At the crossroads of the political and personal

  • Ellen Meeropol, author of “Gridlock,” which will be read at The LAVA Center Friday.

  • The LAVA Center with local access to valley arts on Main Street in Greenfield.

For the Recorder
Published: 6/10/2021 10:41:57 AM

No stranger to tackling contemporary issues through theater, Silverthorne Theatre Company has announced, along with Local Access to Valley Arts (LAVA), the public reading of a new play, “Gridlock,” a play at the crossroads of the political and the personal.

The play follows two sisters, estranged for half a century over intense political disagreements, who come together amidst a days-long collapse of the national electrical grid. This confrontation with the contemporary is nothing new to the team at Silverthorne, who have previously staged the original work “White, Black & Blue,” which tackles police brutality, as well as a stage version of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

“We want people to think about what the consequences of certain types of activism are, and what that does to people. Hopefully, people will recognize the ways these rifts can affect the people closest to you and look for ways to heal and to empathize before things go too far,” said Lucinda Kidder, managing director of Silverthorne Theater Company.

“Gridlock” is the first play by local author Ellen Meeropol and is loosely based on the events and characters of her recent novel, “Her Sister’s Tattoo.” As part of the creative process of writing, “Gridlock” has been read internally before, leaving the upcoming public reading to represent the next step in her path.

“We had an internal reading with volunteer actors, who read it on Zoom and only for a limited office. The idea was to get her to be able to hear her characters. This is a very standard process when developing a new play. It’s very important to do this for a new playwright, to get the feedback that she needs,” said Kidder.

The reading will be held at the LAVA Center at 213 Main St. in Greenfield. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are advised due to limited seating, so prospective attendees should call 413-768-7514 or email silverthornetheater@gmail.com to reserve a spot. The reading will be held on Friday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.

In-person attendees should be fully vaccinated. The public reading will also be live-streamed, given the very limited space. The live-stream can be found on Silverthorne Theatre’s Youtube channel (bit.ly/2TSCRoW).

“We recognize that this is a transitional time when people are coming out of a COVID mentality. We’re asking our actors to wear masks when they’re not speaking. We’d like people to feel comfortable,” said Kidder.

After the public reading, attendees both in-person and online are invited to join a live Zoom discussion with Meeropol, to ask questions about the play.


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