Young thespians bringing ‘wit, wisdom and whimsy’ to weekend performances in Turners Falls

  • Young thespians ages 12 and over engage in dramatic reading. The Dickens Dramatic Reading Society of the Young Shakespeare Players-East will present a free performance of James Thurber’s “The 13 Clocks” in Turners Falls this weekend. Contributed Photo

  • Young thespians ages 12 and over engage in dramatic reading. From left to right: Phoebe Burch, Satya Johnson and Elizabeth Polatin. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 10/21/2021 4:12:13 PM

TURNERS FALLS — The Dickens Dramatic Reading Society of the Young Shakespeare Players-East will present a free performance of James Thurber’s “The 13 Clocks” outside Nova Motorcycles and Nice snack parlor this weekend.

The cast, composed of 18 young actors and actresses ages 12 and over, will perform at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Both businesses are located at 147 Second St.

The Young Shakespeare Players-East previously performed “The 13 Clocks” in 2014 in Brattleboro, Vt. In an email, Director and Co-Founder Suzanne Rubinstein described the story, which is about an evil duke who gives potential suitors to the princess impossible tasks, as “a glorious tale that offers playgrounds of wit, wisdom and whimsy.”

Rubinstein feels that dramatic performances of classical literature hold weight due to the relevance of prominent themes.

“It is helpful and important for young people to have a relationship to thoughts and ideas of the past,” Rubinstein wrote. “Classical theater, Shakespeare’s plays specifically, are plays about society — stories about the ruling classes, clashes in culture, war, class and justice. These are very important themes to explore today.”

Rather than curate talent, the volunteer-run, nonprofit theater program prides itself on its inclusivity.

“There are no auditions at YSP East,” the organization’s website reads. “YSP East is designed to show participants, their families and the community that these plays are delightful, accessible and fun. Actors learn to appreciate both the language and the drama in these great works as well as the technical aspects of acting and stagecraft.”

“You are never too old for a great fable or fairy tale; reading stories out loud and listening to people read stories out loud is so much fun,” Rubinstein wrote. “Why do we stop doing this when we grow up?”

The outdoor event will be catered by Nice snack parlor and Santo Taco food truck. Members of the public are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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