Stars from Wicked and Rent Performing at the Garfield


The board of directors at the Garfield Center for the Arts are proud to announce the theatre’s 2018 annual gala fundraiser; Broadway by the River! Hosted by New York’s drag queen sensation, Marti Gould Cummings, and featuring an evening of intimate performances and conversations with cast members of various Broadway shows; Christine Dwyer of Wicked and RENT, Marty Thomas of Wicked, Xanadu and The Secret Garden and Katrina Rose Dideriksen of RENT, Hairspray, Finding Neverland and NBC’s The Voice. Broadway by the River promises to once again deliver some of that “Big Apple” theatre magic to Chestertown on Friday, April 6th at 8pm.

Marti Gould Cummings (formerly of Kennedyville) is a comedian and host who most recently hosted the PBS show SIP N CHAT on New York’s WNET Channel 13. He can be seen as a regular guest host on MTV Live with Mike Kelton and weekly at his Broadway talk show, Stage Fright, that has featured over 25 Tony Award winners and nominees as guests. His comedy concerts have sold out across the country and in London. As an actor he was featured off-Broadway in the Drama Desk nominated musical Twist, at Webster Hall in Life & Death of Kenyon Phillips directed by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and on the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock. For more information visit

Marti Gould Cummings, Christine Dwyer, Marty Thomas, Katrina Rose Dideriksen

Christine Dwyer was raised in Lynnfield Massachusetts by parents Tom and Ann with her older sister Katie. Christine was always a very active child, always struggling to pay attention to any one thing at a time….until she saw Cinderella at North Shore Music Theatre at the age of five.This was the first time her parents had ever seen her sit still for more than two minutes, and at the end of the show, when asked if Christine liked it, she replied:“I did…but I want to be up there”. Since then, her love and passion for music and theatre has immensely grown. She graduated from The Hartt School with a BFA in Musical Theatre and has traveled across the country as Maureen in RENT and Elphaba in Wicked. She can now be seen occasionally “defying gravity” as the Elphaba standby on Broadway and performing in various concerts across the city!

Marty Thomas is New York based rennaissance man.  He is a Grammy Nominated recording artist who made his Broadway debut in The Secret Garden at age 11.  He has also appeared on Broadway in Xanadu and Wicked.  He has released several records on the iconic disco label Westend Records under the Godfather of disco, Mel Cheren. He has appeared on the Tony Awards, The View, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Inside Edition, CBS, VH1, MTV, 20/20 and more.  He has opened for Grace Jones and Patti Labelle, and has sung backup vocals for Billy Porter, Stephanie Mills, Jessie Mueller, Shoshana Bean, Rachel Potter and more.  Marty plays Damon on the hit CBS sitcom Two Broke Girls, and he will appear as Charlie in the upcoming third season of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Marty was named Mr. Broadway 2008 and was a 1992 Ed McMahons’ Junior Vocalist Star Search Champion.

Katrina Rose Dideriksen is originally from Durham, NC, and as a child attended Durham School of the Arts. She later studied at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education before attending an open call for the musical Hairspray. After winning over the producers, Dideriksen was first sent to the Toronto Hairspray cast and then joined the touring company. Dideriksen originated the role of Tracy for The Luxor production of Hairspray in Las Vegas opposite Harvey Fierstein. She played Tracy until the Vegas show closed in June 2006. She has also starred in Hairspray in Pittsburgh and Houston, as well as revisited the Standby position on Broadway. More recently, Dideriksen was Mimi in Rent opposite Justin Guariniat Surflight Theatre, Rizzo in Grease opposite Marc Summers, and a Swing in the off-Broadway production of Rent.In 2017, Katrina Rose became a contestant on the thirteenth season of NBC’s reality television program The Voice. She performed Janis Joplin’s “Kozmic Blues” for her blind audition and managed to turn the chair of Miley Cyrus, who became her initial coach. She proceeded to progress through two more rounds before being eliminated from the competition.

Cummings wanted to share some of the NYC theatre world with the community where he grew up, and the Garfield was the perfect venue. Those lucky enough to get tickets will be able to hear Cummings, Dwyer, Thomas and Dideriksen perform songs from their respective shows, without paying the Broadway ticket price.

Tickets to this exciting event are expected to sell out. Limited VIP “Broadway Pass” tickets are $100 each and include front row table seating as well as entrance to an exclusive meet-and-greet with the performers after the show at the Kitchen at the Imperial. Tickets for the front row of the balcony are $75, and general admission is $50. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 410-810-2060 or in person at the Garfield Box Office, located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. Purchase your tickets now to show your support for the Garfield’s mission of nurturing, celebrating and supporting the arts and artists through performance and education, and help ensure that the theatre is able to continue to produce outstanding events in Chestertown.

Continuum Dance Presents Spring Concert, All Connected


Continuum Dance will perform its spring concert All Connected at several Eastern Shore venues this March and April. All Connected will take the stage of the Garfield Center for the Arts at Prince Theatre in Chestertown on Saturday, March 24 at 3pm, and at the Oxford Community Center on Saturday, April 7 at 7pm and Sunday, April 8 at 3pm. The performance will feature original choreography performed by Continuum’s adult company and student apprentice dancers. The concert features live musical accompaniment by the Front Porch Orchestra, presenting Camille Saint-Saëns’ 1886 suite Carnival of the Animals, as well as excerpts from the soundtrack, Minecraft.

Rehearsal photo taken by Jennifer Madino Photography. Pictured L-R: Company Director Allison Speight, student apprentice Margaret Gorman, student apprentice Rachel Andrew, and company member Malley Hester.

In a region where live artistic dance performances seldom occur, this show continues Continuum Dance’s core mission of providing residents of Delmarva the opportunity to experience professional-quality, artistic dance. Each performance is an invitation to audience members to open their hearts and minds to dance and to inspire self-expression through the arts.

Tickets can be purchased at the door with cash or check for $20 adults or $15 students and seniors. A reception will follow each performance, providing an opportunity to meet with Continuum dancers and board members.

All Connected has been made possible by the generous support of the Talbot County Arts Council and Alan Brock with the South Street Art Gallery.

Continuum Dance is committed to providing greater accessibility and knowledge of artistic dance in the Delmarva community. As an emerging professional performance company, Continuum Dance showcases accomplished professional artists of the region, provides training and experience to young dancers through an apprenticeship program,and celebrates the art of dance through master classes, open houses, and other public events. For more information or to get involved, visit or email

Announcing the Cast of Sweeney Todd at the Garfield Center


On April 27th director Shelagh Grasso and musical director Julie Lawrence will be opening a new show at the Garfield Center for the Arts; Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This will be the second musical that the Garfield Center has produced since they collaborated with the Tred Avon Players and the Oxford Community Center on Little Women, the Musical in 2010, and the classic My Fair Lady, which the Garfield produced in 2016.

After a record turn-out at auditions, Grasso had the grueling task of choosing her cast from actors who frequent the Garfield stage, as well as a surprising number of new faces. The cast is as follows:

Sweeney Todd – Christopher Wallace
Nellie Lovett – Jane Copple
Beggar Woman/Lucy – Melissa McGlynn
Judge Terpin – Matt Folker
Beadle Bamford – Nic Carter
Johanna Barker – Shannon Whitaker
Anthony Hope – Max Hagan
Tobias – Natalie Lane
Pirelli – Zack Schlag
Fogg – Howard Messick
Birdseller – Zac Ryan
Dancing Lucy – Kendall Davis
Townspeople – Kendall Davis, Gil Rambach, Howard Messick
Roustabouts – Robbie Spray, Troy Strootman, Nick Davis

THREE TENORS: Nevin Dawson, Brian Whitaker, Doug Porter

SOPRANOS: Jennifer Kafka Smith, Carissa Falanga, Gretchen Sachse
ALTOS: Kathy Jones, Marcia Gillum, Mallory Westlund, Jennifer Kafka Smith
TENORS: Nevin Dawson, Zach Schlag, Brian Whittaker
BARITONES: Doug Porter, David Ryan, Zac Ryan

The show runs for three weekends, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm, April 27-May 13.

Sweeney Todd is sponsored in part by The Hedgelawn Foundation.

Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors 65+and members of the US Military, and $10 for students. They are available online at or by calling the Garfield Center box office at 410-810-2060.

Women Helping Women Concert on March 14


The theme for 13th Annual Dr. Maria Boria Berna/Women Helping Women concert is SPOTLIGHT – Lighting the Way. The all-star performers who have joyfully entertained the community for the last twelve years invite the public to join us for this year’s celebration on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown, MD.

The annual show is produced under the guidance of Sue Matthews with musical direction by Joe Holt and is hosted by Jen Friedman. As this event always sells out, you are encouraged to purchase tickets now by going online at or by calling the Garfield Center at 410-810- 2060.

The WHW concert was originally created to assist in funding a free medical clinic established by Chestertown’s own Dr. Maria Boria for migrant workers in Marydel, MD. After a lifetime dedicated to supporting those in need, Dr. Boria is approaching retirement. She will continue to provide services at the Marydel clinic for the next few months and hopes others in the medical community will step forward to serve the workers. It is Dr. Boria’s fervent wish that the WHW concerts continue. She finds inspiration in the gathering of performers each year at the Garfield Center and thanks our loyal audiences who join with us to support those in need in our communities.

We are pleased to SPOTLIGHT a new direction Women Helping Women will be pursuing. We have been welcomed to shelter under the 501c3 of the Kent County Arts Council. We are particularly pleased with this shift as it will allow donations to be tax deductible and because it highlights the contribution of the gifted artists who are responsible for the concert each year.

Since our first concert, Beth Anne Langrell has been an integral part of the Women Helping Women concerts as a performer. She also serves as the Executive Director, Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center at For All Seasons. Since 1986, For All Seasons, Inc. has provided mental health treatment and crisis services to men, women, children and families in the five counties of the Mid-Shore. Last year she facilitated a grant from WHW to address the opioid and heroin epidemic ravaging our communities. This year, Beth Anne brought to our attention a new program being launched by the organization that seems tailor made to continue Dr. Boria’s original mission.

This spring the Rape Crisis Center staff will expand its services to provide workshops on sexual harassment/sexual assault to the Spanish speaking migrant communities working on farms and in chicken plants in our five county region. The Rape Crisis Center staff will educate women about what constitutes sexual harassment, their rights, how to seek help with the agency and provide them with confidential 24/7 hotline numbers. The staff will also provide workshops for the employers to begin an open dialogue about the working conditions of the women they are employing. The donation from Women Helping Women will provide the agency the money needed to kick-start this new program.

The show is produced by Sue Matthews with musical direction by Joe Holt and is hosted by Jen Friedman. Performers are Kate Bennett, Sydney and Madeleine Berna and Tillie Killam (Dr. Boria’s granddaughters), Nevin Dawson,  Elisabeth Engle,  Barbara Ferris, Jen Friedman, Meredith Davies Hadaway, Rebekah Hardy Hock, Joe Holt, Yvette Hynson, Diane Landskroener, Beth Anne Langrell, Jodie Littleton, Sue Matthews, Beth McDonald, Melissa McGlynn, Bob & Pam Ortiz, Barbara Parker, Caitlin Patton, John Schratwieser, Nina Sharp, Mary Simmons, Karen Somerville and Shannon Whitaker.  We are excited to announce that the River Voices of the Chester River Chorale will also be performing at this year’s Women Helping Women! River Voices Members: Bill Barron, MG Brosius, Helen Clark, Doug Hamilton, Bonnie Keating, Mary McCoy, Jim Moseman, Andrea Neiman, Caitlin Patton, Steffi Ricketts and Tom Schreppler.

As this event always sells out, you are encouraged to purchase tickets now by going online at or by calling the Garfield Center at 410-810- 2060. Tickets $25

The concert and the donations you provide are the sole source of funding for the programs Women Helping Women supports.  If you are unable to join us for the show, please consider making a donation by check to:

Kent County Arts Council/WHW 2018
203 High Street Chestertown, MD 21620.

Movie Night at The Garfield Presents: CHARADE


The Garfield Center for the Arts will be pulling out the popcorn on Friday, March 9th for a FREE screening of the film, Charade at 7pm. This will be the third 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 concession stand will be selling popcorn for the evening, as well as the usual theatre bar fare.

Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?

The 1963 film stars Cary Grant as Peter Joshua, Audrey Hepburn as Regina Lampert and features Walter Matthau as Hamilton Bartholomew. Scoring 92% on the trusted online review site Rotten Tomatoes, Charade entered the public domain immediately upon it’s release, as Universal Pictures mistakenly published the movie with an invalid copyright notice.

For more information about this screening of Charade, 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.

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.