). She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program, and also served for several years as Chair of the theater panel for Young Arts at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Tickets to The May Queen are $30. Order by phone at (716) 357-6250, M-F 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or order online at

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