CHESTER >> "Sister Play," the third production in Chester Theatre Company's 2016 season, begins its regional premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road.
The play by John Kolvenbach, which premiered at Wellfleet's Harbor Theatre in 2015, centers around Anna and Lilly, sisters whose long-defined roles in each other's lives are dramatically altered when a mysterious stranger enters their midst.
On their yearly trip to their late father's moldy old cabin on Cape Cod, Anna, Lilly, and Anna's novelist husband Malcolm slip into familiar patterns; Lilly tries to defend her latest failed romance; Anna picks at Lilly for her bad choices; and Malcolm talks to himself about mold, death, lust and feeling like "a pamphlet between two related tomes." When Lilly returns to the cabin with a dust-covered, oddly poetic stranger she's picked up during a midnight drive, their family pilgrimage takes a startling —and highly amusing — detour.
The show runs through Aug. 14 with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and 2 o'clock matinees Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Chester Theatre Company producing artistic director Daniel Elihu Kramer is directing.
Appearing in the play are real-life husband and wife James Barry (Malcolm) and Tara Franklin (Anna), playing spouses for the first time.
Barry first appeared at CTC in the 2011 season as Dr. Faustus in "Wittenberg" and returned for the 2013 world premiere of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's "Arms on Fire." His stage credits include the first national tour of "Million Dollar Quartet," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" at The Public Theatre and on Broadway, as well as work with Irish Rep (NY and Chicago), Drury Lane (Chicago), Connecticut Repertory Theatre, The New Theatre (Kansas City), and several credits at Berkshire Theatre Group, among them "The Caretaker," "Tommy," "A Dream Play" and "This Is Our Youth."
Franklin's numerous regional appearances include roles in "The Homecoming," "The Lion in Winter," "Birthday Boy," "The Guardsman," "Ghosts," "A Man For All Seasons," "Educating Rita," "Amadeus," "Equus" and "The Misanthrope," all at Berkshire Theatre Group. She appeared Off-Broadway in "Sleep No More" at Punchdrunk @ The McKittrick Hotel. Her regional credits include Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Chicago's Improv Olympic.
Also in the cast are Therese Plaehn as Lilly and Justin Campbell as the stranger, William Casey.
Plaehn returns to Chester Theatre Company following her performance in the 2015 hit "Blink." Among her numerous New York credits are "The Heidi Chronicles" on Broadway; "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" based at The Public Theater; and "Family Play (1979-present)" at New Ohio Theatre. Her regional credits include Huntington Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Stonington Opera House, and Gloucester Stage.
Campbell made his CTC debut in The Turn of the Screw. Among his New York credits are the Public Theater and Theatre For A New Audience. Regional credits include American Repertory Theater, and Boston Art Theater, of which he is a founding member.
Ticket information is available online at chestertheatre.tix.com or by phone at 413-354-7771.