2021 will be Chenango River Theatre’s 15th season.  We are committed to fully professional theatre - casting our shows with professional actors drawn from anywhere in the country.  It’s a rarity to find a theatre like ours in a rural market - we are the only theatre in the greater Binghamton area under annual contract with Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union for professional actors and stage managers in the U.S.  Every production features professional actors and a professional stage manager - people devoted to making their living at theatre.  Why does it matter if you have a contract with AEA?  Basically, every actor who makes a living at theatre, is in the actors' union (AEA).  When you see Broadway productions, or a show at any of the regional theatres around the country, you’re seeing productions using members of AEA.  So if you’re a theatre company, and you want access to casting the best actors from around the country, you have to have an agreement with AEA to allow professional actors to work with your theatre company.  


Our commitment is to give our audience the best overall quality production that our budget allows.  As part of that commitment, we believe we have to be able to use professional actors on our stage.  We’re proud to be the greater Binghamton area’s professional non-profit theatre.

Bill Lelbach

Artistic & Managing Director


Zach arrived in late June and work in overlap with outgoing Artistic Director Bill Lelbach for the 2 shows the company will present in 2021.  This carefully planned transition will ensure that the greater Binghamton area’s only fully professional theatre company is best positioned for continued growth in the coming years.


Zach has directed over 100 professional productions across the Midwest, appeared in over 125+ shows (most as a member of Actors’ Equity Association), and has over 100 producing credits to his name.  

Zach hails from Minneapolis, MN, where he spent 20+ years as a freelance director and actor.  For 9 seasons, he served as the Producing Artistic Director of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, MN (the oldest professional summer theater in the state), making him the longest tenured Artistic Director in their history.  Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons as Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Fifty Foot Penguin Theater in Minneapolis, named “Best Independent Theatre in the Twin Cities” by City Pages.  He is currently in his fourth season at Black Hills Community Theater (Rapid City), one of the largest non-profit arts organizations in South Dakota.


His work has garnered frequent praise: “A force in the Twin Cities” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), “Perhaps the best comedic director in town.” (minnpost.com), “One of local theater’s most inexhaustibly inventive talents” (City Pages), “One of the area’s most talented directors” (KFAI Radio), and “Artists like Zach Curtis are churning out top-flight work that is as good or better than what you would find in any city in the United States”(mnartists.org).

As an actor, Zach’s regional work includes the Springer Opera House (Columbus, GA), Virginia Stage (Norfolk ,VA), and two seasons in the Acting Company at the Great River Shakespeare Festival (Winona, MN).  He appeared in over 100 shows in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area at theaters including The Guthrie, Park Square, Theatre Latte Da, Mixed Blood, 10000 Things, Children’s Theatre and the Old Log.  In 2015, he was named “Best Actor in the Twin Cities” by City Pages for his turn as Charlie in Walking Shadow’s production of The Whale.  He is a twenty year member of Actors’ Equity Association.


New Producing Artistic Director Arrives

ZCurtis HS2.jpg

Professional Staff

Bill Lelbach, Artistic & Managing Director

Zach Curtis, Producing Artistic Director (2022 & beyond) 

Nathan Elsener, Technical Director

Julie Duro, Lighting Design

Barbara Kahl, Costume Design

Seasonal Staff

Box Office Intern:  on hold

Technical Theatre Intern:  on hold


Volunteers of Note

Faith White

Warren Nash

Board of Directors

Kevin Cooper

Jim Daniels

Rich Doud

Jenn Fowler

Dori May Ganisin

Sandra Houde

Laura Knochen-Davis

Nancy Phillips

Jason Tripp

Heidi Weeks

Cooper Klumpp (student representative)

Box Office:  607-656-8499 (TIXX)  Administration:  607-656-8778  



Mailing address:  PO Box 584  Greene, NY  13778            Physical address:  991 State Highway 12, Greene, NY  13778

Chenango River Theatre’s season is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts

with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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