Martin French
Co-Artistic Director

Martin French is from Ireland originally, and has worked in theatre for many years, covering a wide variety of positions. By trade a designer, and by preference a director, Martin has worked professionally in theatre for over 20 years in Dublin, London, and Louisville, combining his creative work with positions as theatre technician, and more recently instructor. He has been an artistic director with Ourclann and Dublin Shakespeare in Ireland, and in Louisville has previously been on the board of The Alley Theatre, and currently serves on the board of the Louisville Repertory Company.

Some highlights of his directing work include The Bloomsday Breakfast Show, Elektra, Busu, Electile Dysfunction, Metamorphosis, and Chek-Mate.

Depending on when you ask him, his influences may include Edward Gordon Craig, Vsevolod Meyehold, Tadeusz Kantor, Yoshi Oida, Robert Wilson, and Silviu Purcarete. He is known as a devotee to Henrik Ibsen, a student of the ancient Greeks, and a dabbler in Noh theatre when given the chance.

Polina Shafran
Co-Artistic Director

Polina Shafran was born in Moscow, Russia, grew up in Israel and currently resides in Louisville. Since early childhood her father used to take her to theatres. She got to see all the big names of Russian theatre on Moscow stages. That’s when her love for theatre began. She got her theatre education in Israel where she performed in multiple plays in both Russian and Hebrew. After arriving to Louisville she joined local theatre community and has performed with such theatre companies as Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company, Pandora Productions, The Bardstown Theatre, and many more.

Her favorite theatre roles include Natalia in The Proposal, Witch in Macbeth, Joyce in The Ruffian On The Stair and Olwen in Dangerous Corner.

Being multilingual she sometimes tries her hand at the translation of plays, songs and poetry. In 2013 she translated Chekov’s one act play The Proposal, which led to an interesting discussion with Martin, the creation of The Chamber Theatre and a subsequent production of the play in The Chamber Theatre's inaugural production Chek-Mate.

Our Mission

The goal of the Chamber Theatre is to produce high quality small scale theatre that is intimate, personal, and engages directly with the audience. We want to explore some of the best modern dramatists, particularly those from the late 19th and early 20th century. In doing so, we hope to reintroduce the texts to the public through a contemporary and local lens, reviving some, and taking others beyond the received understanding of what they are. We want to reach a wider audience through touring our productions. We aim to combine our blend of different international theatrical backgrounds and experiences with the currents of the Louisville Theatre community to develop a distinct method to our productions.

About Us

Formed in late 2015, The Chamber Theatre is a small independent theatre company based in Louisville, Kentucky. Our first production was Chek-Mate in January 2016, produced at Vault 1031, and subsequently touring to University of Kentucky. The Chamber Theatre was founded and is run by co-Artistic Directors Martin French and Polina Shafran, two multi-disciplinary international theatre artists who have been working in Louisville for the past few years. The Chamber Theatre Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization.