The Little Prince Opens February 16th


The Garfield Center for the Arts opens its 2018 season of plays with Antoinne de St. Exupéry’s The Little Prince on February 16th at 8pm. A beautiful portrayal of the importance of imagination, this story teaches us valuable lessons in loss, heartbreak and death, while showing us that imagination and understanding are some of the most important parts of the human experience.

A young pilot (Paul Cambardella) crashes his plane in the Sahara Desert where he meets a child dressed as a prince (Alden Swanson) insisting that he draw for him. The child tells the pilot that he comes from another planet, asteroid B-612, and he is on journey to understand his feelings of affection for an overbearing rose (Zuzu Kusmider) that bloomed on his star a year prior. The little prince recounts feats from an intergalactic adventure and tells of various characters, each of whom face their own sort of selfishness, but respectively teach the Prince important lessons. He befriends a fox (Aaron Sensenig) on earth, and makes a deadly agreement with a sly snake (Ben Anthony). He teaches the pilot how to express his feelings and imagination beyond what is expected of an adult in the modern world.

Directed by the Garfield’s theatre manager, Bryan Betley, The Little Prince runs for just two weekends, from February 16th – 25th. Shows are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm with Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for members of the US military and seniors 65+ and $10 for students. Visit or call the box office at 410-810-2060 for tickets and reservations. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Tess Hogans Named as Executive Director of the Garfield Center of the Arts


The Garfield Center for the Arts Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Tess Hogans as the Garfield Center’s new Executive Director. Tess has done a fantastic job as Theatre Manager since she joined the Garfield in 2014 and is ready to take on the challenge of the Executive Director position.

“As the Garfield Center for the Arts enters its second decade, the Board is thrilled to have Tess as its Executive Director.  Her enthusiastic leadership assures us that the next decade will be filled with exciting events for everyone.” – Judy Kohl, Vice President, Garfield Center for the Arts Board of Directors

Tess Hogans with daughters, Marian and Ronan.

The board voted unanimously to offer the position to Tess during their regular meeting at the end of 2017.

A life-long resident of Kent County, Tess attended Kent School and graduated from Gunston Day School. Tess went on to major in Theatre and Dance Studies at Wheaton College and was the recipient of the college’s 2010 award for Excellence in Acting. Tess returned to Chestertown and began teaching drama part time for grades 6-12 at The Maven Academy in Annapolis as well as running an after school acting workshop at the Garfield.

Along with her Executive Director responsibilities Tess will continue to spearhead the Garfield’s highly regarded Playmakers’ Summer Theatre Camp. She oversaw the Playmakers’ productions of The Hobbit, Peter Pan & Wendy, Charlotte’s Web, The Princess Bride and is looking forward to working on this summer’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

Tess is also an active volunteer director for the Garfield’s theatrical productions. Her past efforts include Mister Roberts, My Fair Lady, A Christmas Carol, and Inherit the Wind. She especially enjoys working with community members who are new or returning to the stage and would like to encourage anyone with an interest to make a New Year’s resolution to audition for one of the Garfield’s 2018 theatrical productions. When she is not working at the theatre you can find Tess in the wizarding world where she has served on the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival Board since its inception in 2014 and is the current President of the festival board.

Tess lives in Chestertown with her husband Matthew and their two daughters, Marian and Ronan. Her parents, Jonathan and Beverly also live in the area as does her brother Ben Jones and sister Marva Jones.

If you haven’t had a chance to meet Tess, please stop by the theatre during the week and introduce yourself. She has already begun her work as the new Executive Director and invites the community to stop in and see what’s happening next at the Garfield.

“My main goal is to make this a space that everyone in the community feels like they have ownership of – like it is a part of their home. I am really hoping that we can do more partnerships with the community and community organizations. We are in the middle of the Arts & Entertainment district and we want to be a hub for creativity!”

“I really want this to be a home for artists – whether you are an aspiring actor or a painter or a director or a playwright – we have opportunities for you! I want to get the word out that if you have something you want to try –this is the space to try it!”

Tess is pleased to announce that Bryan Betley will be stepping up to take on the role of Theatre Manager. Bryan has been a member of the Garfield staff first as an intern starting in 2013 and was soon promoted to Production Assistant in January 2015.

Bryan Betley

Bryan has assisted Tess in the Playmakers’ Summer Program and looks forward to taking on more responsibility with the youth camp and production. A talented actor in his own right, Bryan delighted audience members with his portrayal of Freddie in My Fair Lady and showed off his range and comedic timing playing three different characters in Sylvia. He has directed several 10-minute plays in Short Attention Span Theatre the Garfield’s signature 10-minute play festival. Don’t miss Bryan’s production of The Little Prince a performance-art piece based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exuperey. The Little Prince opens February 16 and kicks off our theatrical productions for 2018.

After having been homeschooled, Bryan went on to receive his GED and diploma at age 16, and shortly after began classes at Chesapeake College. Bryan currently studies photography and fine arts privately through several online programs including acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s master class. Bryan currently resides in Chestertown but spent much of his upbringing in Kent County with his family on Colchester Farm in Galena, and prior to that, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Last Chance to Purchase Garfield Center’s Golden Ticket


As the deadline of February 16th approaches, this is the last chance to purchase a ticket for anyone wishing to enter the Garfield Center’s “Golden Ticket” Raffle for a chance to win an expenses-paid evening in Philadelphia. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at or in the theatre’s box office. This raffle serves as a fundraiser for the Garfield Center, with the winning ticket being drawn during opening night of the theatre’s first play of 2018, The Little Prince.The winner will receive an exclusive evening in the “City of Brotherly Love”, which includes:

• 2 tickets to the historic Walnut Street Theatre
• Dinner for two at the unique and romantic “M” Restaurant
• Overnight lodging at the boutique style Morris House Hotel
• Drink and snack at Six Feet Under – Washington Square’s newest gastropub

The winner need not be present at the February 16th drawing to collect the prize. Only 100 tickets will be sold, get one while you can! The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, MD.

Movie Night at The Garfield Center


The Garfield Center for the Arts pays homage to its cinematic roots this Friday with a FREE screening of the film, His Girl Friday at 7pm. This will be the second in a series of films to be shown at the theatre in 2018.

Since the September installation of the Garfield’s new projector screen, the theatre hopes to fill part of the void left by the closing of the Chester 5 Theatres. The new screen, which largely fills the space underneath the Garfield’s proscenium arch, enables the theatre to transform (for an evening) back into the New Lyceum Theatre, showing films just as it did in the late 1920s.

The 1940 film stars Cary Grant as Walter Burns, Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson and features Ralph Bellamy as Bruce Baldwin. Scoring 98% on the trusted online review site Rotten Tomatoes, His Girl Friday has become a sort of cult classic. The film has been named as a favorite by many, including director Quentin Tarantino and actress Anna Kendrick, and has been selected for preservation in the United States Film Registry.

For more information about this screening of His Girl Friday, the Movie Night at the Garfield series, or any other upcoming theatre events, please visit, or call the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Staged Reading of New Play at The Garfield


The Garfield Center for the Arts is pleased to announce a special staged reading of a new script by Live Playwrights’ Society member and local playwright Earl Lewin.

Saturday, January 13th / 7 p.m.
FREE / All Ages Welcome
The Garfield Center for the Arts
210 High Street, Chestertown

From the playwright: Hitched is a slang term for getting married. The dictionary defines it as loosely tied.

Millie who is divorced, is hosting family members at her home in Phoenix for the wedding weekend of her brother Harry’s son Jim. Jim is marrying well above his family’s social sphere and the wedding is to be a dignified and formal affair. The event proves to be a clash of cultures.

Harry is divorced from Jim’s mother and is flying in from Philadelphia with his latest wife who is half his age. Millie is unaware that her son Bruce, a professor at Georgia State University, is gay. Bruce is bringing his lover, Spike, to introduce him to the family. Millie’s outspoken obnoxious aunt from Pennsylvania is among the guests and Millie’s sophisticated niece from New York City is invited. Millie’s ex-husband, now running a mission for orphan boys in New Guinea, shows up uninvited asking Millie to take care of him while he recovers from minor surgery. Though the mix is not cohesive, we get to know and marvel at the relationships that make this crazy family care about and love one another.

Reading the script: Peggy Chiras, Michelle Christopher, John Haas, Stephen Hazzard, Jane Jewell, Howard Mesick, Amy Moredock, Charles Michael Moore, Chris Rogers, and Hester Sachse.

About Live Playwrights’ Society: Live Playwrights’ Society (LPS) is a local writers group which was created in 2009 through a collaboration between Church Hill Theatre’s Steve Arnold, The Prince Theatre’s Lucia Foster, and local writer Mark Sullivan. LPS aims to foster a community of playwrights, actors and critics.

Over the years, LPS members have created dozens of plays which have been performed on local stages, and on stages across the country. LPS was born in the front room of The Feast of Reason, and has had many homes – Andy’s, The Imperial Hotel, The Prince Theatre and Church Hill Theatre. As of late, our monthly meetings are held in the renovated lobby of the Garfield Center for the Arts. We meet at 7:30pm on the first Monday of each month.

For more information call 410-810-2060 or visit

Chester River Youth Choir Registration is Open


Registration is open for the Chester River Youth Choir, the premier children’s choir on the shore. Open to singers of all experience levels, ages 7-17, where you can meet new friends and share your love of music!

There are no auditions. Come to the Garfield Center for the Arts for the first day of choir practice on January 15th at 4:15pm. The Chester River Youth Choir practices at the Garfield Center every Monday from 4:15-5:45 until mid-May. The group is lead by Chester River Chorale president and Garfield Center board member Julie Lawrence, who also runs MUSICAMP: the theatre’s week-long musical theatre camp for children in July.

This is a unique opportunity for children to be a part of the vibrant arts community at the Garfield, in the heart of Chestertown’s Arts & Entertainment District. The Chester River Youth Choir has performed at many local events in the past, including The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival, The National Music Festival, The Stories in Service Celebration honoring local Veterans, in the Garfield’s 2015 production of A Christmas Carol, at Washington College with the Chester River Chorale during the holidays and more! Registration is $40 per child, with sibling rates and scholarships available on an as-needed basis. You can register online at

For more information please contact choir director Julie Lawrence at or Garfield Center Executive Director Tess Hogans at The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland.

“A Time to Speak” — Holocaust Memoir at Garfield Center


Joan and Sam McReady

A Time to Speak, the remarkable story of endurance during the Holocaust, comes to the Garfield Center for the Arts Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.  Helen Lewis, a dancer in Prague at the beginning of World War II, was interned in the Terezin ghetto, then deported to Auschwitz, and finally to Stutthof Labor Camp on the edge of the Baltic Sea.  After the war, she settled in Belfast and became active with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.  Later she formed the Belfast Modern Dance Group, the first modern dance company in Ireland.

Her struggle to survive amidst the carnage of Hitler’s Final Solution is told with wit and a controlled anger, which never displays itself in rancor or censure. Helen died in her mid-90s; this presentation acts as a fitting tribute to an extraordinary survivor.

A Time to Speak has been adapted and directed by Northern Ireland native, Sam McCready, internationally respected actor, director, and writer.  The production, which has toured the US and Europe, was named by Baltimore’s City Paper as the outstanding production of the year when it was presented by Performance Workshop Theatre.

Helen’s story is performed by Joan McCready, an experienced actress who has moved audiences in Europe and the US with the extraordinary sensitivity and truthfulness of her portrayal. This incredible story of survival will be at the Garfield Center for one night only.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

PigPen Theatre Returns to Garfield


On September 30th, the musical/theatrical sensation, PigPen Theatre Company, returns to the Garfield Center for the Arts. The Garfield has once again joined forces with The Mainstay, Rock Hall’s home for live music, to bring this incredible group to Chestertown for a one-night only concert performance.

The self-proclaimed “band of storytellers” began creating their unique brand of theater, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country – earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012, and 2013. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Jeff Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare’s “Pericles”.

PigPen’s debut album, “Bremen”, was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview, sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running”, in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, “Whole Sun.” performed at Mumford & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash” starring Meryl Streep.

Co-sponsored by The Mainstay and The Garfield Center for the Arts, the concert on September 30th is at 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online, over the phone by calling 410-810-2060, or in person at the Garfield Center box office. Get your tickets early! This concert was nearly sold out in 2016 and you don’t want to miss them. The theater is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

First Friday One Minute Plays


On June 2nd, director Tia Glomb presents a sneak peek of the 4th annual Hey, Wait A Minute one-minute play festival at 5 p.m. in the Kohl Lobby at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

The one-minute plays are showcased each year in conjunction with Short Attention Span Theatre, the Garfield’s annual 10-minute play festival. Now in its’ 13th year, Short Attention Span Theatre brings local actors, playwrights and directors together for an evening of theater designed to hold your attention for just. long. enough.

Admission during Hey, Wait A Minute is free, the bar will be open and the box office will be selling tickets for the 10-minute play festival that runs for three weekends starting on June 23rd. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. For more information, call 410-810-2060.