The Chautauqua Theater Company has a unique role to play in the American Theater — it offers our loyal and discerning audience the best in classical, contemporary, and new plays and features a company made up of internationally acclaimed professional actors, directors, designers, playwrights and faculty, joined by 14 of the finest emerging actors in the country.
As originally conceived by founding artistic director Michael Kahn, the goal of the CTC was to build “a professional theater company centered at Chautauqua that would, in the future, be able to do a season of very, very good theater combining professional actors and students.”
Under the 18-year stewardship of the incomparable Rebecca Guy, the Conservatory emerged to fill Michael’s original vision of a resident company at Chautauqua. Patiently, with years of support from Chautauquans near and far, Guy built the infrastructure of a sustainable theater organization and completed the stunning renovation of Bratton Theater.
Now, the future that Michael Kahn once envisioned is here. Building on the firm foundations laid by their predecessors, our leadership team is poised to bring CTC to the forefront of summer theaters in this country and unite the twin traditions of performance and training under one Bratton roof.
History of Bratton Theater
Theater has existed at Chautauqua for over 100 years. Many theater companies have performed at Chautauqua over the last century, including the Jamestown Players, the Pittsburgh Players Club and the Chautauqua Players. The Cleveland Playhouse made Chautauqua Institution its summer home for over 51 years beginning in 1930. During that time, Normal Hall (as Bratton Theater was then called) served as the rehearsal hall and scene shop for the Chautauqua Opera Company. In the early 1980’s the prestigious Acting Company made Chautauqua a recurring stop on their national touring circuit. This fortuitously brought Michael Kahn to the grounds of Chautauqua, and under his leadership, the Chautauqua Conservatory Theater Company was created in 1983 and Normal Hall became a dedicated theater space.