Season of Dreams Includes The Tempest and The Glass Menagerie
Two transplants from New York have set up a brand-new theatre company in the heart of Chester County. The Phoenix Theatre will begin producing professional work in residence this summer at SALT Performing Arts in Chester Springs. This new theatre is dedicated to re-envisioning classics, producing bold contemporary pieces, and forging new works. It has long been a dream of the founders to start their own company. The season is set to kick off July 5-21 with a production of Williams Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It continues with Tennessee Williams classic work The Glass Menagerie, January 17-February 2, 2020. All shows will be performed at SALT Performing Arts, 1645 Art School Road, Chester Springs. Tickets for The Tempest are already on sale online at www.thephoenixtheatrepa.com. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $17 for students and seniors, and children under 18 will be admitted for free to The Tempest.
Artistic Director Seth Reich has created the theatre with his wife Jessica Myhr Reich, who is the company’s Development Director. They are joined by Managing Director, Michael Hajek, and Resident Designer, Stephan Moravski.
Reich and his wife Jessica, decided to settle in Chester County after building successful careers in NYC. They fell in love with the beauty of the county, the strong sense of community in the region and decided to build a home. The Phoenix Theatre emerged out of new beginnings and a vision of collaborative creation that has always been in the back of the Artistic Director’s mind.
“The phoenix has always been a symbol for us. With its healing tears and ability to rise from its own ashes, It symbolizes our desire to grow something that can make a difference in a community that we enjoy and want to be a part of,” said Seth Reich. “We want to create work for people to experience all aspects of humanity and inspire them to grow, to explore, to think, to heal, to celebrate.”
Their inaugural “Season of Dreams” will do just that. The season begins in July with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Seth Reich. Running from July 5-21 this will be a contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s final play utilizing modern technology to create magic along with strong movement work and dynamic music. A full immersion experience of Prospero’s island, where creatures, spirits and people alike crave connection and understanding – reminding audiences of the many strengths and fragilities of being human.
Then, the company kicks off 2020 with Tennessee Williams’ classic memory play, The Glass Menagerie. Michael Hajek will direct. Running January 17-February 2, The Glass Menagerie is an intimate portrait of a young man trying to escape his destiny and reliving his past. The Glass Menagerie, written by one of the great American playwrights Tennessee Williams, holds a mirror up to illusion and truth. The family looks into the glass wondering if their individual realities will shatter or remain intact.
“We want to share great stories that engage our local community. We believe that bringing these exciting classic pieces with a new perspective can inspire our audiences who may not be exposed to this type of work. Everyone will latch on to these amazing stories and be taken on an exhilarating theatrical ride,” said Reich.
About the Founders and Artists
Seth Reich, Artistic Director
Seth has established himself as a theatre artist and educator with over twenty years of experience in the industry. He has worked with numerous theatre companies and educational institutions including Actors’ Shakespeare Company, the American Repertory Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, Classic Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Theater with a View, Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Emerson College, New York Film Academy, and New York University. He has directed a wide variety of plays and musicals ranging from classical to contemporary to new works. Seth has also appeared as an actor in several mediums including theatre, television, film, and voice over. He is formerly the Head of Acting in the Musical Theatre Department at New York Film Academy and was the Artistic Director of Theatre with A View. After working with top leaders in the field on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally he continues to dedicate his life to the development and growth of the arts through education and performance with a focus on building community. He is currently on faculty at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School’s Center for Performing and Fine Arts. He holds a bachelor’s from Emerson College and a master’s from Columbia University.
Jessica Myhr Reich, Development Director
Jessica is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota where she was raised surrounded by actors, painters, musicians, educators, and storytellers. She attended Valparaiso University earning her B.A. in Theater and Television Arts, and Rutgers University receiving her M.F.A. in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has helped contribute, collaborate and develop several theatre companies over the years as an actress, company member, and branding/marketing specialist. Some of these companies include Amphibian Productions, Actors Shakespeare Company, and most recently Theater with a View to name a few. As an actress, she has appeared in theatre productions off-Broadway, regionally, and in television and film including a recurring role on All My Children. Jessica is also the owner of the image consulting firm, Inherent Style, where she specializes in wardrobe styling, personal branding, and costume design. She is passionate about collaborating and bringing artists together to impact communities with great stories.
Michael Hajek, Managing Director
Michael has been in the entertainment industry for over forty years. He has worked as an actor, director, and on production and administrative staffs with many companies including The Metropolitan Opera, New York Grand Opera, Actors Creative Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Company and Theater with a View. As an actor, he has played numerous roles over his career specializing in the classics. He began his studies at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and continued studying with theater greats such as Lee Strasberg, Paul Mann, Ernie Martin and Louis Scheeder. Michael developed a working friendship with Elia Kazan, furthering his education in all aspects of theatre. Michael is also currently the Operations Manager at the West End Collegiate Church.
Stephan Moravski, Resident Artist
Stephan is a set, production and graphic designer based in downtown Manhattan, an alumnus of Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, graduating with a Master of Set Design for Stage and Film. He completed his Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Stephen has an extensive background in theatre and opera design. He has won several industry awards for his creativity and innovation and was honored to be a finalist in Opera America’s Director-Designer grant for their work on Glory Denied. Stephan has also assisted Opera designer Paul Steinberg and freelances as a design consultant in creative visual merchandising at Tiffany & Co. Stephan has a strong connection to his Ukrainian culture and is currently the resident designer at Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company.
About The Phoenix Theatre
The Phoenix Theatre is a professional, non-profit theatre company dedicated to building and inspiring community. We strive to tell stories that encourage our audiences to see the world in a new light and rise to action. We are committed to making people laugh, cry, and cheer by re-envisioning classics, producing bold contemporary pieces, and forging new works.
Pictured from L-R Artistic Director Seth Reich, Development Director Jessica Myhr Reich and
Managing Director, Michael Hajek.