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Golden Chain Theatre Produces Award-Winning Premiere

OAKHURST — The world premiere of the AACT NewPlayFest winning play, the Café Mocha Murders, written by Deanna Strasse, takes place at the Golden Chain Theatre on Friday, March 25, 2022, with a run at the theatre through April 10, 2022. Tickets are available here, or by calling the box office at 559-683-7112.

The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) is pleased to announce that Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst, California, is producing the AACT NewPlayFest winning play, The Café Mocha Murders, by Deanna Strasse. The world premiere opens March 25 and runs through April 10, 2022.

In The Café Mocha Murders, despite the raging storm outside, it seems like a perfectly normal night for an employee meeting at the local coffee shop, The Bean Shack. That is until the lights go out, and someone winds up dead. In this over-the-top whodunit, it’s all about latte art, caffeine content, and the imminent threat of death.

Golden Chain Theatre: Community Institution

Founded in 1967 as a summer melodrama troupe, Golden Chain Theatre is a thriving nonprofit community theatre located in Oakhurst, California—not far from Yosemite National Park. In 1972, founding board members each put up their own homes as collateral in order to purchase what had been a bowling alley, and convert it into a theatre.

In 1999, the mortgage was fully paid, and Golden Chain Theatre now owns its facility outright. Today, the theatre strives to present a wide variety of quality live entertainment, promote fine arts education, and continue making a vibrant contribution to the community’s economy, culture, and spirit. The Golden Chain Theatre produces five to seven productions each year.

Programming also includes the Junior Players youth performance troupe, ENCORE! for advanced youth performers, a legacy of 54 consecutive years of Summer Melodrama and Traveling Troupe; a reader’s theatre senior performance group; both children’s and teens’ summer workshops; and a School of Performing Arts that provides personal instruction in vocal and instrumental music.

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Jennifer Janine directs Golden Chain Theatre’s world premiere production of The Café Mocha Murders. The cast features Cassie Longcor, Jason Walle, Nick Bubb, Janet Johnson, Kaley Marsh, Shannon Brewington, Paige Ferbrache, Ayden Simonich, and Adam Greenwood.  The production crew includes Assistant Director Jennifer Olsen; Costumer Miranda Simonich; scenic design by James Mierkey, Jennifer Janine, and Miranda Simonich; technical design by James Mierkey; assistant to the directors, Allyson Ferbrache; stage management by Grace Mierkey; sound by Donovan Rich; lights and fx by Lanie Suderman; set construction by Matt Van De Wal, Josh Olsen, Terry Walter, Nick Bubb, Shawn Simonich, and Michael Van Buren; and dramaturgy by Kathy Pingel.

AACT NewPlayFest Addresses  Need for New, High-Quality Plays

AACT NewPlayFest addresses the critical need for new, high-quality plays for community theatre audiences around the globe. This AACT playwriting competition is unique with the guarantee that an established theatre will produce each play as a world premiere, and that Dramatic Publishing Company will publish the script in an anthology of winning plays. Dramatic Publishing, one of the major licensers of plays and musicals in the United States and beyond, includes the winning plays in their catalog and licenses the performance rights.

Deanna Strasse is a Milwaukee-based playwright, actress, and director. Her plays have been produced and workshopped through Windfall Theatre, The Box Theatre Co., Wisconsin Lutheran College, The Chameleon Theatre Circle, Sidecar Theatre, Spark Creative Works, and more. Stay up-to-date on Deanna’s adventures by checking out DeannaStrasse.com.

Production Made Possible by Grant

The AACT NewPlayFest world premiere production of The Café Mocha Murders, by Deanna Strasse at Golden Chain Theatre is made possible in part by a grant from the Jack K. Ayre and Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation, created by the children of Frank Ayre Lee as a tribute to their father, and a legacy for the creative endeavors of his cousin Jack, who participated in theatre productions at Drew University in New Jersey and at a community theatre in Connecticut in his younger years. Mr. Lee was also an avid aficionado of theatre and had dabbled in playwriting. The family is pleased to honor both men through a lasting legacy promoting new works for theatre through AACT NewPlayFest.

AACT’s mission is to help theatres thrive by providing them with networking, resources, and support. It represents the interests of thousands of theatres across the United States and its territories, as well as those with the U.S. Military Services overseas.

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