Piecing together a new Northampton performance space
Apr17

Piecing together a new Northampton performance space

Shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, April 17, Owen Wormser changed out of his flip-flops and donned work boots. Fitting pieces of stone together in the lot in front of Ghost Bread and across the street from the former Serio’s market, Wormser is polishing off a five-tiered amphitheater that will house workshops music and puppet shows by the time summer rolls around. The site has been regraded by hand and volunteers have already put in...

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Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video
Mar13

Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video

‘West Mass’ Responses on Facebook… We had some questions about the ‘West Mass’ video, an effort by the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts to re-brand the area and attract tourists — and you had some thoughts about this dud, too. Here are some comments left on the Advocate’s website and Facebook page in response to “We Have Questions About That ‘West...

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Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue
Mar13

Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue

Vanessa Carlton may be best known for playing piano on the back of a truck while singing her hit song “A Thousand Miles,” but that doesn’t mean she’ll play just anywhere. The artist has standards — and they’re apparently higher than at least what one Northampton venue offered. Carlton was quick to voice what those standards were during her performance last week at the Iron Horse in Northampton, tweeting out her grievances with the...

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Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?
Feb06

Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?

The Trump administration’s order that all presentations and publications by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency be vetted by political appointees before their release to the public sent a shot of pain down my neck. Doug Ericksen, the EPA’s communications director during the transition, explained the policy in a Jan. 24 NPR interview. “We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going...

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Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time
Jan24

Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time

When I was in California last month, I saw two plays by a small, adventurous professional theater company in Berkeley that I’d never heard of. They’re called Shotgun Players, and they’ve gone straight to the top of my Bay Area must-see list. The shows I saw were riveting, in quite different ways, but more than that, the company’s core mission and key policies are, for me, what theater is – or should be – all about. In addition to...

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