Stagestruck: Community Colleges Get in on the Act
Apr22

Stagestruck: Community Colleges Get in on the Act

I often write in these pages about theater at the Five Colleges, all of which have robust degree programs and busy production seasons. But I don’t pay as much attention to the Valley’s other academic theaters as they deserve, and I’m going to partially correct that right now. Earlier this month, Springfield College  staged Arthur Miller’s searing modern tragedy Death of a Salesman, and Greenfield Community College presented Richard...

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Stagestruck: Angles and Aliens — Three productions take a slanted view of our world
Apr21

Stagestruck: Angles and Aliens — Three productions take a slanted view of our world

These are precarious days, observes Peter Schumann, founder and director of Bread & Puppet Theater. The social order, the democratic contract and the earth itself are tottering from unprecedented stresses. Bread & Puppet’s Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis, coming to Holyoke’s Gateway City Arts on Tuesday, arises from that tension: “Diagonals are created from the leaning power of hurt verticals,” says the publicity for this...

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Stagestruck: Shakespearean Trifecta
Apr17

Stagestruck: Shakespearean Trifecta

It’s the Bard’s birthday next week, and three shows on area stages are celebrating it. (Shakespeare’s actual birthdate is unknown, but it was sometime around April 23, 1564, and since he died on April 23, 1616, that symmetry has become traditional.) This weekend and next, Smith College’s theater department mounts an all-female As You Like It. A new troupe called the rig stages an abbreviated Pericles in Easthampton and the Berkshires....

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Stagestruck: ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Tattooed Man Tells All’
Apr10

Stagestruck: ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Tattooed Man Tells All’

Two plays coming to area campuses this week and next have starkly different, but equally pessimistic takes on life and death. Death of a Salesman, at Springfield College, finds tragedy in an ordinary life, while The Tattooed Man Tells All, at Smith College, draws tragic lessons from viciously extraordinary conditions. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is perhaps the classic American tragedy. Winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize and...

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Stagestruck: New Kid on the Block
Apr09

Stagestruck: New Kid on the Block

There’s a new theater company in the Valley, with a kick-ass name and no less a purpose than helping to “undo established hierarchical structures and their attendant damage.” It’s called Strident Theatre, and its vociferous founder is actor/director/playwright Susanna Apgar. After a year of planning, the troupe officially kicks off this Saturday with a “Season Teaser Wine and Cheeser” at the Northampton Center for the Arts, an...

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