Chester, MA–On July 28, Chester Theatre Company (CTC) will begin its two-week run of Pass Over, the show that reopened Broadway in 2021. The three-actor play, which shares some DNA with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, stars Austin Sasser (Western Reserve Playhouse, Karamu House) as Kitch and Kayodè Soyemi (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Cabaret, Dallas Theater Center) as Moses in their CTC debuts, and frequent CTC star and Berkshire Theatre Critics Award winner James Barry double cast as Mister and Ossifer.
Moses and Kitch want off their Chicago street corner—if only they can pass over. They dream of a fuller life, and things that would soothe them: clean socks, brown bunnies, the return of a dead brother. But the world keeps those desires beyond their grasp.
“Pass Over might seem familiar at first glance,” said director Christina Franklin, who also directed last summer’s The Niceties, and who was recently an Associate on Broadway’s For Colored Girls... “This play challenges us to muster the audacity to dream ourselves out of life’s traps.”
“Pass Over excites me, and I believe it will excite audiences,” said Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. “Antoinette Nwandu takes only what she needs from Beckett and makes it her own, imposing a timely, critically important portrait of the obstacles this country creates for Black men, and the systems of oppression that continue to deny them their rightful place. As a theatre,” continued Kramer, “we are committed to doing our part to be more inclusive in every way that we can. We have engaged a range of voices to tell important, diverse stories curated and developed by a diverse group of artists.”
Chester Theatre Company Board member Alaina Macaulay adds, “As a young person committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice work in the region, I was thrilled to join the Board of Directors for the Chester Theatre Company. I was initially captivated by its mission which is dedicated to sharing stories that are intended to put the challenges we see as a society front and center. Through our work, we hope that bringing folx together, from all walks of life, to be immersed in the performances and rich conversation continues to propel a love for the arts and deep passion for social change.”
The play, first seen at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, was released as a film directed by Spike Lee. While the playwright crafted a different ending for the Broadway production, she leaves it up to each theatre as to which ending it chooses. Chester Theatre Company will be doing the original ending as seen in the Chicago production.
Sarafina Bush, the original costume designer for the Broadway production, is designing costumes for CTC’s production, assisted by Christina Beam, costume designer for Pride@Prejudice. Kelsey Rainwater, who teaches Stage Combat and Intimacy at David Geffen School of Drama, serves as the Fight Director. Nadir Bey (scenery) and Madeleine Hebert (lighting) make their CTC design debuts. James McNamara returns to design sound. Chevonne Baylor will stage manage the production, her first with CTC.
All performances will take place in the intimate setting of Chester’s Historic Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA. Individual ticket prices are $52.50. Chester and Middlefield residents, members of the military and their families, ConnectorCare enrollees, and those holding EBT/SNAP cards may purchase discounted tickets by calling the box office. Student Rush $10 tickets are available day of show. Single tickets and season subscriptions may be purchased online at chestertheatre.org, or by phone at 413.354.7771. Special rates for groups of ten or more are available.
CTC will be requiring proof of vaccination and masking for entry. See the website for details.
About Chester Theatre Company
Founded by a former Artistic Director of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Vincent Dowling, Chester Theatre Company is an award-winning professional theatre company known for presenting high quality, contemporary productions with top-notch actors, directors, and designers from across the country since 1990.
For further information, please call CTC at 413.354.7770, or visit www.chestertheatre.org.