Shelburne Falls theater group produces podcast series

  • William Webb. Contributed photo—

  • William Webb, who is featured in one of the podcasts. Contributed photo

Staff Report
Published: 10/29/2020 8:48:53 AM

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut and Shelburne Falls-based Piti Theatre Company are pleased to announce “Hindsight is,” a three-episode podcast series created on the occasion of the exhibition “Twenty Twenty,” a group show of drawings in which seven artists respond to the lived experience of this historic year.

“Twenty Twenty” is on view at the Ridgeville, Conn. museum through March 14, 2021.

Two of the podcast’s three episodes have already been released and a third will be available to stream free of charge Nov. 2 via the museum’s website, aldrichart.org.

The podcast, created in the radio play genre, focuses on vignette scenes with a range of local and regional historical figures in Connecticut. Actors from Piti Theatre Company vocally portray these historical figures by dramatizing social and political issues such as voting rights, racism and fascism. The actors use their unique perspectives as citizens from the past to portray modern events.

In the Oct. 19 episode, for example, suffragist Alice Paul and Woodrow Wilson debate women’s right to vote and whether or not the Equal Rights Amendment should have been passed, with the clarity afforded by looking back from the year 2020.

In the second episode, William Webb, an African American Civil War soldier from Connecticut, has a conversation with William Webb, who started the Ridgefield Chapter of the NAACP and later became the Connecticut president of the organization. They discuss questions about civil rights, racism, and the voice of African Americans from two distinct worldviews and historical moments.

Upcoming, the Nov. 2 episode will recreate Ridgefield High School’s 1934 mock trial of Adolf Hitler, which echoed a similar event organized at Madison Square Garden by the World Jewish Congress, offering a snapshot of teenage and educational life in Ridgefield in the 1930s.

The discussion lends itself to questions about how we respond to emerging fascism and our responsibility today.

“Hindsight is’” podcast episodes are accompanied by two virtual public programs — the first was a talk held Oct. 22 with writer Tina Cassidy and Jonathan Mirin, of Piti Theatre Company. The two talked about the themes and history behind the first episode featuring Alice Paul and Woodrow Wilson. The second event is an anti-racism workshop taking place today, Thursday, with Kristen Ivey-Colson and Lynn Turner of The AntiRacist Table. They will share core principles they have developed to fight racism, working on themes from the second episode featuring the Webbs. To register for Thursday’s event, visit aldrichart.org/events.

“The podcast series”Hindsight is” is produced by Piti Theatre Company, which has a mission to create original performances and community-building events that accelerate local transformation towards joy, sustainability, and justice.

Support for podcast series is provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts and Connecticut Humanities. Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.              




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