Last Season:

TALK RADIO by Eric Bogosian


“A taut production… a gut spilling, stomach wrenching performance by the cast. Made me just about forget about Eric Bogosian and Liev Schreiber. Do yourself a favor and take the 7 train to Long Island City.”  

- CBS Radio ; Jim Taylor


“This is the way theatre is supposed to be… Kirk Gostkowski’s Barry is electrifying…Director Greg Cicchino deserves high praise for presenting a brisk, exciting and raw evening of comedy and drama at the lovely Chain Theatre, an intimate space that allowed the audience to be thrust right into the action of the play with the actors, experiencing what they experience…Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an evening of Talk Radio at The Chain Theatre and you will enjoy an engaging evening of indie theatre at its best, with stellar performances across the board.”

Why Leave Astoria?! 


5 STAR REVIEW: “Riveting…There is nothing better than theatre that gives you ideas to mull over on the way home, and then when you get home, and then the next morning when you wake up. The actors that dispatch these ideas here do so with a talent as elegant as the arc of their story.”

The Public Reviews


“Champlain is played with unwavering focus…Gostkowski is up to the task, and remains in charge from start to finish. He smokes, drinks, sweats, swears and carries on multiple conversations seemingly simultaneously…Interestingly, it is the unseen callers who are among the most memorable personalities. A small group of actors provides the varied voices splendidly…Under the astute direction of Greg Cicchino, the play remains gripping throughout.”

-Queens Chronicle  


“It’s wonderful watching Kirk Gostkowski work his magic. Rewarding and relevant. A fun ride!”
– Theatre is Easy




“A powerful revival! Variations Theatre Group is one of the very best off off Broadway companies around. Terrific! This is a well-directed and well-performed powerful, gritty play, depicting the levels of depravity to which men (and women) may descend. Not to be missed!”  

A Seat on the Aisle


“Entertaining, unexpected and masterful! Immersive theatre!”

“The protagonist – Eddie – is played by the superbly talented Kirk Gostkowski. He would not be able to achieve his outstanding performance without the support of an impeccable ensemble. Rich Ferraioli’s direction is what allows these talents to shine because he uses every single inch of the stunning set to keep his actors always on the move. Ferraioli has choreographed a piece that flows with energy and clarity and, impossibly, considers every sightline to ensure full audience engagement.”

“This show at The Chain Theatre has not a single weak link!”

The Public Reviews


“The cast lives up to the demands of the script: Kirk Gostkowski’s Eddie lies at the center of this (sometimes self-inflicted) maelstrom, and often holds back with a dead-eyed coolness that erupts into concentric circles of furious self-absorption; his energy does not flag, and he does the heavy lifting of the piece with eager aplomb!”

New York Theatre Experience


“Wonderful! The costumes, lighting, props and music are all period specific, and help create an absolute immersive experience into the narcissistic, neutron bomb-fearing, drug-hazed melee that was the mid-1980s. The almost constant consumption of weed, dope and booze is literally right in your face, to the point that you almost get a contact high. Kirk Gostkowski as Eddie, Deven Anderson as Mickey, Brandon Scott Hughes as Phil, and Chris Harcum as Artie, do admirable jobs breathing life into their characters. Each actor finds balance between the vulnerability and the rage that motivates his character.”

Theatre Is Easy


“First rate ensemble!”

Theater Pizzazz


“Kirk Gostkowski is well-cast as Eddie, for while likable, he’s not afraid to embrace the awfulness of Eddie either. Deven Anderson is also a standout as Mickey, smooth and cold, with impeccable timing. Christina Elise Perry, Rachel Cora and Jacklyn Collier do strong work.”

A Work Unfinishing


“Eddie is played by a delightfully manic yet not-over-the-top Kirk Gostkowski. Gostkowski delivers a realistic performance that captures the essence of Eddie’s personal crisis with all its highs and lows. Eddie is confused, angry, hurt and depressed — sometimes all at once — and Gostkowski makes it all very believable. Brandon Scott Hughes also brings a sense of desperate urgency to lost soul Phil.”

Times Ledger


“The production does a wonderful job capturing the caustic and bombastic feel of the 1980s and nights fueled by drugs and alcohol.”

Queens Tribune


“Those who have never seen this work done on stage should consider going the ‘extra mile’ to Long Island City and catching this rarely revived play. Playing the central character Eddie, Kirk Gostkowski delivers the right mix of callousness and vulnerability, blending each in equal proportion. R. Allen Babcock’s set and lighting convey the appropriate seediness of the digs nestled in Hollywood Hills. David Rabe’s play, set in a house in the Hollywood Hills ‘a little while ago’ is pertinent to today’s headlines. And it still speaks to the heart.”

Variations Theatre Group is embarking on the next step in our journey and opening our own theatre space in Long Island City;
 The Chain Theatre

Converting a space into a performance venue is hard work and our labor of love. By donating to The Chain Theatre, you are contributing to the countless artists that will be bringing their passion and talent to Long Island City for years to come.  Actors, directors, playwrights, stage managers, technicians, and entire theatre companies will have a place to call home. The funding of this project will assist in the renovation of the space, acquiring equipment, and developing the upcoming season.

More on our campaign to create this amazing new venue

Variations Theatre Group is the resident company of the Chain Theatre
"Variations Theatre Group instinctually crafts intelligent theater that investigates the art and the truth of the human condition." -NY Performing Arts Examiner
“Entertaining, unexpected and masterful! Immersive theatre!...This show at The Chain Theatre has not a single weak link!” - The Public Reviews on Hurlyburly
"If you’re a fan of this play or Shepard’s work you will not be disappointed with Variations Theatre Group’s revival. They bring their A-game and take us into this dark, sad, but ultimately affirming tale of love."
"In Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things... their rendition draws the line between art and exploitation, but it’s closer to the psychotic than even the original dared to go." -Sundance