Since about 2001, we have presented excellent productions of world class theatre in tiny performance spaces, most notably The Carleton Tavern – At Home at the Zoo, The Hairy Ape, Death of a Salesman, Mechanicsville Monologues 1 & 2, Marcel Pursued by the Hounds, Edmond, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Confessional – The Elmdale House Tavern – A View From the Bridge, All the Rage, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea – Cube Gallery – Forever Yours Marie Lou, Albee/Pinter/Parker&Ball – Collected Works –Tongue & Groove – Irene’s Pub – The Hairy Ape, At Home at the Zoo - and the Hintonburg Community Centre – High Life.
Our home performance space is the wonderful Carleton Tavern, where we are hosted with grace and good will by great businessmen, and perform these works of world class theatre without their signature sets and the distractions of theatrical effects, on a six-by-twelve-foot riser. Our performances to full houses in small non-traditional venues have meant a commitment to a “Poor Theatre” model, and to chamber theatre, with our audiences experiencing each other along with the play, and the play as intimately as can be done, and where the venue is the set and merges with the the text, and text supersedes tech.
Chamber Theatre Hintonburg has contributed to and grown with the gentrification of the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area and the "Arts Quad".
“…[Chamber Theatre Hintonburg] produces plays (like Mechanicsville Monologues) that it considers relevant to Hintonburg and Mechanicsville audiences and that those audiences relate to. Its productions are unique. They’re mounted in taverns ( the Carleton, the Elmdale, Irene’s Pub ) where Laflamme says “the text and venue suit each other.” CTH has a tradition of bringing plays it loves to places its audiences gather. Laflamme and Zanyk attribute their 16-year success at performing world-class theatre in local joints to keeping the audience close and engaged in an intense experience. For instance, CTH performed Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in 2014 without its signature set but instead, on a six-by- twelve-foot riser surrounded by the Carleton’s wooden chairs and tables. Mood and time changes were suggested by simple lighting and precise choreography. Moved by the characters’ psychological realities unobstructed by transparent staging, people (like me) wept in response. An audience at arms-distance away feels not just the characters’ emotions but the actors’ too. The same can be said for CTH’s 2015 production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape. This is why people love CTH and its intimate brand of theatre: the personal experience of exceptional acting, little more, is affecting. Such encounters are harder to come by in traditional theatres with abundant technical effects, which can distance the audience in both spatial and emotional terms. Expect “At Home at the Zoo” to be as affecting as CTH’s earlier productions. Albee plays peel back the emptiness and fear below the surface of everyday life. For this three-person production (in which Louis Lemire is Peter, Jennifer Ford is his wife Ann, and Matt Smith is Jerry), CTH moves to a smaller part of the Carleton, attesting to its commitment to suit venue to text. With the large-cast Miller and O’Neill works, CTH needed the bar’s larger side. But this smaller-cast play pushes their “intimate plays require intimate settings” emphasis further still. It uses the Carleton’s smaller side and gives audiences the best opportunity to engage with characters and text. CTH continues to adapt. It commits to a good business arrangement with Carleton Tavern owners the Saikaleys, ensuring that art and business nurture one another….”