Cast Announced for Mint Theater's American Premiere Of CHAINS By Elizabeth Baker At Theatre Row

Chains, the second offering in Mint's series “Meet Miss Baker,” is Mint's latest effort in its ongoing commitment to create new life for neglected women playwrights.

By: May. 12, 2022
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Cast Announced for Mint Theater's American Premiere Of CHAINS By Elizabeth Baker At Theatre Row

On March 11th 2020 Mint Theater Company completed casting for their next production, the long delayed American premiere of Chains by Elizabeth Baker, scheduled to open that May.

The following day, March 12th 2020, every theater in New York was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than two years later, the complete cast as announced then will begin performances June 7th at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street), with Opening Night set for June 23rd. Jenn Thompson directs a company that features every one of those eleven actors announced in 2020:

Jeremy Beck previously appeared with Mint Theater in Conflict and Hindle Wakes. London/West End: Shakespeare's R&J. Off-Broadway: The Cocktail Party, Widowers' Houses, She Stoops, The Gravedigger's Lullaby (TACT); Girl Crazy (Encores!); Betrayed (by George Packer, Culture Project); Bury the Dead (Transport Group); Pink (SPF); The President and Her Mistress (Abingdon). Other NYC: Couriers and Contrabands (by Victor Lesniewski); Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage (A.R.T. & U.K. tour with Banana Bag & Bodice); The Ring Cycle; A Dog In the Manger (co-adaptations with David Dalton); Forth (by Tommy Smith); The Second Tosca (by Tom Rowan) Regional: Peterborough Players, Williamstown, Huntington, 1812, Keegan. Film: Gods and Generals; The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead (independent animated feature). TV: "Law & Order," "Person of Interest," "Unforgettable."

Anthony Cochrane's Broadway credits include The Audience with Helen Mirren; War Horse, Cymbeline, The Coast of Utopia (LCT Beaumont Theater). Off-Broadway: PlayOn Shakespeare Festival (CSC) Nikolai and the Others (LCT Newhouse), Dense Terrain (BAM), 12 years and 18 productions with the Aquila Theatre Company including Othello, Cyrano de Bergerac, Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, King Lear. Regional: Shakespeare in Love (CT Rep); Great Expectations (Syracuse Stage); Timon of Athens, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, All's Well that Ends Well (ASF); Cymbeline, Owners (Yale Rep); One Man, Two Guvnors (St. Louis Rep); The Diary of Anne Frank, Tovarich (STNJ); Amadeus, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest (Old Globe); Julius Caesar, Henry VIII (Helen Hayes Nom.), The Winter's Tale (Folger Theatre, DC); Much Ado about Nothing (LaJolla Playhouse). UK: The Broken Heart, The Wives Excuse, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar (RSC). Numerous other repertory productions throughout the UK. Anthony has composed original music for over 30 theatre productions. Film: To The Flame, Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps, Apocalypse Watch. TV: "The Good Fight," "Blue Bloods," "Pose," "The Blacklist," "Law & Order: SVU," "Taggart," "Neverwhere."

Christopher Gerson's recent theatre credits include Macbeth, Alabama Story, BUZZ (dir. Carrie Preston), The Price, Our Town and titular role in Richard III. Theatre: The Pearl, New Georges, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Red Bull Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cleveland Play House, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Fest, Great River Shakespeare Fest, A Noise Within, The Folio Theatre, The Actors Gang, and Pioneer Theatre. TV/Film: "The Blacklist," "FBI: Most Wanted," "New Amsterdam," "Mr. Robot," "The Good Fight," "Younger," "Days of Our Lives," "Chicago Hope," "Darwin: The Series," and Fort Greene.

Olivia Gilliatt is pleased to make her Mint debut with Chains. New York and regional: The 39 Steps (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Mother of the Maid (The Public); Dial M for Murder (Bucks County Playhouse); Pushkin (the american vicarious); Negative Liberty/Positive Liberty (Invisible Dog); Disgraced (Denver Center, Northern Stage); A Doll's House (Northern Stage); CasablancaBox (Culturemart@HERE); Buried Child (Palm Beach Dramaworks); Tomorrow in the Battle (Stageworks Hudson); The Libertine (Fool's Theatre); Boeing Boeing (Seven Angels); The Country Wife (Odyssey). TV and film: Ken Burn's and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary "Hemingway;" The Bit Player; Tyrel; "The Path;" "The Mysteries of Laura;" Dastaar; Lily; Forever; and the forthcoming independent film Rare Objects, directed by Katie Holmes. Olivia is a member of the multidisciplinary art collective The New Wild, and hosts a devised theater and games gymnasium called Book Club. BA: Dartmouth College, MFA: NYU.

LAAKAN McHARDY is thrilled to be making her Mint debut! Off-Broadway: The Wolves (Lincoln Center Theater); Regional: The Tempest (Guthrie Theater); A Christmas Carol (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Mac Beth (Seattle Rep); Macbeth (Actors Theatre of Louisville), The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield (Humana Festival). Film/TV: 16 Bars; "The Blacklist," "FBI: Most Wanted," "Madam Secretary," "Succession," "Tommy." Training: B.A. Mount Holyoke College; Professional Training Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville. Laakan proudly hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Ned Noyes previous appeared at the Mint in The New Morality, So Help Me God!, Love Goes to Press and The Fifth Column. Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong; You Can't Take It with You. National Tour: Cabaret (Roundabout). Regional: Steppenwolf Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre (DC), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (among others). Film: The Post (directed by Steven Spielberg). TV: "Only Murders in the Building", "Boardwalk Empire". Training: Northwestern University.

Brian Owen is grateful and thrilled to make his Mint Theater debut after a long hiatus making art out of felt scraps and working with his local mutual aid network. Selected credits include Sesame Street, the world premiere of Dog Man: The Musical, The 39 Steps, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, The Turn of the Screw, The Matchmaker, Both Your Houses, four times riding the hurricane of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, and too many productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream to count. His favorite role is husband to his wife Nicole. Proud member of Team BWA. Many thanks to BWA, Stephanie Klapper, and his theatre bf Matthew. MFA: FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Felt Art: @difficultlemondesigns (IG)

Clair Saunders is making her Mint Theater debut! Seattle native turned New Yorker. Select NY & Regional credits: Importance of Being Earnest (Cecily), Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Betty Haynes), School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play (Ericka), Cyrano (Orange Girl), The Wolves (#8), Taming of the Shrew (Bianca); TV/Film: Modern Love (Amazon), "Law & Order: SVU" (NBC), "Tell Me a Story" (CBS), The Good Cop (Netflix), The Intern (Warner Bros), 18 1/2 (Waterbug Eater Films), CitiBank commercial. Carnegie Mellon graduate. Aside from the acting thing, Claire dabbles in culture work, all things fitness, and anxiety. Thanks to Take3Talent! Love to her people. Check out her & the fam: @clairesaundy

Peterson Townsend is happy to be making his debut with the Mint Theater. He has most recently performed in various productions at the Metropolitan Opera such as Fire Shut up In My Bones, Porgy & Bess, Rigoletto, and Turandot. Other credits include America 2.1-The Sad Demise... (Barrington Stage); Antigone (Baltimore Center Stage); Ms. Bennet-Christmas at Pemberley, Satchel Paige & the KC Swing (St. Louis Rep); Swimming in the Shallows (Kitchen Theatre); Twelfth Night (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun, Cinderella, Our Town, History Boys (Arden Theatre); Hospital (Axis Theatre); A Lesson Before Dying, North Star (Triad Stage); and The Lost Colony (Waterside Theatre). TV/film credits include: "Invasion" (Apple TV+); "Prodigal Son" (Fox); "Law & Order SVU," "L&O: CI," "L&O: Prime" (NBC); "The Good Fight," "Elementary," "The Code" (CBS).

Amelia White previously appeared in the Mint productions Conflict and Women Without Men. Broadway credits include Crazy for You and The Heiress. She's worked Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company, Ground-Up Productions, and received a Theatre World Award for her work in The Accrington Pals at the Hudson Guild. Los Angeles appearances include The Matrix, Fremont Centre Theatre, and many shows at The Antaeus Company. Her extensive regional theatre credits include Silent Sky and most recently A Christmas Carol at South Coast Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Old Globe, Studio Arena, Hartford Stage, Caldwell Theatre, two seasons at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Guthrie Theater, GeVa Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Weston Playhouse, and three seasons at the Dorset Theatre Festival. Film/TV: The Tulse Luper Suitcases, The Bastard, The Siege of Golden Hill, Three Ways to the Sea, "Judging Amy," and "The Young and the Restless." She works on radio with the California Artists Radio Theatre. Amelia was born in Nottingham, trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and is married to Geoffrey Wade. Proud AEA member.

AVERY WHITTED. Regional credits include Henry IV, Part 1 (Folger Theater), Jazz (Baltimore Center Stage). Off-Broadway: Against the Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theater). Television: "FBI: Most Wanted," "Magnum P.I." Film: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, In the Tall Grass.

Chains, the second offering in Mint's series "Meet Miss Baker," is Mint's latest effort in its ongoing commitment to create new life for neglected women playwrights. From Pulitzer-Prize winning plays by Zona Gale and Susan Glaspell, to forgotten works by Teresa Deevy, Rachel Crothers, Cicely Hamilton, Githa Sowerby, Hazel Ellis, Maurine Dallas Watkins, Lillian Hellman, Rose Franken and Dawn Powell, Mint has long been a champion of neglected plays by women.

"Meet Miss Baker'' began in 2019 with The Price of Thomas Scott, Baker's fascinating and frustrating portrayal of a man struggling with his conscience. "To its credit, the Mint has long rescued obscure plays by women, from Maurine Watkins's So Help Me God! and Dawn Powell's Walking Down Broadway to the rehabilitation of Teresa Deevy (who landed four productions over seven years). It's easy to see what drew the Mint Theater Company, that esteemed excavator of long-forgotten works, to The Price of Thomas Scott... The show brings up tantalizingly thorny issues of faith, hypocrisy, sacrifice and selfishness, they are like dark clouds hovering above the story," said Elisabeth Vincentelli in The New York Times. "Baker's play is a fascinating curio from another time, its revival here yet another feather in the Mint Theater's multi-feathered cap. The Price of Thomas Scott is the opener of a Mint series with the umbrella title 'Meet Miss Baker,' which will offer revivals of three plays by Elizabeth Baker over a period of two years, all of them receiving their American premieres. Judging from the quality of this first entry, the initiative is well worthwhile. So, bravo - and brava!," wrote Michael Portantiere, Talkin' Broadway/Broadway Radio

In 1909, Elizabeth Baker went from "obscure stenographer making five dollars a week" to "one of the most widely discussed playwrights in London" when Chains had a one-performance "try-out" at the Royal Court in London. The Times and The Globe both called Chains "remarkable." The next year, Baker's drama was running in repertory with the plays of Galsworthy, Barrie, Granville Barker and Shaw and was hailed as "the most brilliant and the deepest problem play by a modern British writer since Major Barbara" by The New Age.

Chains tells the stories of a few ordinary people yearning for a less ordinary life. Charley lives with his wife Lily in suburban London, sharing a cramped house with a lodger. Charley commutes daily to an office in London, his only pleasure is the tiny garden patch beside the house which gives little satisfaction. Charley's sister-in-law, Maggie, finds the drudgery of shop work so stifling that she plots an escape by marrying a kind man she doesn't love-an escape that can't provide the adventure she craves. Charley & Maggie are both shaken when Charley's lodger announces that he's tired of the grind and he's leaving for Australia-the day after tomorrow. His decision sends a tremor through the family that threatens to break the ties that bind Maggie and Charley to their ordinary lives. "There is a touch of genius in its absolute sincerity and pathos. Not one word too much, not one situation too extreme mars it," wrote The Sun, 1910.

Baker was applauded for her "keenness of observation, her powers of drawing characters from life, and her gift of writing dialogue that is natural and unforced," but much of the attention had an astonished, condescending tone. "How came Miss Elizabeth Baker, an unknown, inexperienced playwright, to give us a work so fresh, so unconventional, and in a sense, so stimulating as this? One is given to understand that she has not previously tried her hand at dramatic authorship, and that she has lived laborious days hitherto in a City office as a typewriter. "

Baker followed Chains with a versatile range of challenging and original plays that premiered on the stages of England's repertory theaters, as well as in the West End. These included Edith (1912), a one-act feminist comedy for the Women Writer's Suffrage League; the comic drama The Price of Thomas Scott (Gaiety Theatre - Manchester 1913 and Mint Theater Company 2019 - the American Premiere); and her scintillating business-world comedy Partnership (1917, Court Theatre). Long independent, Baker also found a mid-life romance with James Edmund Allaway, a widower who worked in the upholstery trade; she married him in 1915, at the age of forty. In 1922, the pair emigrated for two years to the Cook Islands.

"Thank heaven for the unwavering commitment of Jonathan Bank, the theatrical archaeologist whose Mint Theater Company unearths long-forgotten plays and imbues them with new life," declared The New York Times in response to a recent Mint production. Terry Teachout writing about Mint's production of Conflict in The Wall Street Journal said "I've reviewed 13 Mint productions since 2005, each one a gem-but it's still worth saying yet again that no New York-based theater company has a better batting average. The invisible hero of Conflict is, of course, Jonathan Bank, the Mint's producing artistic director. It's a wonder how he manages to track down so many plays that both deserve and richly re-pay a second hearing. Mr. Bank is one of a handful of theater artists in America whose name is an absolute guarantee of quality, and Conflict is further proof of his perfect taste." Mint Theater was awarded an OBIE Award for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition" and a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."

Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm, with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. (PLEASE NOTE: No performances on Sunday June 19th, Friday June 24th, Tuesday July 12th. No matinee performance Wednesday June 8th. No evening performance on Wednesday June 29th or July 6th). Tickets are available online at Theatre Row Box Office. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 212/714-2442, ext. 45 (Monday - Sunday. 12pm - 5pm), or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office Box Office (410 West 42nd Street) two hours prior to curtain. Additional service fees will apply for online or phone orders.

Theatre Row, located at 410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues), is a fully accessible venue: all bathrooms are accessible; there is an elevator to all floors; the bar and lounge are fully accessible; assisted listening devices are available. Theatre Row is committed to the safety of its patrons and staff. For the latest COVID safety information & requirements, please click here for our full COVID-19 safety policy.

For more information, including photos and videos of previous Mint productions, visit


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