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The Boston Globe

Theater & art


In Chester, ‘Spring Awakening’ creators light ‘Arms on Fire’

CHESTER — The Chester Railway Station seems an unlikely venue in which to rehearse a play about wayward souls in Hell’s Kitchen, the gritty neighborhood in New York City. But here were actors Guiesseppe Jones, James Barry (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), and Natalie Mendoza (“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”), with their director Byam Stevens, working out the intricacies of the sometimes comical, sometimes tragic “Arms on Fire.” It will have its world premiere in a run that begins Wednesday at the Chester Theatre Company, where Stevens is the artistic director.

The show’s creators, playwright and lyricist Steven Sater and composer Duncan Sheik — perhaps best known as the duo who wrote the Tony Award-winning 2006 musical “Spring Awakening” — also seemed slightly confused by the funky rehearsal space, inside a small museum dedicated to the history of the locomotive station it once was. But the ever-clever Sater quickly came up with the perfect explanation. “It’s evocative of the journey taken,” he said with a smile.

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