Silverthorne receives grant for ‘Facing Closed Doors’ project

  • Kidder

  • Shamieh

Staff Writer
Published: 7/26/2019 5:58:45 PM

GREENFIELD — Silverthorne Theater Company has received a $3,275 grant for its project “Facing Closed Doors: Exploring the Roots of Racial and Ethnic Exclusion Through Theater,” which the company’s co-founder says will focus on “engaging and serious topics” this fall.

The Mass Humanities grant will support programming that expands on the themes of the small professional theater company’s final production of this season, “Diary of Anne Frank,” which opens Oct. 17.

Silverthorne co-founder Lucinda Kidder explained the grant is paying for programs that will enhance the main production, including play readings and discussions. She said two local scholars, Bernard Baker and Ted Thornton, will lead pre- and post-show discussions with the audience during the run of “Diary of Anne Frank.”

“We chose this play because we felt it is particularly more relevant than ever in these times,” Kidder said. “We’re in a time when people have nowhere to go. There’s racism and immigration and groups of people having doors slammed on them.”

Kidder said, therefore, it seems necessary for people and groups, like Silverthorne, to address the issues. She said the grant requires that Silverthorne “provoke thought.”

“That’s the reason we chose ‘Diary of Anne Frank,’” she said. “We typically do more cutting-edge plays or plays that haven’t been done as much as this one, but this is too important.”

Besides the play, there will be a rehearsed reading of another play, “Veritas” by Palestinian-American playwright Betty Shamieh on Oct. 13 at the First Church of Deerfield. Shamieh will also read her short one-woman play, “An Echo of Laughter,” in Greenfield in October.

The project will also include a two-session reading and discussion series on Tuesdays, Oct. 3 and 10, called “Other Diaries,” in which selections from diaries of two other young victims of the Holocaust will be read, along with a collection of writings by young Palestinians under fire during the Second Intifada.

All of the programming, except for “Diary of Anne Frank,” will be free and open to the public.

Silverthorne was created by two veteran theater colleagues in 2014. David Rowland and Kidder, who has announced she will retire at the end of this season, formed a new summer theater company on the campus of Northfield Mount Hermon School — both had ties to the school. Since then, the company has relocated a couple of times and currently lives on the fourth floor of the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center building on Main Street in Greenfield, where most of this programming, including the final production, will take place.

Kidder said further dates and times will be announced at a later date or will be available on Silverthorne’s website, silverthornetheater.org, and ticket prices for “Diary of Anne Frank” will also be announced.

“We are giving 50 tickets to The Literacy Project and Community Action so that 50 people can attend ‘Diary’ for free,” she said. “We’re pretty excited about all of this.”

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.




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