Genre: Drama

Four strangers all at a crossroads in their life, The Chess Lesson examines how people respond to authority; both imposed and sought out, as children and as adults. Alone together in a classroom for children, they have no choice but to look at who they are, and remember who they were.

For Mateo, it's a chance at redemption; For Paul and Isabella, it's an opportunity to rekindle a marriage; And for the teacher, it's a much-needed leave of her senses.

The Chess Lesson was written by someone who grew up in the chess scholastic world, and with almost twenty years teaching experience. Day 1 teaching included getting a baseball bat broken over her head. She's worked in every borough teaching for over two dozen programs ever since, including NY Public Libraries, The Harlem Children Zone, and the Montessori Schools As a child, she placed 10th in the country in the junior high division.

January 2013 Thurs. through Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 7pm
Ticket Price:
$18 at door, and $15 in advance with discount code: Chess
Location: IRT Theater, 154 Christopher st. #3B (third floor)
Running time: 1 hour

The Chess Lesson was developed through residencies at Space on Ryder Farm, Jimmy's No. 43, IRT, and with a contribution from the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Foundation. We thank everyone above, and IRT for welcoming us back to their fabulous home after our sold-out inaugural run of The Thing About Dan last February.

Cast & Crew

Sari Caine Glickstein (Artistic Director/Co-Founder) Sari is a NYC bred actress, playwright, & chess instructor. Sari Caine's plays have been produced at IRT, Jimmy's No. 43, John Chatterton's Short Play Labs/Roy Arias Theater, and The Strawberry Festival. She was a 2012 resident at Space on Ryder Farm, where she developed her long one-act, The Chess Lesson, for production with Slightly Altered States this January. She is also an actress and chess teacher. As a competitive chess player, she placed 10th in the country in the junior high division.

She is a graduate of Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn and NYU Gallatin, where she studied under renowned activist and scholar Stephen Duncombe. She wrote her thesis on utopian and intentional communities and her trip to them, funded by stopping off at strip clubs along the way. Artistic Associate with Purple Rep Theater Company.

Favorite roles include: Louise (The Imaginary Invalid), Mary Warren (The Crucible), Evelyn (The Children's Hour with Kate Burton), A Change Of Address with Allison Janney and Allison Mackey, Lula Roca (Oliver Hailey's, Hey You, LightMan!) Circle in the Square, EST, York Theater, St Clements, La Mama, Arclight, Regional: The Schoolhouse Theater. Film includes: Mr Destiny, June Roses, The Year of the Nail. Over two dozen commercials and print ads, numerous voiceovers. She studied acting with Fred Kareman. Equity/SAG/AFTRA / NYWIFT. Named "The Best Beginner Chess Teacher in NYC" on She's taught in every borough since she was 13, teaching for over two dozen programs, including the Montessori Schools, NY Public Libraries, & The Harlem Children Zone. Placed 10th in the country in the junior high division.

David Crommett: Mateo

David was born in New York City of American parents and spent most of his childhood in Puerto Rico, where he began acting at Old San Juan's Tapia Theatre. B.A. Haverford College, Watson Traveling Fellow and Baker Fellow for study in Europe and Latin America.

Recent theatre: "Passport" (2011 ACE best actor nomination), "La Vida Es Sueño;" "Feast of the Goat," and projects for Purple Rep and the NYC Fringe Festival. Recent film: "The Good Shepherd," "Reservation Road," "Robots." Friend of Flux Theatre ("Rue," "Life Is A Dream") and member of Repertorio Español. Has also worked extensively as a musician, director, and voice-over artist. Directing projects: "Uncle Vanya," "Betrayal," "One Shoe Off," and "Speed-the-Plow" for northeast PA's Electric Theatre, "King Of Infinite Space" at the Atlantic, "Los Jíbaros Progresistas" for Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.

He is one the few American actors to work extensively in another culture and pioneered live Spanish tracks for US television: The Oscars, the Super Bowl, World News Tonight, Dancing With The Stars etc. Acting training with Peter Thompson and Bobby Lewis, Shakespeare with John Basil. Many thanks to Sari, David, and all at Slightly Altered States. To Liz, Amanda, and Evan, with pride and joy.

David Rigo (Managing Director/Co-founder) is a New York City bred actor and producer. NYC Off & off-off includes The Crucible, Sister's Rosensweig, Ten Nights in a Barroom, & Waiting For Lefty, Needs, Mr Landing Takes a Fall. Producing: The Thing About Dan (SAS@irt) Upcoming with SAS: Cafe/Spring. He studied acting with Fred Kareman. In addition to acting, he periodically sprains his ankle playing basketball and is a fabulous cook.

Dorit Avganim/Neighborhood Productions A Los Angeles native and CalArts graduate, Dorit is a freelance producer, consultant and manager specializing in helping to bootstrap and develop emerging artists in NYC. She is co-founder of indy producing outfit Neighborhood Productions, Producing Director/Curator of IRT, a theater development lab in the West Village, Managing Director of SPACE on Ryder Farm, and co-founder of arts collective, Group Theory. Dorit also works as a general manager for an eclectic mix of established theater, dance and performance artists. Recent projects include: The Thing About Dan (SAS@irt); General Manager for RainPan 43 (Elephant Room Inc.) St Anns Warehouse; General and Tour Manager of David Gordon's Pick-Up Performance Co (s) (Dancing Henry V, Shlemiel the First,Uncivil Wars, others); Debate Society's Blood Play, Associate Producer of the 2011 River to
River Festival. She is thrilled to be part of brining Slightly Altered States vision to the stage.

PR: Ron Lasko/Spin Cycle

SAS Dramaturg Sonya Sobieski

Slightly Altered States is a not-for-profit theater company made up of actors, writers, and improvisers. We are devoted to darkly funny, slightly-absurd material that deals truthfully with the extraordinary in everyday circumstances. In our shows, people fall in love with house burglars,would-be assassins end up in aprons cooking cocoa at the stove,and the sky rains vast quantities of lemonade.We find the extreme in the everyday, and the extraordinary in the ordinary. We're fascinated by idiosyncrasies in everyday behavior and how the bizarre can become commonplace when the un-ordinary is treated ordinarily. Since its inception September, 2011, Slightly Altered States has been the recipients of residencies at IRT, Space on Ryder Farm, Jimmy's No. 43, and the Manhattan Theater Source. Member of Fractured Atlas, LIT


Open:   01/03/13
Close:   01/27/13

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01/03/13- 8:00:00
01/04/13- 8:00:00
01/05/13- 8:00:00
01/06/13- 7:00:00
01/10/13- 8:00:00
01/11/13- 8:00:00
01/12/13- 8:00:00
01/13/13- 7:00:00
01/17/13- 8:00:00
01/18/13- 8:00:00
01/19/13- 8:00:00
01/20/13- 7:00:00
01/24/13- 8:00:00
01/25/13- 8:00:00
01/26/13- 8:00:00
01/27/13- 7:00:00

Theater:   IRT Theater
Address:   154 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
Google Maps
Cost:$15, $18
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006