DIRECTOR & TEACHING ARTIST
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DIRECTING

 CURRENT AND UPCOMING DIRECTING PROJECTS

>>>>>>MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS (Virginia Rep / Richmond, VA)

RUNNING THROUGH DECEMBER 30th!

Based on the popular children’s book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins tells the tale of the gentle house painter, with a fondness for Antarctic exploration, who finds himself and his family the proud domesticators of a family of penguins. This heartwarming tale will be a holiday treat for the entire family as they follow Mr. Popper, his family, and his talented little penguins. Catch the regional premiere of this whimsical musical at Virginia Rep Children's Theatre at Willow Lawn. Directed by Josh Chenard.

“Based on the children’s book of 1939 by Richard and Florence Atwater, this musical captivates the audience with its lyrics, dancing, and imaginative movement of the penguin puppets…the staging and musical direction, in addition to the choreography and superb performances by the supporting cast, bring Mr. Popper’s Penguins to life. The audience is so entranced by the creative sets and adept maneuvering of the puppets by the ensemble, that they lose themselves in the imaginary world of entertainment. production is perfect…” -Peggy Keogh / Richmond Family Magazine

“A heartwarming Mr. Popper’s Penguins lands at VA Rep's Children's Theatre…Chenard has done a masterful job in realizing his vision of bringing the ambiance of the original story to the stage…In addition to enchantingly lighthearted musical score and props and sets that convey the spirit of the book, Derrick Jaques convincingly conveys the quixotic Mr. Popper; Renee McGowan brings to life a supportive but level-headed Mrs. Popper…will live in the hearts of audiences long after they return home.” -Collette Carrara / Fredericksburg Star

“A holiday heart warmer…It has comedy, adventure, and penguins…all the shenanigans are skillfully handled by director Josh Chenard, with musical direction by Jason Marks and choreography by Wes Seals. A cast of five talented actors play all the roles…The production is visually stimulating…a family-friendly production that is perfect…” -Julinda D. Lewis / RVArt Review

“Virginia Rep’s production ‘pops’ from the page to the stage…the entire audience was audibly and gleefully enthralled…Director Josh Chenard keeps the pace brisk, full of fun moments and sweet, simple sentiment…Whether play-goers are familiar with the book or not, this musical presents a sweet story and an entertaining experience…” -Jerry Williams / RichmondMagazine

 PAST DIRECTING PROJECTS

 >>>>>>INVALID (Firehouse Theatre / Richmond, Virginia) 

"It’s all done in good fun, and rhyming couplets. The play retains a deliberately inserted unnecessary musical number, a hilariously bad operetta, countless fart jokes, a messy enema scene...There’s a lot going on, and the laughs flowed steadily...Chenard’s well-paced direction reflects not just an eye and an ear, but a heart for comedy... It was a delightful evening." -Julinda D. Lewis / RVArts Review

"Firehouse Theatre's Invalid will fill your prescription for laughter...The ensemble is incredible: fluid and funny, these actors work together like a well-oiled machine. One of my favorite scenes is the improvised operetta within the play, which closes out the first act with a lighthearted song and dance. There are a couple of opportunities for audience participation and ample opportunities to laugh off a few calories -- 50 in 15 minutes, according to the program. With its modern context and references, Invalid delivers the laughter it prescribes as the best medicine in a world that can be comically absurd." -Claire Boswell / Style Weekly

"Dust off your funny bone this season – Firehouse Theatre is showing its comedic side to Richmond, and it’s here with a vengeance. Invalid, adapted, written, and directed by Richmond’s own Josh Chenard, brings a hearty dose of humor and laughter to its audiences...every actor carries his or her own weight effortlessly...even the most prudish audience member can’t help but chuckle....just what the doctor ordered." -Rachel Marsh / Boomer Magazine

“…boils over with scandalous double-entendres and riffs that touch on multiple modern-day references…Exactly how Chenard and Mattingly managed to transform a nearly 350-year-old French play into a comedy of manners (or ill manners) that layers tart, colloquial English-language jokiness onto age-old poetic structure is something for future dramaturges to ponder…ebullient, contemporary update of Molière’s 1673 farce…” -Tony Farrell / Richmond Times Dispatch

"Firehouse's Invalid is just what the doctor ordered. Written by Josh Chenard (who also directs) and Jane Mattingly, Invalid is an uproarious farce delivered in iambic pentameter with a Mel Brooks twist...it’s nice to be reminded that laughter at times can truly be the best medicine."  -Barry Hall / Longarmslocker Reviews

"Firehouse Theatre presents a fresh take on the Moliere play...hilarious...the enema scene is an outrageous highlight...broad, bawdy farce..." -Jerry Williams / Richmondmag

>>>>>>JOURNEY TO SHANGRI-LA (New Voices for the Theatre / Richmond, Virginia)

New Voices for the Theater is the nationally-acclaimed statewide high school playwriting program that celebrates and cultivates young writing talent from across Virginia. The New Voices playwriting competition provides a life-changing opportunity for high school writers to work with other talented young writers as well as professional theatre artists. Josh was thrilled to take part in this amazing event directing Journey to Shangdi-La by Carter King which premiered on July 13 at VCU's Raymond Hodges Theater in Richmond, Virginia and Paul Major, Mitchell Ashe, Elizabeth Earnest and David Zimmerman.

 

>>>>>>MOTH (TheatreLAB / Richmond, Virginia)

"Moth soars for TheatreLAB...Director Josh Chenard has not only honed his actors to a razor sharp edge, he's also created a tight technical masterpiece melding...a fascinating play that rests on the shoulders of its two actors...together they create a tight and fearless ensemble...will rivet you from opening to curtain call." -John Porter / 88.9 WCVE 

"Moth is a unique and dynamic theatrical experience...Josh Chenard directed and created the sound design as well. I found his direction compelling and very physical...Moth is not pretty; it is rough and raw and loud and glaring. It makes you think and gives you something to talk about...pulls you to the edge of your seat..." -Julinda D. Lewis / RVArts Review

"From the smashing opening scene, the show starts to powerful effect, thanks to Josh Chenard’s dazzling staging and Michael Jarett’s fantastically varied lighting...rockets along with intense vitality...this production is wonderfully inventive...five stars..." -Jerry Williams / Sifter

"Moth at TheatreLAB [is] a taut teenage nightmare...an in-yer-face allegory...The two leads...look, sound, and feel spot-on in their roles. Moreover, they never look particularly winded despite the energy expenditure that director Josh Chernard has necessitated from the characters' brisk blocking and a daunting execution of their varied, sometimes off-the- wall mannerisms....a dramatic think piece..." -Brent Deekens / Broadwayworld

"...intense...starring impressive talent...laugh out loud funny in parts...and uncomfortably cruel in others...the bluster and vulnerability Cordrey and Mincks brought to characters not all that much younger than they are ensured a fast-moving story about the nature of existing outside the cool cliques in those devastating high school years..." -Karen Newton / RTCC Theatre Alliance

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MOTH Scene: Mr. Moon

MOTH Interview/Promotional Video

 

>>>>>>DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS (Firehouse Theatre / Richmond, Virginia)

“Simple, brutal brilliance…the production itself is a rave…Mr. Chenard has given the audience a palpable slice of life from a bygone era, presenting a tragedy as old as Aeschylus without ever feeling antiquated. We, the audience, feel this world wholeheartedly. The characters are so authentically entwined in their setting that this exuding, incorporeal "force to be reckoned with" transcends itself to the viewers, leaving us transfixed and emotionally satisfied.” –Brent Deekens / broadwayworld.com

“The show's greatest strength is the masterful staging by Director Josh Chenard. He's created dramatic stage pictures with theatrical skill and infused the drama with a quiet intensity… masterfully staged, well-acted production expresses dramatic force and theatrical confidence.” –Jerry Williams / Richmondmag

“…explosive…Under Josh Chenard's assured direction, this tense family drama plays out in taut, economical scenes on a lovely, almost otherworldly set, designed by Chris Raintree and masterfully lit by Bill Miller, transfixing the audience with near-hypnotic power…O'Neill wrote a meaty play full of hotblooded confrontation where sons brazenly taunt fathers and fathers furiously threaten sons. Chenard and his crew translate a potentially dated melodrama into a vibrant, powerful tragedy as potent as yesterday's headlines.” –David Timberline / Style Weekly

“Firehouse Theatre's production of O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms is tough, artful stuff… Given form, function and heft in a bracing and streamlined two-hour staging…Touching each scene with quiet authority and restraint, director Josh Chenard propels each narrative turn by alternating in-your-face physical intimacy with vast chasms of space…an actors’ triumph… the entire cast infuses O’Neill’s script, filled with bare-bones sentences, monosyllabic words and archly written dialect, with natural rhythm and pathos…” –Tony Farrell / Richmond Times Dispatch

“…visceral…enough to make the audience audibly gasp, time and time again…the insanity, the bitterness, the lust — it was all tangible, it all simmered right at the surface of the story…the raw emotion and the wonderful dynamic between every single character was always present…this play is worth a watch.”-Nidhi Sharma / RVAMAG

“…electrifying theater…the acting in the play is top shelf…evocative…Chenard has pulled together a difficult task…and doing so in a way that satisfies…” –John Porter / 88.9 WCVE

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>>>>>>RHINOCEROS (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse/ Richmond, Virginia)

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Not A Nice Man

>>>>>>WHAT'S LEFT OF US? Staged Reading (New Voices for the Theater / Richmond, Virginia)

New Voices for the Theater is the nationally-acclaimed statewide high school playwriting program that celebrates and cultivates young writing talent from across Virginia. The New Voices playwriting competition provides a life-changing opportunity for high school writers to work with other talented young writers as well as professional theatre artists. Josh was beyond excited to take part in this amazing event directing What's Left of Us? by Al Horowitz which premiered on July 8 at the Shafer Street Playhouse in Richmond, Virginia and featured Chelsea Lofland and Jocelyn Honore.

 

>>>>>IPHIGENIA 2.0 (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse / Richmond, Virginia)

"I think of these appropriated texts as historical documents—as evidence of who and how we are and what we do. And I think of the characters who speak these texts as characters like the rest of us: people through whom the culture speaks, often without the speakers knowing it." -Charles Mee / Playwright

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Menelaus Fever Flashback

>>>>>THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (Virginia Commonwealth University's Raymond Hodges Theater / Richmond, Virginia)

"Theatre VCU's Trip to Bountiful is a bounty of delights...the ensemble is uniformly excellent. They sing like angels and move the set like ballet dancers...charming production." -Freddy Kaufman / GayRVA.com

Read an interview with Josh about directing A Trip to Bountiful here:

 >>>>>>AFTER ORLANDO Staged Reading (Richmond Triangle Players / Richmond, Virginia)

Josh was proud to serve as a producer and as one of the directors for After Orlando: An International Theatre Action in Response to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting hosted by Richmond Triangle Players in Richmond, Virginia. Below you can see images from the event including from the readings Josh directed: Everybody Gets a Stick by Deborah Laufer and Dance On (in honor of the forty-nine) by Ian Rowlands.

"The beauty of the production had nothing to do with acting, directing, lighting or sound design. The wonderment of the evening was in the artists came together to give of themselves and make a statement...presented with love, sympathy, and empathy...performance is both a rallying cry and a memorial..." -Freddy Kaufman / Gayrva.com

Read the Broadway World article here:

 

>>>>>JUNTA HIGH (Shop Theater at New Mexico State University / Las Cruces, New Mexico)

" Clay McLeod Chapman’s thought-provoking play, Junta High, effectively directed in a bare-bones production by Josh Chenard... ably performed by the troupe of performers. The “in-your-face” style of the staging and the troubling subject matter contributed to many seat-squirming moments. I, for one, left somewhat shaken by what I had witnessed. But there is a place for theatricalities such as Junta High. The play isn’t easy to watch but we see things just as horrible and even worse every day on the news and perhaps one can hope that we can be jolted enough that something will change." -Dave Edwards / Las Cruces Bulletin

 

>>>>>THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU, Las Cruces, New Mexico)

"A blue ribbon to The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds...the play explores the dysfunctions of the Hunsdorfer family...Director Josh Chenard creates a strong visual aesthetic...consistently shows a refined and distinct directorial voice." -Marissa Bond / Las Cruces Bulletin

"...Josh Chenard has done an excellent job portraying the beauty of this piece. By putting the audience on the stage, he has made the theatre-going experience even more intimate, making you feel as though perhaps you are a member of this crumbling family. It’s an unorthodox but highly effective move. I highly recommend seeing this play." -Sante Guajardo / The Roundup

I Could Have Danced All Night

Nobody Laughed...

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>>>>>OTHER DESERT CITIES (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, New Mexico)

"...a deeply politically American play...the penultimate scene elicited gasps from the audience...it was the ending I wanted, the catharsis I as an audience member wanted..." -Marissa Bond / Las Cruces Bulletin

"A compelling family outing...under the nuanced direction of Josh Chenard, Other Desert Cities also boasts the kind of sparkling production values that make an evening with the American Southwest Theatre Company so enjoyable." -David Salcido / Las Cruces Sun News

Opening Night Reactions

>>>>>THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD  (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, New Mexico)

"The cast of the New Mexico State Theater group is great, full to overflowing with energy and talent...for pulling together this rather elaborate production, praise should rain down on director Josh Chenard...a mystery worth exploring." -Bill Veroula / Las Cruces Sun News

"...a splendid cast...fine performances...gorgeous costumes...a bevy of amply displayed bosoms, lascivious interpolations...bawdy innuendo and musical burlesque...credit must be given to recurrent director Josh Chenard for his clever use of "Laugh-In" inspired portals to keep the pacing brisk." -David Salcido / Ground Zero

Rehearsal of "Settle Up the Score."

Rehearsal of "There You Are."

>>>>>THE MISANTHROPE (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, New Mexico)

"...something wickedly beguiling is prancing across the stage at the NMSU Center for the Arts...The Misanthrope as envisioned by Josh Chenard, is a 15th century Mean Girls awash in the technicolor palate of Walt Disney....a stunning feast for the eyes...a satisfying romp that transports its audience into the classic realm of banana peel hilarity, with enough dazzling showmanship to make the inevitable crushing denouement not only palatable, but immensely satisfying. Kudos to Josh Chenard for yet another daring reinterpretation of a celebrate classic..." -David Salcido / Ground Zero

"This is a delightful performance, well worthy of your attention." -Gerald Kane / Las Cruces Bulletin

"...excellent job taking a play about 17th century society and making it both entertaining and thought provoking. " -Maria Harris / The Round Up

Fun with Oronte!

Gossip with Friends

>>>>>PETER  PAN: THE BOY WHO HATED MOTHERS (Stage B Theater Company at the Athenauem Theater / Chicago, Illinois)

“Josh Chenard directs for the newly formed Stage B Theatre Company’s darker, not for the wee ones take on J.M. Barrie’s boy who refused to grow up…” –Timeout Chicago

 “Go see Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers directed by Josh Chenard...it's delightful and imaginative.” –SG Chicago Theatre Blog

 “It's alluring to listen to humans on stage talk about a make believe world while watching those humans on stage move the set to create that make believe world. Endless twinkling metaphors. Staging that twinkles. The deep dark of loneliness and abandonment. The bright sweetness of connection and belonging. The shuffling tap dance between dark and light. The kaleidoscope ball of make believe that's so finely tuned it's as real as Tuesday...” -Kim Morris / Theatre Power Chicago

>>>>>JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, NM)

“I was fortunate to be able to review a performance of ASTC's adaptation of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach…The production was delightful…the acting and direction was spot on. The sets were magical and whimsical. The costumes were terrific too.” –Gerald Kane/Las Cruces Bulletin

 “The marvelously crafted play of James and the Giant Peach… is one you don’t want to miss… the play will surely be one to remember.” –Amaya Wortham/The Roundup

Sharks!

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>>>>>PROPERTIES OF LIGHT (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, NM)

"It is a thrill for an artist to see her own work serve as the impetus for another artist's work, especially when the other's work is as brilliant as the direction of Josh Chenard.  Chenard's direction of the play, Properties of Light, which William Storm had adapted from my own novel of that name, was, for me, a revelation. Chenard managed to so transform the play into an independent work of art that it was only while watching it performed that an entirely new interpretation of what it all means came to me.  As deeply as I had once inhabited the story and its characters, his brilliant direction drew out a possibility that had been hidden to me..." -Rebecca Goldstein / New York Times Best Selling Author Properties of Light

 

>>>>>OUR TOWN (American Southwest Theatre Company at NMSU / Las Cruces, New Mexico)

Our Town Captivated the audience…This play captures the full spectrum of emotion and is a must-see for audiences of all ages...bring some tissues.” – Bethany Blundell   / The Round Up

"...touched my heart deeply...I would encourage you to savor this important play…I couldn’t have liked it more!” –Gerald Kane / Las Cruces Bulletin

 

>>>>>LORD OF THE FLIES (Henley Street Theatre Company / Richmond, Virginia)

"...director Josh Chenard has taken Golding's book and turned it into a gut-punch of a play – loud, visceral, concise, and brutal, Chenard’s direction creates something that Golding’s book never quite could convey – the sense of just how much the characters are a gang of loud, dirty, frenetic boys. Everything works here with utter precision. It’s taken the ultimate school reading book and stripped it of the somber weight of its symbols and big ideas and turned it into a pulsating, gripping action story that, 50 years later, grabs you by the throat, gets under your skin..." -Liz Jewett / Richmond.com

"Henley Street Theatre's sharp as a spear, fiendish staging directed by Josh Chenard...acted with vivid intensity...fascinating to watch..." -Matthew Miller / Gayrva.com

"Henley Street Theatre's Lord of the Flies directed by Josh Chenard opens with a bang...the audience is swept into the story...it's a wild ride." -Hayley DeRoche / RVAnews

"Henley Street Theatre's Lord of the Flies brings the energy...an impressive amount of energy and talent...well staged...this show is a fine – if often wild – night of theater." -Rich Griset / Style Weekly

"Effective…Successfully pulls the audience in…Henley Street Theatre’s Lord of the Flies provides a thought provoking evening. The story is disturbing in many ways and will make you wonder which side you would choose if your survival depended on that decision." -Joan Tupponce / WCVW PBS

"Director Josh Chenard has put together an interesting evening of theatre that will electrify..." -John Poter / WCVE Public Radio

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Read an interview in Style Weekly with Josh about directing Lord of the Flies here:

Read an article from the Richmond Times Dispatch here:

 

>>>>>ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse / Richmond, Virginia)

"...tells the story of the only recorded elephant lynching from the perspective of traveling circus members and townspeople...Elephant's Graveyard gruesome, but moving...very moving piece..." -Mark Robinson / The Commonwealth Times

"...a panoramic view of how a small town deals with the assumed promise of taking an eye for an eye...a heavy dread hangs over the show...the show works...directed by Josh Chenard the effect is still reverberating.." -Christopher Sloce / Drawl Magazine

 

>>>>>SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (Richmond Triangle Players / Richmond, Virginia)

"The play is classic Williams on a smaller scope and director Josh Chenard has kept it faithful...evoking the eerie, spooky ambience of New Orleans to match the mystery surrounding Sebastian’s death, Chenard casts the ensemble in red light (lighting by Rebecca Brooks) pantomiming—in slow, glacial paces—the animals of a tropical jungle before the opening scene...evoking the animalism we will see run rampant…production has a definitive artistic and technical thumbs-up. " –Matthew Miller / Gay.rva

“Triangle’s Suddenly Last Summer is powerful…Under Josh Chenard's direction, the show makes use of sound and Rebecca Brooks' dramatic lighting to heighten the feeling of dread. Triangle has done a good job here…If you like your mint julep with a Prozac chaser, this is the show for you.” –Rich Griset / Style Weekly

“In the forty some years that I’ve been hanging around the theatre scene, it occurred to me that I have never seen a production of Summer mounted…not only was I not disappointed by this production, I am excited by what they have accomplished…Director Josh Chenard has managed to release the poetry of Tennessee Williams giving his actors enough room to bring the stories to life…Suddenly Last Summer should be high on your must see list.” –John Porter / WCVE Public Radio

 

>>>>>Les Précieuses Ridicules (Virginia Commonwealth University's Raymond Hodges Theater / Richmond, Virginia)

"Molière’s 17th century satire comes to VCU’s Singleton Center this weekend with a few contemporary twists...the entire audience laughed out loud for one ridiculous lovely hour…don’t miss this valentine confection…” -Danielle Ellis / Commonwealth Times

 

>>>>>BLITHE SPIRIT (Pine Tree Players / Springvale, Maine)

"This wonderful production is simply not to be missed...hilarious...perhaps top accolades go to director Josh Chenard. The lighting, costumes, and especially the set are classically simple to the point of being brilliant...the concept of contrasts is carried over by Chenard into the entire production, and it works very well...the acting is at a very high level. All of the principles are superb...the scene changes are quick and natural – no delays...I especially liked how the music is used throughout this production. The selections are appropriate both for the mood and period. Everything, in fact, showed thoughtfulness and preparation..." -Gaetano Santa Lucia / The Journal Tribune

 

>>>>>>ANIMAL FARM (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse / Richmond, Virginia)

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." -George Orwell / Animal Farm

 

>>>>>>AND SOMETIMES WE JUST LISTEN TO EACH OTHER BREATHE (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse / Richmond, Virginia)

"Hush, little baby, don't say a word. Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird...And if that mockingbird won't sing, Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring" -Traditional Lullaby

 

>>>>>>LA BETE (Virginia Commonwealth University's Shafer Street Playhouse / Richmond, Virginia) 

Winner of the 1992 Olivier Award for best comedy of the year. This inventive and remarkably funny play makes it seem as if Molière had returned to the present day.

 

>>>>>>75 WAYS TO SERVE GRILLED SQUIRREL (University of Southern Maine Lab Theatre / Portland, Maine)

>>>>>>MISCELLANEOUS (Various)