Open Air Apollinaire to Celebrate 10th Year with Bertolt Brecht

Two of the Apollinaire Theatre Companies actors in the production of  'The Caucasian Chalk Circle.'

Two of the Apollinaire Theatre Companies actors in the production of ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle.’

Apollinaire Theatre Company will mark 10 years of offering free bilingual productions on alternating nights in English and Spanish in Chelsea’s Mary O’Malley Park Bertolt Brecht’s parable of right and wrong, ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle.’

Brecht throws the audience into the action when a coup brings down the social order. The intertwining tales of Grusha, a young kitchen maid who rescues a baby abandoned by his royal mother, and Azdak, a drunken scribe suddenly elevated to high court judge, meet when Azdak must determine the fate of the child. Brecht borrows the idea of the chalk circle from an ancient Chinese folktale, and Azdak places the child in the circle for a winner-takes-all tug of war between Grusha and his high-born mother.

This production features an original score by Boston composer David Reiffel, who is best known locally for his work as a sound designer and composer at area theaters including New Repertory Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and the Stoneham Theatre. He has written six original musicals, more than a dozen musical adaptations, and incidental music for many plays, including the 2012 Romeo and Juliet at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Reiffel is returning to his roots with Caucasian Chalk Circle. He began his theatrical composing career writing music for a (very traditional) school production of this same play as a 9th grader. He’s excited to revisit the script in this new, contemporary, bilingual setting.

In Apollinaire tradition, the audience will move to new locations throughout the performance, following the travels of the characters. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the Boston harbor views.

These Free performances of ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ are July 10-27, Wed.-Sun. at 7:30 p.m.

English performances are Wednesday July 17 & 24, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Spanish performances are Wednesday July 10 and Fridays.

The production is staged environmentally in multiple locations in Mary O’Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, on the Chelsea Waterfront (Admiral’s Hill).

Information/Directions: or (617) 887-2336. In case of rain, call (617) 887-2336 to check status.

Cast Members:

Director: Danielle Fauteux Jacques

Composer/Music Director: David Reiffel

Set Design: Megan F. Kinneen

Costume Design: Susan Paino

Costumer: Phoebe Roberts

Properties Design: Melanie Hardy

Stage Managers: Emma Ewel, Erin Maureen Kearney

ASMs: Stephanie Flores, Nicole Hoffman

Intern: Lillian Schley

House Managers: Carol Bortman, Eli Bortman, Ida Rudolph


Grusha (English): Courtland Jones

Azdak (English): Dev Luthra

Grusha (Spanish): Noelle Vinas

Azdak (Spanish): Victor Hugo Arellano

Singer & Governor’s Wife: Paola M. Ferrer

Governor: Tony Dangerfield

Lavrenti: H.R. Britton

Shauva: Joe A. Ogando

Adjutant: Kelly Chick

Aniko: Lauren Thomas

Farmer’s Wife: Liz Adams

Simon: Mauro Canepa

Mother: Melissa Nussbaum Freeman

Jessup: Mike Handelman

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