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.

Friday, September 7, 2018

"Our Town" coming to New England Town Hall in Shelburne in mid-September

WHAT: New England Play "Our Town"
WHEN: Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:00pm, Sunday Sept. 16, 2:00pm
WHERE: Memorial Hall Theater, 51 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA
How Much? Evening show tickets are $12, matinee tickets are $6.

The quintessential New England play -- "Our Town"  -- is coming to the quintessential New England Town Hall in Shelburne in mid-September.

About 2/3 of the cast and crew are from Shelburne or Shelburne Falls.  Jackie Walsh at Footlights at the Falls chose the show in celebration of Shelburne's 250th anniversary of its founding. "I wanted to have lots of people from town in it, and I am thrilled with how many people from town came to auditions and were cast," said Jackie Walsh, founder of Footlights and "Our Town" producer.  "It's a really talented cast." Thornton Wilder wrote the play about a small, New Hampshire town.  It features two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs.  Three acts focus on day-to-day life, marriage and death.
Grovers Corners, very much like Shelburne in 1904, has a milkman delivering milk by horse, a constable walking the streets, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, lots of churches and houses with lots of flowers and vegetable gardens. Like Shelburne then, people in the play tend to stay put after high school and get married.

Nicole LaRoche of Shelburne is enjoying directing."The opportunity to direct this quintessential American play has been such a blessing. Wilder’s words resonate as deeply today as when written and together the cast and I have been discovering what they mean to us in our own town. I am so pleased to be able to share our emotional journey with the community we all love," LaRoche said.

Shelburne residents will see plenty of familiar people in the play, whether its a barista from Mocha Maya's coffee shop, a clerk at the post office, the woman who drives a school bus in the Shelburne hills, a girl who rides the bus, or a runner they see in Shelburne Falls. Nicole LaRoche of Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls is the director.

Walsh began Footlights at the Falls two years ago to bring theater back to Shelburne Falls, which has had little theater since West County Players closed its doors nearly 20 years ago.
So far, the group has put on "Later Life" and "Dixie Swim Club."  This is its first show with a big cast (20 people)."I'm so happy we can give all these actors an opportunity to do theater right down the street!" Walsh said. 

Anyone interested in ushering or joining the Footlights board of directors, please contact Walsh at 413-625-9413 or

Cultural council grants help fund this production.  They are from Ashfield, Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Charlemont-Hawley, Heath, Rowe, Goshen, Plainfield and Shelburne.

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