Apollinaire Theatre Company
Apollinaire Theatre Company is a professional theatre based in Chelsea, Massachusetts. We offer audiences direct, intimate encounters with works of modern and contemporary theatre. In 1999 we purchased the historic 1906 Old Post Office Building/Odd Fellows Hall in Chelsea Square to create a new performing arts center, the Chelsea Theatre Works.
Our season is year round, moving outdoors for our summer Apollinaire in the Park performed on alternating nights in English and Spanish. Productions at the Chelsea Theatre Works range from modern classics by playwrights to regional premieres of new works (including one that we toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival).
Our production of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov brought the environmental staging we are known for in our outdoor shows into our indoor theater for the first time, and was recognized with nominations for multiple Elliot Norton Awards, including a win for Best Director for Danielle Fauteux Jacques who also received The Kenneth A. MacDonald Award for Theatre Excellence from the Independent Reviewers of New England. We were also awarded the New England Theatre Conference Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre, and this spring were honored to accept the Eliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production for our staging of Stupid F**king Bird by Aaron Posner.
Our Chelsea Youth Theatre program provides training in acting, dance, singing, and visual arts for students ages 3-18. Professional artists teach small classes that allow for personal attention to each student. Students also perform in their own production showcases.
Apollinaire is currently working on creating two new theater spaces in the ground floor storefronts of the Chelsea Theatre Works- a new youth theater and a fully-outfitted co-working blackbox theatre space for theater and film production. These spaces will bring a wide range of performing arts companies to rehearse and perform their shows in Chelsea, create street-level vitality in Chelsea Square, and provide inspiration and apprentice and intern opportunities for Chelsea Youth Theatre students.
The Apollinaire Art Gallery features the work of local and regional visual artists, with exhibits timed to the production schedule so that patrons see new works at each show.
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Apollinaire Theatre Company was formed in 1995 and named TheatreZone for the location where we produced our plays: the intersection of the Theatre District and the Combat Zone. Soon after, we began searching Chelsea for a place to create a new performing arts center, and in 1999 we purchased the historic Post Office/Odd Fellows Hall in Chelsea Square to create the Chelsea Theatre Works.
After four years of fundraising and renovations, we began our first season at the Chelsea Theatre Works. Yet the prohibitive costs of bringing a 100-year-old building up to code, and making it fully accessible, kept us under constant threat of closure. In 2007, with the elevator installed, we celebrated the success and survival of our permanent home by changing our name from one that represents our past to one that inspires our future — Apollinaire Theatre Company.
Poet Guillaume Apollinaire was one of the leaders of an explosion of artistic activity in the early 20th century which resulted in the modern art movement in painting, dance, music, sculpture, and theatre. Apollinaire coined the term Surrealism, which he applied to his only play, Les Mamelles de Tiresias. The revolutionary artistic energy of Apollinaire and his contemporaries — Cocteau, Jarry, Picasso, Chagall, to name a few — and their risky, wildly creative, and collaborative theatre works serve as both an inspiration and challenge as we reenvision ourselves as Apollinaire Theatre Company.