In Lee Blessing’s “Chesapeake,’’ at New Repertory Theatre, Georgia Lyman plays a performance artist at loggerheads with a conservative Southern senator. She brings intelligence, wit, and an expressive, long-limbed physicality to a part that is typically played by male actors. The gender switch makes sense, given the prominence of female performance artists in the culture wars. What’s more notable is how vividly and persuasively she crosses over into another species to play a dog.
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