Our 2017-18 performance season concludes with
William Shakespeare’s MacBeth
Evenings · 7pm
June 1, 2, 8 & 9
Matinees · 2pm
June 3 & 10
$12 advance · $15 door
Purchase through the box office
207-442-8455 or online.
Described as one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, "Macbeth" is a dark and bloody drama of ambition, murder, guilt, and revenge directed by John Willey on the main stage.
Tempted by an evil prophecy and encouraged by his wife ever deeper into his own dark ambition, Macbeth murders his way to the throne of Scotland. Shakespeare’s chilling tragedy is filled with ferocious battles, supernatural horrors, famously gorgeous poetry, and some of the Bard’s most vivid characters.
“This play explores a striking dramatic portrait of a man of honor and integrity destroyed by a fatal character flaw and the tortures of a guilty imagination,” said John Willey, who founded Shakespeare on the Kennebec that annually partners with the Chocolate Church to present theatre classics.
Macbeth features Clay Hawks of Bath in the title role and April Purinton of Harpswell as his Lady Macbeth. The cast also includes Mark Hazard of Auburn as Duncan; Dennis Crews of West Bath as Macduff; Vince Shatto of Woolwich as Ross; and Nate Levesque of Auburn as Banquo. Shannon LoCascio of Scarborough, Crystal Vaccaro of Gorham and Jacquelyn Mansfield of Auburn play the three mysterious witches.
Macbeth, set amid the gloomy castles and lonely heaths of medieval Scotland, is suspenseful, epic, and beautiful all at the same time. The creative team is comprised of Jeanette Wolfarth of Portland (Assistant Director), Melanie Willey of Bath (Creative Assistant), Devin Cromwell of West Bath (Sound Design), Kyle Aarons of Portland (Fight Director), and Carrie Hawks of Bath (Production Stage Manager). Original music composed by Don Crandall.
Photos courtesy of Sararose Willey Photography
Steam-Powered Theater Camp Returns This Summer!
In partnership with Actors Equity Association member Dennis St. Pierre, who offers over 30 years of stage and television experience.
July 30 – August 17, 2018
Final show presentation: August 17, 18 & 19
Mon–Fri 9:00am – 4:00pm
For Kids Only (grades 5– 9)
Cost: $900 (Pack your own lunch)
Five days during school break was not enough! Through popular demand from participants and other interested students, we will be offer another opportunity this summer.
Students going into fifth grade to ninth grade will be working with a music director and a professional choreographer as well as a professional person who works on the technology side of the theater.
This three-week adventure encourages skills of play, social interaction, story-telling, imagination, play writing, improvisation, impersonation and comedy interlaced with physical activity and engagement that will culminate into a show presented on the main stage of the Chocolate Church Arts Center.
Thank You To Our 2017 Season Sponsors:
Past Production Galleries
Past Production Descriptions
SCROOGE! THE MUSICAL (2017)
The Musical Adaptation of the 1970 Film
Performances: December 14-17 | Evening & Afternoon Performances
You know the story. Based on the 1843 novella Charles Dickens, this is the timeless short of Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy miser who hates Christmas, but is transformed into a caring, kindly person through the visitations of four ghosts.
As classic work, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has been dramatized and adapted countless times for virtually every medium and performance genre, and new versions appear regularly. This year we highlight the version by renowned writer-composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse who adapted 1970 hit screen musical "Scrooge!”
Like the film, the musical closely follows Ebenezer Scrooge (portrayed by Iver McLeod) as he undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night, after being visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley (portrayed by Reese Madarasz) and the ghosts of Christmas Past (portrayed by Sarah Hanson), Christmas Present (portrayed by Mary Melquist) and Christmas Future (portrayed by Phoebe Hanson).
Each year the Chocolate Church presents a Christmas-themed production as family entertainment and as a gift to the community. The production team of Wayne Otto as director, Ashley Steeves as choreographer and Kyle Aaron as music director has prepared this year’s production with an extra dose of Christmas spirit. Photography courtesy of David Mention Photography.
Roger & Hammerstein’s Great American Musical
Performances: September 15-16, 22-23 at 7:30 pm | 2pm on September 17, 24
Our 2017-18 theatrical season opens with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! The musical score from this production is one of the most beloved of all time.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, there is the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys. There's a box social coming up, and Curly (Chase Tomberlin of Brunswick) asks Laurey (Sharon Henderson of Gardiner) if she'll be his date. Trouble is, Laurey thinks he's waited too long, and in a fit of pique accepts an offer from the boorish Jud (Iver McLeod of Bath) instead. Meanwhile, Laurey's friend Ado Annie (Caitlin Paul of Pittson) is also torn between two men: a cowboy named Will (Garret Coffey of Bath) and a foreign peddler, Ali Hakim (Rich Ellis of Brunswick). Both women struggle to know their own hearts before it's too late.
The wild west provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love's journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road. Under the direction of Thom Watson, music direction of Teresa Henderson and choreography of Ashley Steeves, the audience will have no doubt that they will succeed in making a new life together, and that this new life will begin in a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant OKLAHOMA!
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (2017)
Our Spring Production of the William Shakespeare Classic!
Performances: May 5, 6, and 12, 2017 | 7pm · May 7 and 13, 2017 | 2pm $12 adv | $15 door
“The Taming of the Shrew” remains one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, loved by audiences around the world.
The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio (portrayed by Mike Blakemore of Brunswick) and the headstrong Katherina (portrayed by Jeanette Wolfarth of Portland). The subplot features a competition between the suitors of Katherina's younger sister, Bianca (portrayed by Letia Fowlie of Bath), who is seen as the "ideal" woman.
“The story of Kate and Petruchio has entertained and captivated us for centuries because it is so familiar to us all,” said John Willey who directs this production. “We recognize ourselves in the power struggles, the small victories and defeats, the resulting new balances as we make our own way through relationships in our own lives.”
Shakespeare provides audiences with great merriment and a peek at how humans, ‘do the dance of love’ to find a working harmony with our partners, parents and society at large. Taming of the Shrew questions what defines happiness and a successful partnership.
The Taming of the Shrew is a Chocolate Church Arts Center production in partnership with Shakespeare on the Kennebec.
ON GOLDEN POND (2017)
The Chocolate Church Arts Center presents “On Golden Pond” as Ethel and Norman Thayer open their Maine cabin to timeless challenges of love.
Performances: Feb 17-18, 24-25 at 7pm and Feb. 19, 26 at 2pm in our cozy Curtis Room
(Bath, Maine) While the prospect of loons welcoming us home after a year’s absence might not always sound quite so realistic during the middle of February, the timeless themes embodied in “On Golden Pond” are always with us. Norman Thayer Jr. and his wife, Ethel, along with their daughter Chelsea, her new boyfriend and his son, plus a lake-roving postman are a part of this classic play’s promise of loons, while granting the possibility of learning to love.
Arriving home at their summer cottage, Norman and Ethel (played by Peter Havas of Harpswell and Shirley Bernier of Lisbon) have spent forty-eight consecutive years at Golden Pond. Now retired, and perhaps a little bit cranky, retired professor Norman spends time hunting the classifieds for a new career and catching up with Charlie (Geno Ring), the lake-roving postal worker who once dated his daughter, Chelsea. Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden, “For my part, I could easily do without the post office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it.” While this spirit of independence might suggest some of the motivations behind the Thayer’s annual trek to Golden Pond, this play is in some ways about the limits to individualism. As we watch Norman and Ethel reminisce about their time on the pond, it becomes clear with Chelsea’s arrival that there is more to be explored beneath the surface.
Chelsea, who is played by Tracy Hall of Portland, is practically estranged from her father. In the 1981 film version of the play (both written by Ernest Thompson), this strained dynamic was immortalized by real-life father and daughter duo Henry and Jane Fonda. Rebelling against her own middle-class upbringing and Norman’s tyranny, Chelsea attempts to inject new life into the surroundings at Golden Pond. Bringing along her boyfriend Bill (Clay Hawks) and his teenage son Billy Jr. (Johnmarcus Willey), Chelsea hopes to heal some of her own wounds in exposing a new generation to the beautiful lakeside setting she experienced as a girl growing up. Ernest Thompson spent summers at Great Pond in Belgrade growing up, though the film version ended up depicting Squam Lake in New Hampshire.
Ultimately, this is a show about different generations coming together. Despite Norman’s initial aloofness and apparent coldness toward his daughter, he finds a connection with young Billy Jr., whose own alienation from his father disappears in the wild beauty of Golden Pond. This is a play for all ages, though some of the themes may be suitable for older children. Directed by Thom Watson.
On Golden Pond sponsored by:
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (2016)
Holiday Family Entertainment
CCAC celebrates the 70th Anniversary of this beloved Christmas favorite by staging live theatre performances of this Holiday Family favorite!
The Chocolate Church Arts Center turns the holiday spotlight on family entertainment with the staged production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on December 15-16-17 at 7pm and December 17-18 at 2pm on the main stage located at 804 Washington Street in Bath.
"It’s A Wonderful Life" is a spectacular adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved 1946 film. The epic love story of George and Mary Bailey is a powerful Christmas tale, a portrait of the Greatest Generation and a descent into the darkest hour of a man trapped by circumstance, a powerful meditation on what makes a meaningful life.
George Bailey is played by Walter Gregg and the role of Mary is split between two actors, Phoebe Hansen and Letia Fowlie. This reinterpretation of the show’s traditional cast of characters has been extended to the essential role Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody, in this show being played by Sararose Willey and Olivia Cunningham.
The rest of the family is played by Nina Ryan (Zuzu Bailey), Kenneth Jensen (Tommy Bailey), Royal Kloberdans (Pete Bailey) and Racey Gregg (Janie Bailey). Rick Grover is Uncle Billy and Michael Millett plays the role of the notorious Henry Potter.
Originally conceived as a short story—“The Greatest Gift”—by Philip Van Doren Stern 1939, director Frank Capra read the story at the behest of an RKO studios executive and decided to make it into a film.
The show, directed by Wayne Otto, continues the tradition since 2013 that the Chocolate Church Arts Center produces a theatre show highlighting the Christmas spirit for all ages. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is an opportunity for families to enjoy a holiday experience together.
ONE WAY TRIP TO MARS
Original Rock Musical
September 29, 30, October 1, 2, 2016
Gilbert & Sullivan’s PIRATES OF PENZANCE
September 9-10-11 and 16-17-18, 2016
William Shakespeare’s KING LEAR
May 6-7-8 and May 13-14, 2016