The Imaginary Invalid

7d7954c1-fb55-4fcc-8169-87b8b4dcd36bThe Mount Anthony High School Drama Club is presenting Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid at the Oldcastle Theatre Company, January 27 through January 30 at 7 pm each of those evenings.  We were fortunate to talk to four of the cast members, Sebastian Durfee, Cole Lamoureaux, Nadine Morgan and Thea Pappas who told us about how rehearsals have been going. The tickets are six dollars and can be purchased at the theatre or at the high school.  The play is double cast so people might want to go and see it twice.

As we talked with the students, it became clear how important theatre programs are for young people.  Besides providing audiences with a chance to see plays that are not often presented,  these productions  provide experiences for young performers that will last beyond graduation.

The Imaginary Invalid Part 1

The Imaginary Invalid Part 2

Caleb Bishop, Jordan Peters,Thomas Tifft,

Thomas Tifft, Jordan Peters, Abby HensleyArgan chasing Toinette 3

Abby Hensley, Thomas Tifft, Ben Bushee

Weston 101

Weston Playhouse, Summer 2015In West Side Story, the hero Tony sings, “Somethin’s comin’, Somethin’ good.” That could describe what is happening with Weston 101. Steve Stettler, one of the producing directors at Weston Playhouse, is initiating a new program that should brighten up the winter months while we wait for the summer season plays to arrive. Starting in February, Steve will be presenting a series of ninety minute classes at Burr and Burton in Manchester. Those who enroll can either go to the class or, if it is stormy outside, they can stay home nice and cozy and watch it on their laptops or computers. There are six classes, one for each of the summer productions, which will have guests from the production, videos and other materials, all of which will be archived for further viewing. Students in class or at home will be able to ask questions and discuss the plays with Steve and his guests. This is an exciting blend of new technology, such as Skype, enriching  the magical world of live theatre.

The schedule is February 11 Man of La Mancha, February 25 Forever, March 10 Round and Round the Garden, March 24 Mamma Mia!, April 7 Murder for Two, and April 28 All My Sons, 7:00- 8:30 pm. Then, in the summertime, a special “Weston 101” post-show talkback with Treat Williams and the cast of Man of La Mancha, accompanied by a private backstage tour. Students can sign up for one class or for all six. To sign up or find out more about this unique program,  go online to or call  802-824-8167 x104

Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with Steve about this exciting new program. As Steve said, no grades, no homework, no tests, just a lot of fun.

Weston 101  Part 1

Weston 101 Part 2

Young Playwrights

12508815_1034239589965458_1544784643989213201_nThe Theatre Arts program at the Career Development Center is presenting two nights of one act plays by students. The performances start at 7 pm.on January 13 and 14. The public is invited and the performances are fee.

We had the pleasure of talking with three young women from the program, Marisa Faller, Gretchen Sausville, and Maria Salazar. They shared their experiences of writing the plays and of  participating in the program.  Creative experiences such as this are important for young people as they learn about all of the different aspects of theatre.



Young Playwrights 1

Young Playwrights 2

Shakespeare and Company’s Educational Programs

teacher-ongrass-1Besides the Fall Festival, which Kevin  Coleman has talked about in the past,  Shakespeare and Company has a number of other educational programs for students in elementary and middle schools. Kevin Coleman and Lezlie Lee talked with us about them and what the experience for the children is. They also touched on the company’s court diversion program, The Riotous Youth summer program and the Teacher Education program. There wasn’t enough time to go into all the programs in the detail that we would have liked. However, we will have them back at some point to talk further about each of these programs.

Shakespeare and Company Educational Programs Part 1

Shakespeare and Company Educational Programs Part 2


Riotous Youth in Class
Riotous Youth in Class
Riotous Youth Ready to Perform
Riotous Youth Ready to Perform








Shakespeare in the Courts
Shakespeare in the Courts
Teacher Education Program Sword Play Class





Shakespeare and Company at Hudson Valley Community College 2014

Fall Festival 2015

Kevin Coleman addressing a Fall Festival audience.

The Fall Festival is one of the highlights of the season at Shakespeare and Company. This is the 27th year for this amazing program which begins this year on Thursday, November 19 and runs through Sunday November 22. Ten area high schools each give a performance of a Shakespeare play. For a schedule of the plays go to

We were fortunate to interview Kevin Coleman, the Director of Education at Shakespeare and Company about this remarkable program where high school students, not only perform, but are most of the audience for the performances as they watch each other’s productions. We were also fortunate to interview three of the young directors working with the students at different high schools. These were young people whose performances we have enjoyed in different productions at Shakespeare and Company.  One of them. Annie Considine, was also in the Fall Festival when she was a student in high school. We found a video she made while she was in her college drama program talking about the Fall Festival.

Some of the photos and the videos will give you a sense of what the program is like.  The  photos and videos are from past years. Nothing equals seeing these productions, each last ninety minutes and is performed with energy, zest and understanding.

Interview with Kevin Coleman

Interview with Fall Festival Directors













Annie Considine 2011“>

Common Class“>

24th Annual Fall Festival Select Scenes



Interview with Julianne Boyd 2015

Julianne Boyd
Julianne Boyd

Barrington Stage celebrated its tenth year in Pittsfield this summer. The company was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd as a not-for-profit professional theatre with a three-fold mission: presenting high-quality productions, developing new musicals and plays and finding ways to bring new audiences, particularly young people, into theatre. After another successful season at the company’s two theatres, Julianne Boyd talked  with us about the past  season, plans for next year,  and their educational programs for young people. She also talked about their final production of the season, Veils  which runs through October 18.

Season passes for 2016 are already on sale and they are a great way to see theatre at a reasonable price.

Interview with Julianne Boyd  Part 1

Interview with Julianne Boyd Part 2

Interview with Julianne Boyd Part 3

Interview with Julianne Boyd Part 4“>

Donnetta Lavinia Grays and Hend Ayoub in Veils
Donnetta Lavinia Grays
and Hend Ayoub in Veils
Donnetta Lavinia Grays and Hend Ayoub in Veils


Luke Reed as Hamlet.

Earlier in the season, Bob and I interviewed four members of the cast of Hamlet that is playing at the Mount at the Edith Wharton estate. Unfortunately, we had to interview them in a large, empty room which was not conducive to recording. Bob and I are difficult to hear because of the room’s acoustics.  Although we could not broadcast the interview,  thanks to the engineering wizardry of Aaron Sawyer, we were able to save the responses of the actors who have toured Hamlet for several months. Several of them have also been involved in the education and training programs Shakespeare and Company offer.  Colin Gold, Concetta Russo, Luke Reed and Greg Boover shared their experiences from the tour as well as their ideas about performing the Bard out of doors. Shortly after this interview, we saw the Hamlet.  Having seen many productions of this play, we were enthralled by the emotional intensity of the performance. In the talkback following the performance, it was clear that the rest of the audience felt as we did about how compelling the play was. It is only at the Mount until August 22, but it should be seen. Fortunately, this perspective from the actors about the play remains.

Hamlet Interview Part 1

Hamlet Interview Part 2

Greg Boover as Polinius
Ally Allen as Ophelia, Concetta Russo as Gertrude and Colin Gold as Claudius
Luke Reed as Hamlet