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Joseph Dougherty's CHESTER BAILEY, Starring Oscar Nominee David Strathairn, Begins Run at A.C.T. Today

A.C.T. favorite and Academy Award nominee, David Strathairn (Underneath the Lintel at A.C.T.; film: "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Lincoln," "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"), returns to American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) for a three-week engagement of Joseph Dougherty's Chester Bailey beginning today, May 25 at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. The production is currently scheduled to run through June 12.

In 1945, in a hospital in Long Island, a young man named Chester Bailey - portrayed by Dan Clegg (Major Barbara at A.C.T.; Tribes at Berkeley Rep; A Midsummer Night's Dream at Cal Shakes) - has fallen under the charge of Dr. Philip Cotton (played by Strathairn). Chester is recovering from devastating injuries that have made his imagination the safest haven he has, while Cotton is tasked with figuring out the best way to heal this unusual patient. When Chester weaves a vivid fantasy about a beautiful woman from his past, Cotton-who is wounded by his own disappointments in life and love-is forced to make an ethical decision that calls into question everything he has ever known and believed to be true. As he is left wondering how he can pierce the bubble of Chester's illusion without leading him back to a reality of pain and loss, Cotton comes to his own realizations about the fragile nature of love and hope-and the saving grace of the imagination.

Written by Emmy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Joseph Dougherty (theater: Digby, My Favorite Year; television: thirtysomething and Pretty Little Liars) and directed by veteran stage and television director Ron Lagomarsino (theater: Driving Miss Daisy, Last Night of Ballyhoo; television: "thirtysomething," "My So-Called Life," "Pretty Little Liars"), Chester Bailey is a compelling account of regret, desire, and the lies we tell ourselves in order to find wholeness and truth. Elegant and spare, profound but unsentimental, this two-person play about unexpected connections is a poetic reverie about the endurance of memory, longing, and imagination in the midst of tragedy.

The Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City held a sold-out reading of Chester Bailey in 2014.


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