A New York Premiere
on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
By Joseph Dougherty
Directed by Ron Lagomarsino
Starring Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney
In a stateside hospital at the close of World War II, a young man recovers from catastrophic injuries. Or so the doctors have told him. But Chester Bailey denies what’s happened to him has actually happened, which is how he comes under the care of Dr. Philip Cotton. Older, wounded in his own ways, Cotton is charged with leading Chester back to reality. The journey is not what either man expected. Chester Bailey stars real-life father and son, Tony Award winner Reed Birney (The Humans, “House of Cards”) and Ephraim Birney (“Gotham,” “The Americans”), as doctor and patient, and is directed by Ron Lagomarsino (Driving Miss Daisy, “Picket Fences”).
Chester Bailey was selected as a New York Times Critic’s Pick in 2021, which called the play “as striking as a sucker punch…highly effective.” The Washington Post hailed Chester Bailey as “a keenly observed, beautifully written tale about guilt and psychological resilience in World War II-era America, and a luminous showcase for father-son actors Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney.”
Chester Bailey had its first reading in 2012 at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and a subsequent reading in 2015 at Irish Rep. The piece was workshopped and received its 2016 world premiere at ACT (where it won Theatre Bay Area Awards including Outstanding World Premiere Play and Outstanding Production of a Play). Since then, Reed Birney and Ephraim Birney have starred in productions at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in West Virginia and in 2021 at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts. Irish Rep is proud to present the New York premiere.
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Please Click Here for a Content Advisory
This play is not recommended for children under 14.
This play contains descriptions of sexual assault.
Press from previous productions:
CRITIC’S PICK! “Compelling…As striking as a sucker punch, too effective to let you keep an emotional distance…Conspires to keep you eagerly tied up in its yarn.” —The New York Times
“Too compelling to look away…theater could be poised not just for a return but a renewal.” —The Boston Globe