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Shining a Light on History

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recalling a time of revolutionary turmoil and religious frenzy in mid-17th-century England, Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire turns its beam on our own time as well.

Written in 1976, as the ’60s impulse gave way to war-weary cynicism, the spare, episodic play looks at the Levellers, a radical collectivist movement dedicated to political and agrarian reform, and the fractious Putney Debates (depicted at left) stirred by their agitation. By extension, the piece speaks to humans’ persistent yearning for a heaven on earth—in today’s parlance, peace and justice—against the entrenched agents of wealth and power.

Dec. 4-7, Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre, Smith College, Northampton, (413) 585-2787, smith.edu/smitharts.

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