Posted by Chris Anderson on Jul 01, 2019
Pictured (l to r):  Chautauqua Theater Company Artistic Director Andrew Borba, President Cheri Krull, and Jim Smith
Our very own Jim Smith introduced our guest, Andrew Borba from the Chautauqua Theater Company.  This is Andrew’s third trip to speak to Rotary!  
Andrew is in his 4th season as Artistic Director of Chautauqua Theater Company.  He served 8 seasons as Chautauqua Theater Company’s Associate Artistic Director and this is his 15th summer at Chautauqua Theater Company.  
Andrew has directed several plays at Chautauqua and across the country – and is a star of stage and screen – having numerous acting performances on stage and guest appearances in over 30 television series, including, Intersteller (2014), Taken 3 (2014), Straight Outta Compton (2015), Speechless (TV Series), NCIS: New Orleans (TV Series), and Criminal Minds (TV Series), just to name a few.  A true Hollywood actor in our midst!  
Andrew started by stating how amazing and wonderful it was to be back at Rotary again for another presentation.  The Chautauqua Theater Company has already opened 3 plays this season and hit the proverbial ground running.
The Chautauqua Theater Company is once again offering Shakespeare in the Park at a multitude of locations in the area.  Some of the free events offered are at Allen Park, Southern Tier Brewing Company, and new this year, the Riverwalk.  Andrew wanted the event to be offered in the heart of downtown Jamestown.
Andrew also spoke about the Young Playwrights initiative they are once again offering at local schools to get kids introduced to theater.  This is the 5th season of young playwrights an it has been a great success!
Chautauqua Theater Play, The Christians, opened this past weekend.  Andrew and his team chose this play because it is not an aggressive look at Christianity but a very investigative, inquisitive compassionate and balanced look at religion.  This play will create and engage conversation. It is really a story of empathy and humanity that will draw people in.    
Another play that will premier this summer is One Man, Two Guvnors – play based in 1963 Brighton, England. This hilarious adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s commedia masterpiece The Servant of Two Masters plants us in Brighton in 1963. Recently fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall scrambles to find work in this working class British beach town, where the ladies liberation movement has just begun to bloom. High and low humor collide in this British farce complete with live Beatles-inspired music.

The Theater Company will also be testing 3 new Play Workshops as signature stage readings.  They are How the Light Gets In, On the Exhale, and Agent 355.  Over the last eleven years, CTC has been committed to using resources to launch new work onto the stage and into the industry. The signature staged reading format offers a unique bridge between written play and production. Though performed script-in-hand, plays are staged, receive design and technical support, and run for three ticketed performances.
Andrew also shared some really good news about one of their play workshops.  Birthday Candles, which premiered at Chautauqua in 2017, went on to Detroit and now will be going to Broadway in NYC in April 2020! Debra Messing will star in the Broadway play! Congrats CTC!  
Andrew reminded us that performing outside of the Chautauqua gates is an amazing experience.  The ease and playful acceptance of CTC in the community has been truly breathtaking.  Her also reminded us that the transition every year from Los Angeles to Chautauqua is interesting.  Andrew loves the rain.  Everything is green and beautiful.  For Andrew, spending time here in Chautauqua County is a tonic for his soul and an artistic home.  He does not have to worry about all the things that may undercut ones artistry.  Chautauqua is a place where playwrights can focus on the work.   The people and the work are the reason he comes back.