The Glass Menagerie

glassmenageriewebThe Glass Menagerie is one of Tennessee Williams’ most memorable  and frequently performed plays. Set in the 1930s, it is the story of a family in transition. Although the circumstances may be specific to a time and place, the relationships are universal. Often categorized as a memory play, it is narrated by Tom, remembering his sister and mother at a crucial moment in the family’s history.

Christine Decker, the director, has a long relationship with the play. Early in her acting career at Oldcastle Theatre she played Laura, the shy daughter.  Later she played Amanda, Tom  and Laura’s mother.

The Mount Anthony Union High School Drama Club offers a wide variety of plays, performing American classics such as last year’s production of Arthur Miller’s  All My Sons along with musicals like The Adams Family.  Different casts will play on alternate nights from April 13 through April 16 at 7 pm at the Oldcastle Theatre on Main Street in Bennington.

Interview with Christine Decker Part 1

Interview with Christine Decker Part 2

 

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Christine Decker
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Tennessee Williams

 

 

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
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Teacher Education Program Sword Play Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shakespeare and Company at Hudson Valley Community College 2014

Riggs Theatre 37

Kevin Coleman at Riggs Theatre 37
Kevin Coleman at Riggs Theatre 37

The Austen Riggs Psychiatric Center has an activities program that includes arts, crafts and drama. Set up in 1954 by Joan Erikson, wife of Erik Erikson who was on the staff at the Center, the program recognizes how valuable the arts are in people’s lives. Kevin Coleman, the Educational Director at Shakespeare and Company, is also the director of Riggs Theatre 37 which offers classes, in house performances and theatrical productions.  These productions, which are open to the public, take place at the Lavender Door in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The theatre seats 75 people.

Their upcoming production is a Feydeau farce, The Patsy. The performances are from December 15 to December 23 at 7:30 pm at The Lavender Theatre. Kevin talked to us about the production as well as his work at Austen Riggs.

Riggs Theatre 37 Part 1

Riggs Theatre 37 Part 2
Riggs Theatre-jp

Fall Festival 2015

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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 http://www.shakespeare.org/

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

https://moretheatretalk.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/fall-festival-kevin-coleman-part-1-copy.mp3

https://moretheatretalk.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/fall-festival-kevin-coleman-part-2.mp3

Interview with Fall Festival Directors

https://moretheatretalk.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/fall-festival-directors-2015.mp3

 

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Annie Considine 2011

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_Ku-H6bJ4c4“>

Common Class

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CfWm9paNldg“>

24th Annual Fall Festival Select Scenes

 

 

Weston Playhouse Theatre

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Weston Playhouse Theatre

Weston Playhouse is Vermont’s oldest professional theatre. Its first summer stock  season was in 1937. The theatre’s current theme is Celebrating the Classics Nurturing the New. Besides presenting a variety of plays each summer, it has a range of educational programs.  Fifteen Student Ambassadors are given free tickets to six productions and get an inside look into all aspects of the developing production. They sit in on rehearsals and watch the evolution of a play into a performance.  Another example of Weston’s educational outreach is the Broadway Boot Camp which, in conjunction with Burr and Burton Academy’s Creative Arts Department, offers high school students three weeks of acting, singing and dancing classes in musical theatre.

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Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort and Steve Stettler

In its long history, Weston has also had only three sets of administrators. It is unique in currently having a team of three directors who have worked together well for many years. We had the pleasure of interviewing the three directors  over the years.  Recently Steve Stettler talked to us about this year’s season, some of the other programs they have, as well as their plans for the future. They develop new works cooperatively in the community and with other regional theatres.

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Weston Playhouse Company Members

Interview with Steve Stettler

Shakespeare and Company’s Educational Programs

Three years ago, we interviewed Kevin Coleman, Director of the Educational Programs at Shakespeare and Company.  Bob wrote a book, Performing Shakespeare: A Way to Learn  and had interviewed Kevin then about the various programs.  We always enjoy talking with Kevin about the many hats he wears at Shakespeare and Company. We also have been thrilled by the performances at the Fall Festival as well as having recently enjoyed the Shakespeare and Young Company production this spring, so we wanted to share some of it.

Both the videos and the interview took place several years ago, but the programs continue with the same vitality.

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The Fall Festival

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sXNr9BMHScE“>

Shakespeare in the Courts

Don Juan

20150506__p_EAG-L-DonJuan-0507-1_400Colleges with drama programs often offer their students unique opportunities to be engaged in exciting productions that might not be possible in professional venues. For those people who live in communities where there are such theatres, there is a chance to see quality performances either free or at a minimal cost.

Bennington College provides such opportunities for students and for audiences. An example of this is the co-production between members of the drama and music  faculty on their Don Juan project. Jean Randich and Tom Bogdan, members of the drama and music faculty at the college, have put together with students from both their disciplines and with the help of other faculty a production that combines Moliere’s Don Juan and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. We saw an energetic and exciting preview of the production and were eager to see the performance. Fortunately, we were able to interview Jean and Tom while they were in the process of putting the piece together.