Drama Guild 2024 Season Offers Something For Everyone

by Jennifer Sexton-Riley

The Chatham Drama Guild has announced a crowd pleasing 2024 season with something for everyone, from romantic comedies to a musical revue and a comedy thriller.

The season opens on June 20 with the Tony Award-winning “Lovers and Other Strangers,” a romantic comedy written by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna and directed by Anna Marie Joahnsen. Mike and Susan are engaged to be married. Mike wants to call it all off, thinking it hypocritical to marry when the couple has already been living together. Meanwhile, Mike’s brother Richie and wife Joan are contemplating divorce, while Mike and Richie’s traditional Italian-American parents try everything they can think of to dissuade them.

“It’s always our aim to draw an audience, of course, with things that people really want to see,” said Drama Guild Board President Pam Banas. “Last year we did really well opening with ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner,’ and we decided to open with a comedy again this season.”

“Lovers and Other Strangers” will run through July 7.

The next production in the 2024 season will be a Gilbert and Sullivan Revue, celebrating the music of the beloved comic operas written by the much-loved Victorian-era creative duo. The revue will run from Aug. 3 to 18, directed by Banas, with musical direction by Geraldine Boles. Auditions for the Gilbert and Sullivan Revue will be held at the Drama Guild on Sunday, May 12 at 4 p.m. and Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m.

“The music will be chosen by the performers who will come to sing,” Banas said. “The great thing about a musical revue is we don’t have to be age specific. We are not doing the entire show, so we can have an older soprano, not a teen girl, for a given song. We will have group numbers, solos, duets, something for everybody. People can refer to the website if they’d like to participate. Please bring something to show your vocal range, and if you want to, bring a monologue or reading.”

Following the Gilbert and Sullivan Revue will be the Tony Award-winning Neil Simon romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park,” directed by Banas, from Sept. 13 to Oct. 6. Banas said the play, which premiered in 1963 on Broadway with none other than a young Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley, will be a treat for the Drama Guild’s autumn audiences. Auditions will take place at the Drama Guild on Sunday, May 19 at 4 p.m. and Monday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s just lots of laughs and fun for the people in the play as well as for the audience,” Banas said. “We have mostly adults who come in the fall, and this will be a great time for everyone.”

Finally, in accordance with Drama Guild tradition, an autumn mystery will take the stage from Nov. 15 to Dec. 8. This year, the thrills and chills will be served with laughter, with “The Game’s Afoot,” a comedy thriller written by Ken Ludwig, directed by Scott Hamilton. This winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for best play is set during the Christmas holiday season in 1936. Broadway star William GiIlette has invited his fellow cast members to spend a weekend of fun at his Connecticut castle. It’s all fun and games until someone ends up dead, and it’s up to Gillette, portraying the beloved character Sherlock Holmes, to puzzle out whodunit before more guests meet their untimely ends.

It’s a 2024 season of laughs, tunes, thrills and chills on the Chatham Drama Guild stage. For tickets and more information visit chatdramaguild.org.