Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney to Star in New York Premiere of CHESTER BAILEY at Irish Repertory Theatre

In a stateside hospital at the close of World War II, a young man recovers from catastrophic injuries. Or so the doctors have told him

By: Aug. 16, 2022
Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney to Star in New York Premiere of CHESTER BAILEY at Irish Repertory Theatre

Irish Repertory Theatre will present the New York Premiere of Chester Bailey by Emmy Award winner Joseph Dougherty ("thirtysomething," My Favorite Year) and directed by Emmy Award nominee Ron Lagomarsino (Digby, "Homefront"). Starring real-life father and son, Tony Award winner Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney, Chester Bailey will begin previews on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage on October 12, 2022, and is set to open on October 19, for a limited run through November 13, 2022.

In a stateside hospital at the close of World War II, a young man recovers from catastrophic injuries. Or so the doctors have told him. But Chester Bailey denies what's happened to him has actually happened, which is how he comes under the care of Dr. Philip Cotton. Older, wounded in his own ways, Cotton is charged with leading Chester back to reality. The journey is not what either man expected. Chester Bailey stars real-life father and son, Tony Award winner Reed Birney (The Humans, "House of Cards") and Ephraim Birney ("Gotham," "The Americans"), as doctor and patient, and is directed by Ron Lagomarsino (Driving Miss Daisy, Picket Fences).

Chester Bailey had its first reading in 2012 at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and a subsequent reading in 2015 at Irish Rep. The piece was workshopped and received its 2016 world premiere at ACT (where it won Theatre Bay Area Awards including Outstanding World Premiere Play and Outstanding Production of a Play). Since then, Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney have starred in productions at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in West Virginia and in 2021 at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts. Irish Rep is proud to present the New York premiere.

Chester Bailey will feature scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Toni Leslie-James, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Brendan Aanes. April Ann Kline serves as the Production Stage Manager.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 2PM & 7PM, Thursdays at 7PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2PM & 7PM, and Sundays at 3PM. Exceptions: there will be no 2pm performance on Wednesday October 19. There will be an added performance on Tuesday October 18.

Tickets for Chester Bailey begin at $45 and are on sale now for Irish Rep Members. Tickets will go on sale to the public on August 19 at 1PM ET and will be available at

Currently on the Irish Rep Mainstage is the world premiere musical The Butcher Boy featuring book, music & lyrics by Asher Muldoon. Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly (A Touch of the Poet), with music direction by David Hancock Turner (Penelope) and choreography by Barry McNabb (The Streets of New York), The Butcher Boy will run through September 11, 2022.


IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, is now in its 33rd season after first opening its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama," an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," Irish Rep celebrates the very best in Irish theatre, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 50,000 audience members annually attend productions at Irish Rep's theatre located in the heart of New York's Off-Broadway community. Once here, they witness Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.


Joseph Dougherty

(Playwright) earned Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his play Digby produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. He wrote the libretto for the Tony Award-winning musical My Favorite Year presented at Lincoln Center. An Emmy Award and Humanitas Prize winner for his work on "thirtysomething," he has written Emmy-winning movies for HBO and has contributed as a writer and director to several television series including "Judging Amy," "Once and Again" and "Pretty Little Liars." His play Chester Bailey was selected as Outstanding World Premiere Play by the TBA Awards when it was presented at A.C.T. in San Francisco.

Ron Lagomarsino

(Director) directed the world premiere of Chester Bailey at American Conservatory Theatre (Theatre Bay Area Awards including Best Play and Best Production) and its subsequent run at Contemporary American Theatre Festival. He also directed the premieres of Alfred Jury's Driving Miss Daisy (Drama Desk nomination) and Last Night of Ballyhoo which garnered the Pulitzer Prize and Best Play Tony Award, respectively. The two-year national tour of ...Daisy (Helen Hayes nomination) starred Julie Harris and Brock Peters, and Dame Wendy Hiller led the West End cast. For his productions of ...Daisy, Christopher Durang's Laughing Wild and Timothy Mason's Only You, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award. Other premieres include works by John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley and Jane Anderson (Ovation nomination for Looking for Normal). For Manhattan Theatre Club, he directed Joseph Dougherty's Digby (Drama Desk nomination), and at Lincoln Center Theater, the Dougherty/Ahrens/Flaherty musical My Favorite Year. He has developed new works at NY Stage & Film, Sundance, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and Ojai Playwrights Conference. His own play Jerome was developed at NYS&F and chosen as a Finalist at the O'Neill. TV credits include several pilots including David E. Kelley's Emmy-winning "Picket Fences" for which he won the Directors Guild of America Award. He was nominated for an Emmy for the "homefront" pilot. Episodic work spans from "thirtysomething" to "My So-Called Life" to "Pretty Little Liars."

Ephraim Birney

(Chester Bailey) is a New York City actor and writer. His screen credits include TV shows like "Gotham" and "The Americans," as well as the indie film Sylvio, and most recently, Strawberry Mansion, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. He's worked in theatre both Off-Broadway and regionally in plays such as The Goodperson of Szechwan at The Public Theater, Admissions at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC, and The Sound Inside at TheaterWorks Hartford in March of 2021. This is his third round as Chester, previously at Barrington Stage Company, and before that at The Contemporary American Theater Festival. He thinks this time he'll finally get to know his co-star.

Reed Birney

(Dr. Philip Cotton). Broadway: The Humans (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award); Casa Valentina (Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Award); 1984; Gemini; Picnic. Off Broadway: Uncle Vanya (Drama Desk Award nomination); Blasted (Drama Desk Nomination); Circle Mirror Transformation (OBIE, Drama Desk Awards). TV/Film - Mass (Independent Spirit's Robert Altman Award, Gotham Award Nomination); Netflix: "House of Cards," "The Forty-Year-Old Version," "Lost Girls;" Hulu: "The Handmaid's Tale;" FX: "The Americans;" Apple TV+: "Home Before Dark;" HBO: "Succession," "High Maintenance," "Titans;" NBC: "The Blacklist;" Blumhouse: The Hunt; Searchlight: The Menu (upcoming). 2006 OBIE for Sustained Excellence. 2011 Drama Desk Award for Career Excellence.