‘The Revolutionists’ opening in Greenfield

  • From left to right, Brianna Sloane as Olympe de Gouges, Kyle Boatwright as Marianne Angelle and Eileen Vandewalle as Charlotte Corday rehearse lines for "The Revolutionists." Contributed photo/Frank Aronson

  • From left to right, Julie Nelson as Marie Antoinette; Kyle Boatwright as Marianne Angelle; Eileen Vandewalle as Charlotte Corday; Brianna Sloane as Olympe de Gouges. Contributed photo/Frank Aronson

  • From left to right, Julie Nelson as Marie Antoinette; Kyle Boatwright as Marianne Angelle; Eileen Vandewalle as Charlotte Corday; and Brianna Sloane as Olympe de Gouges. Contributed photo/John Iverson

  • "The Revolutionists" is opening tonight in Greenfield. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/19/2019 12:51:39 PM
Modified: 9/19/2019 12:51:27 PM


Staff Writer

Silverthorne Theater Company’s fall season will kick off with a very different take on the French Revolution from the viewpoint of four prominent women of the time.

“The Revolutionists” will open Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and will run through Sept. 28 in The Perch at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main St. in Greenfield.

The play, which is based on a book of the same name by Lauren Gunderson, is a brutal comedic quartet about four real women who lived boldly in France during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. The fast-paced play centers on the lives of feminist playwright Olympe De Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle. The women murder Jean-PaulMarat, lose their heads and try to beat back extremist insanity in revolutionary Paris.

The show will be director Gina Kaufmann’s debut production with Silverthorne Theater Company, a nonprofit arts organization that was founded in 2014. Kaufmann has a lengthy list of professional and academic productions to her credit both locally and in Chicago, New York, the Berkshires and elsewhere in the United States. As a member of The Directors and Choreographers Society, she recently completed three years as chair of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Department of Theater, where she is an associate professor in the MFA Directing Program.

The cast of The Revolutionists includes Brianna Sloane of Sunderland as Olympe de Gouges. Sloane is founder and director of TheatreTruck, a Pioneer Valley collaborative that crafts mobile and site-specific performance. Kyle Boatwright of Amherst plays Marianne Angelle. Boatwright performed in Silverthorne’s 2017 production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” and is one of the founding members of Strident Theatre. Eileen Vandewalle of Danvers, who appears as Charlotte Corday, graduated from UMass Amherst’s theater program in May. Julie Nelson of Amherst, who plays Marie Antoinette, recently retired from her position as a theater professor at UMass, where she taught acting as well as clown, a skill she will bring to her portrayal of the famous French queen.

Ezekiel Baskin, of Northampton, is stage manager for the production; John Iverson, of Bernardston, is the tech director who handles set, sound and lighting design. The costumes are designed by Christina Beam; Tatiana Godfrey will serve as dramaturg for the production. Carmela Lanza-Weil, of Shelburne Falls, and Rebecca Daniels, of Turners Falls, are co-producers for the show.

As the upper Pioneer Valley’s only small professional company, Silverthorne is the resident company at the Hawks and Reed in Greenfield’s Cultural District.

Dates for the production are as follows: Sept. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee on Sept. 22 that begins at 2 p.m. Tickets for the Thursday and Sunday show are $20 general admission, $18 students and senior. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday night shows are $25 for general admission and $20 for students seniors. Tickets are available through eventbrite.com and by calling the box office at 413-768-7514.

Ticket and reservation information can be found on Silverthorne’s website, silverthornetheater.org. Patrons can use credit cards at the door or over the phone.

Andy Castillo is features editor at the Greenfield Recorder. He can be reached at acastillo@recorder.com.

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