April 13-28, 2018

” The Central New York Playhouse has one again stepped up, taken a risk, and created something magical with its current musical, Chess. Under Rob Searle‘s clever direction, the entire talented cast works together beautifully to deliver a very intriguing and powerful performance of the musical that has a little bit of rock ‘n roll, romance, sex appeal, betrayal, and history.”
Natasha Ashley,
“The CNY Playhouse production, directed by Robert Searle, is based on the nearly sung though London version,…a much more intimate and potentially satisfying, giving us a clear look at the people moved around on the chessboard of international intrigue at the height of the cold war.”
Len Fonte,

Chess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story involves a politically driven, Cold War-era chess tournament between two men—an American grandmaster and a Soviet grandmaster—and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.

Chess was a significant and powerful piece of music theater for its time as it allegorically reflected the Cold War tensions present in the 1980s, with the show embodying the government manipulations and paranoia, and the xenophobic attitudes present in the political climate of the time. The musical has been referred to as a metaphor for the whole Cold War, with the insinuation being made that the Cold War is itself a manipulative game. Released and staged at the height of the strong anti-communist agenda that came to be known as the ‘Reagan Doctrine,” Chess played a powerful role in addressing and satirizing the hostile political atmosphere of the 1980s.


Anatoly Sergievsky – Benjamin J. Sills
Freddie Trumper  –  Paul Thompson
Florence Vassy  –  Ceara Windhausen
Alaxander Molokov  –  Garrett Robinson
Svetlana Sergievsky –  Kate Crawford
Walter de Courcey  –  Christopher James
The Arbiter  –  Stephen Gamba

Ensemble: Cassie Angerosa, Isaac Betters, Nathaniel Betters, Rich Bocek, Phil Brady, Hali Greenhouse, Tyler Ianuzi, Christopher Lupia, Annie McVicker, Lisanne Petracca, Lauren Puente, Natasia White, Martikah Williams, Eric Ziegler

Cast & Production Team

Director – Robert G Searle
Musical Director – Abel Searor
Choreographer – Shannon Tompkins
Producer – Korrie Taylor
Stage Manager – Jane Garlow
Lighting Designer – Sarah Anson
Sound Designer – Robert G Searle
Costume Designers – Jane Garlow & Christina Huffaker
Set Design – Robert G Searle & Christopher J Lupia