Shoreline Theatrical Arts Presents Sextet, A Brand New Musical


Shoreline Theatrical Arts Presents Sextet, A Brand New Musical

GUILFORD, MAY 2 — Shoreline Theatrical Arts will present a staged reading of a new musical, Sextet, by composer and Shoreline resident Chad Hardin, on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 at 8 pm.

The venue will be BSK Design Gallery, located at 29 Whitfield Street (behind MIX Design Store), in Guilford center.

Shoreline resident Lenore Shapiro will direct.

The production will feature six amazing young singers, all chosen by STA as outstanding examples of an up-and-coming next generation of first-rate American performers. Four of the six are recent graduates of the Yale Masters program in opera; one is a graduate of Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music; and the sixth singer holds a Masters in opera from New York’s Manhattan School of Music.

Sextet was initially developed in two workshops in New Jersey, at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, funded by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The piece was subsequently presented at two readings in New York City: at the Chelsea Studios and, in 2017, at the Physics Theatre on West 43rd Street.

The current presentation of Sextet is funded by a regional arts grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Guilford Savings Bank, and donations from several private individuals.

Sextet is a love story for everyone, meaning that within the interlocking relationships of our six characters (3 men, 3 women), you are sure to find your love story.

The musical—with music and lyrics by Chad Hardin, and based on his original story—deals with the mysterious, fascinating nature of human relationships, and at the true meaning of Love.

Steven Tabikin, former producer at the Public Theatre in New York, has this to say about the piece: “Sextet has many of the elements that I tend to look for—a fresh approach to a unique story, rich and compelling characters, a smart sense of humor, and, most importantly, that it absolutely needs to be a musical—that the passions and sorrows and inner lives of the characters are so big and overwhelming that they can be expressed in no other way. I believe the authors have made a significant contribution to the form with this show, and that it deserves to find a wide audience.”

The cast features, as the women, Leah Bryzyski as Diana, Anne Maguire as Jordan, and Celeste Morales as Claire; and as the men, Matthew Cossack as Dane, Zachary Johnson as Peter, and Gene Stenger as Alex. Veteran shoreline actor will read the part of the narrator.

“I wanted to write a piece with characters who were all capable of a mature and authentic love,” said the composer Chad Hardin. “Many of the stories on the stage today take a rather dark view of humanity, and tend to be more about sex than about that something which is infinitely larger and more encompassing, and finally more powerful, than mere sexual attraction, and which, for lack of a better word, we call love.”

Mr. Hardin continued, “The Greek philosopher Plato spoke about the kind of soul relationships I’ve tried to portray in Sextet when he wrote, ‘These are the people who pass their whole lives together, yet they could not explain what it is that draws them one to the other. And the intense yearning they feel for each other is not principally the desire for a sexual joining, but for something else: something the soul desires and cannot tell.’”

“The story of Sextet,” said Mr. Hardin, “could have come from any one of a thousand stories about personal relationships you hear every day. In fact, many of the elements are drawn from the stories of people I actually know.”

“At the center of the story,” Hardin explained,” is Peter, a philosophy professor at Columbia who teaches Plato as part of his Philosophy 101 class.”

“Peter has been married—he believed happily—to Claire, his high school sweetheart. But his world is turned, suddenly, upside-down when he meets a strikingly wise young man named Dane. While Dane sees instantly in Peter his soul mate, Peter is torn between his genuine devotion to, on the one hand, his wonderful wife, and on the other, an irresistible attraction to this young man.”

Hardin continued, “This is the conflict at the heart of my piece: the tension between honoring our commitments, while at the same time grappling with the often awful temptations that can crop up along the way. Plato put it best when he said, ‘There is in every one of us a desire that is terrible, wild, and lawless.’”

Sextet is being presented by the Guilford-based arts non-profit Shoreline Theatrical Arts, whose mission is to present young artists at the outset of promising careers in high-quality theatre, music and dance productions, for the enrichment of the Shoreline community.

Tickets, which are tax-deductible, are $25.00, when purchased online in advance. $35.00 at the door. Seating is extremely limited, so the public is advised to reserve their tickets early. For tickets and information, please go to, or call (203) 988-1304.

And for those who are interested in seeing what an actual dress rehearsal looks like, there will be an Open Dress on Thursday, May 30, at 6:00 pm. Tickets to this will be offered at the door only, for $15.00.