Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga
Good Theatre Happens Here!

NOW PLAYING &
COMING SOON

COMING SOON
  
Kicking off the 2019 season, Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga will present the musical SIDE SHOW by Bill Russell and Henry Krieger. SIDE SHOW was a cult favorite, though short lived, musical from the 1996 season on Broadway. It follows the lives and loves of the famous Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. The Hilton Twins, conjoined only by a link of flesh near the hips, were staples of the Side Show Circuit in Europe, Australia and America from their childhood. Their talents, along with several manipulative managers and wards, propelled them from the side show into vaudeville and then eventually into motion pictures. The musical, SIDE SHOW, takes a biographical perspective of the sisters’ rise to fame.

“On the surface, this is a simple show about the complex lives of these two women. But there’s a deeper message that is explored within the show that specifically appealed to me” mentions show director Garry Lee Posey. “As a society, there is a tendency to marginalize and push people to the fringe for one reason or another. I think its deeper than gender, race and sexual identity. It is almost as if everyone is a freak to someone, freakishly attractive or freakishly devout or freakishly loyal, and so on.” While the setting of the musical starts in the tents of the side show, we start to see how the sisters found ways, though not always easy, to assimilate into a society that wasn’t always welcoming.

Garry adds, “I watched a documentary about the sisters, called BOUND BY FLESH, and at the end of the documentary it described the last few years of Daisy’s and Violet’s lives. The tragic ending of their story, which isn’t really touched upon in text of the musical, I found to be both heartbreaking and inspiring.” The last manager of the twins booked them on a gig in North Carolina, an appearance and autograph signing at a screening of their film FREAKS. He abandoned them, penniless. They managed to find a job at a local supermarket in North Carolina where they continued to be an attraction for the locals, sharing their stories while weighing produce. While both succumbed to a serious flu epidemic, Daisy died a couple of days before Violet. After not showing up to work, the police were summoned and discovered the twins dead. “Imagining those hours of sitting alone, not able to move, sick with the flu and mourning the death of your conjoined twin, had a powerful impact me and gave new meaning to the show’s final number,” relays Posey.

As with most of their work, ETC has added its unique brand of storytelling to this production. “It will be the largest production we have attempted to date,” mentions senior producer Casey Keelen. With over 20 in the cast and an orchestra of 11, ETC is hoping to continue raising the bar for live theatrical experiences in the Chattanooga area. “We have made a commitment to contributing and enhancing the cultural landscape in Chattanooga, we want to continue making good on that commitment,” finished Keelen.

  1. FEBRUARY 8th
    SIDE SHOW
    7:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
  2. FEBRUARY 9th
    SIDE SHOW
    7:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
  3. FEBRUARY 10th
    SIDE SHOW
    2:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
  4. FEBRUARY 14th
    SIDE SHOW
    7:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
  5. FEBRUARY 15th
    SIDE SHOW
    7:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
  6. FEBRUARY 16th
    SIDE SHOW
    7:30 PM
    BARKING LEGS THEATRE, 1307 DODDS AVE, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37404
PREVIOUSLY AT ETC. . .​​
  
ETC CLOSES OUT ITS 2018 SEASON WITH ONE FINAL EXAMINATION OF THE MODERN FAMILY
 
“Some parts very raw and troubling, some parts painfully relatable and the sprinkling in of some parts purposefully foreign, yet ominously connected would be a decent attempt at explaining Paula Vogel’s LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME,” explains ETC Executive Director Garry Lee Posey.  ETC has spent this last season really diving into the meaning, understanding and enlightening of the idea of family.  This last play of the season is no exception.
 
Paula Vogel’s play looks a somewhat nuclear family (husband, wife, two daughters and a son) as they deal with a somewhat nuclear family tradition (Christmas service followed by a visit to the grandparents for a meal and gift exchange) and experience a near fatal nuclear family accident. 
 
“The family theme was an important one to examine this year because as with each production, there has been a very personal (to ETC anyway) connection.  Next To Normal was related because as artists we tend to carry our ghosts around with us to sometimes destructive ends; Dancing at Lughnasa reminded us about the loyalty and commitment through thick and thin we have for each other; Curious Incident taught us a group to remember, respect and learn from those who have helped us Honk reminded us that we are farmyard family full of the unique; and Bump reminded us that our fears can overwhelm us if we don’t keep them in check.  Christmas Ride shows us that while tragedies might confront us, as a family we must acknowledge what it taught us,” insists Casey Keelen who serves as one the Producing Members of ETC.
 
Tackling this story is first time ETC director Constance Hester, who just returned from New York where she was able to work with famed director Diane Paulus.  “Constance’s work as a self-producer, as well as her impressive resume with regards to directing experience made her an easy choice for us to hire,” mentions Posey.  Joining Constance, the cast features ETC regulars Casey Keelen, Kyle Dagnan and Eric “Red” Wyatt.  New members in the ensemble for 2018 Courtney Cholovich, Jennifer Bryant, Zackary Green and Kirt Johnson round out the cast list.  Set and light design will be by Martine Cartier, with puppets and costumes designed by Kyle Dagnan.
 
Closing out their 2018 season with A LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME, ETC would like to extend a huge thank you to the Family Justice Center, The Orange Grove Center, and CoPac/Barking Legs Theatre.  “We also want to thank the hundreds of patrons who experienced a show with ETC this year,” mentions Co-Artistic Director Christy Gallo.  Our 2019 season, focusing on Identity, was just announced via our very first podcast “Sharing The Experience” which you can view on our Facebook page, Youtube channel, or here on the website..
  
Our Partners