The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Northampton High School Theater presents Tears of Laughter

Tears of Laughter: Comedy meets Tragedy!
One Show Only: Thursday, March 30 at 7:00 PM

A celebration of the Friends of NHS Theater. Northampton High School Theater marries comedy to tragedy as improv troupe Funktionlust joins award­ winning Anti(gone) to celebrate our new support group, Friends of NHS Theater (FONHST).

Founded under the auspices of the NHS PTO, FONHST will help fundraise, support and promote theater arts at NHS. The group was formed in response to the program’s need for adult partners in its ambitious projects, and the intensifying challenge of meeting the bottom line at a time when both arts and education funding is, literally, under attack.

Funktionlust, led by director Heidi Haas, will begin the evening with a 45­minute set in the black box theater. Using offers from the audience, the talented troupe will delight viewers with spontaneity and quick wit, creating sketches that rove from the thoughtful and poignant to the downright hilarious. Funktionlust is celebrating its 12th year of offering spirited, original comedy improv to the Northampton community.

Anti(gone), an award­winning 30­minute adaptation of the Greek tragedy, devised by NHS students in collaboration with resident artist Linda Tardif, will follow on the auditorium stage. This keen drama focuses on the battle of wits between Antigone and her capricious, despotic aunt Kreon, the leader of Thebes. Which will prevail? Kreon’s vengeful civil edicts, or Antigone’s claims for the deeper laws of family and humanity? This production makes intense connections between ancient tragedy and current events and was widely acclaimed at the recent METG drama festival for its blend of original music, lyrical movement, and powerful storytelling.

In between (and after) the performances there will be a reception in the auditorium lobby offering food, drink and the opportunity to meet the guiding members of FONHST, along with NHS student and adult theater artists. Interested audience members can learn more about FONHST’s mission, activities, and schedule; they will also find out about upcoming performances, opportunities to work and play with NHS theater, and the challenges that the program is currently facing.

Friends of NHS Theater Mission Statement:

Friends of Northampton High School Theater is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that exists to support and promote the theater arts at NHS by fundraising, volunteerism, and enhancing community connections.

All money we raise supplements the NHS theater department budget. Our volunteer efforts support the sustenance and growth of a lively, rich and varied theater program. We strive to connect the NHS theater program with artistic resources in the Pioneer Valley in order to expand educational opportunities and to invite community involvement.

Our goal is to support and enrich the artistic environment for our dedicated theater students.

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