NEC Theatre Ensemble Presents Premiere Performance
The New England College Open Door Theatre presents North of Boston, the premiere dramatization of poems by Robert Frost, adapted by Dr. Don Melander, Senior Professor of English, and directed by Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre. Performances will be held in the Mainstage Theatre in the Science Building on Depot Hill Road in Henniker on Friday, July 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 17 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, and $10 for students, faculty, staff, and seniors, and may be reserved at email@example.com or by calling the box office at 603-428-2382.
Although some of Robert Frost’s poems have been adapted for the stage in the past, North of Boston represents the first time that this material, selected from his first five books of poetry, has been incorporated into a narrative. From this early work, written between 1913 and 1928, Dr. Don Melander developed North of Boston around three main characters: a farm couple named Warren and Mary and Silas, an itinerant farm hand. Their story comes to its climax with The Death of The Hired Man, one of Frost’s greatest poems. Other characters emerge and give texture and color to the play including a poet named Paul, a French Canadian farmer named Baptiste and the famous Witch of Coos.
“Rural life in the early 20th century was inherently difficult,” notes Glenn Stuart, director of the North of Boston production. One poem, Home Burial, deals with mourning and grief and how a married couple Hiram and Amy struggle together after the death of their infant son. Frost is very much a poet who conveys a strong sense of place and the complex relationships among his characters. The audience will recognize many classic Frost poems in the production.”
Melander and Stuart have collaborated on a number of theatrical productions in the past. The two produced a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in 2010 and Much Ado About Nothing in 2008. They anticipate a return to Shakespeare next year with an adaptation of A Winter’s Tale.
The Open Door Theatre was founded in 2003 by an ensemble of alumni and current students from the New England College Department of Theatre. Currently, the company’s cast and crew includes alumni, students, staff of New England College, and members of the surrounding communities.