The Chain Theatre was established in 2012 with the mission to create a supportive community where artists could hone their craft, present new works and revive classics from the American tradition. Since then, the 75-seat venue has helped develop up-and-coming pieces such as “Dragula” and “Einstein,” while also hosting such time-honored masterpieces as “Talk Radio” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
On June 12, the Long Island City performance space will kick off the Unchained Theatre Festival, which will run until June 28. This third annual extravaganza will present 15 pieces — eight shorts and seven full-length plays — chosen through a blind selection process. Each will run three times in different blocks.
One play, Patrick Cann’s “Alice!,” is a modern day imagining of “Alice in Wonderland” with puppets, dancing and references to Shakespeare and Nietzsche.
“¡Oso Fabuloso & The Bear Backs!,” a campy musical by J. Julian Christopher, tells the story of a gay, singing bear who goes on tour to forget about a painful breakup.
“The Door to Home” by Eugene Grygo, whose comedy about therapy sessions wowed last year’s festival, is a family drama about an aging mother’s strained relationship with her 30-year-old son.
The audiences and a few judges will vote on the best play, best director, best leading actor and audience favorite. The winning work will be performed once more during the finale on June 28.