Taking a step back from the hard-hitting questions asked in its ongoing performance of The Christians, Chautauqua Theater Company will hold a far more intimate, laid-back performance at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 in Bratton Theater.
“Hello, Chautauqua,” an event sponsored by the Friends of Chautauqua Theater, will give members of the CTC conservatory a chance to display their theatrical talents outside the realm of a heavily produced play.
Where normally there is an invisible wall separating audiences from performers, according to CTC leadership, “Hello, Chautauqua” seeks to circumvent that barrier, giving both parties a chance to connect with one another in an informal environment.
The event is the sole fundraiser held by the CTC each season. Tickets run at a suggested donation of $25, but no price is fixed. Proceeds will go directly to support FCT.
CTC Artistic Director Andrew Borba said the event allows audience members to see a side of the conservatory actors that might otherwise go unnoticed.
“Although the Chautauqua audience gets to witness the brilliance of these young artists in the shows we do, they’re so multi-talented, and their ranges are so much broader than just what appears on our stages,” Borba said.
Previously titled “How I Got This Job,” the show was rebranded as “Hello, Chautauqua” this year. Where the show allowed audiences to enjoy performances from conservatory members in previous years, Borba said that “Hello, Chautauqua” will give attendees a chance to really get to know the actors and designers.
“These actors are more than just their monologues,” Borba said.
All 14 of the CTC conservatory actors will perform for the event, as will the four design fellows and one directing fellow, meaning that there will be more than just acting on display.
Each actor will prepare a monologue or song of their own choosing, and each fellow will showcase a piece of their work in their respective fields.
“We want to display artistry of all kinds here,” Borba said.
In addition to the prepared performances of each CTC member, “Hello, Chautauqua” will also feature a truth-or-dare segment. The assembled actors and fellows will have the option to reveal a truth about themselves or engage in an unknown dare.
“It’s really about us trying to have a playful, good time with the conservatory members and the audience,” Borba said. “We’re trying to connect these actors with Chautauqua audiences and vice versa. It’s always a good time.”
Amidst the fun, Borba said the conservatory members never fail to deliver moments of emotion and tenderness.
“These actors are extraordinary,” Borba said. “There’s always a moment or two where the audience, myself included, is deeply touched and deeply affected.”
Borba encourages anyone with an interest in connecting with the Chautauqua theater community to give the event a try.