Facing Closed Doors

Silverthorne Theater Company’s final production of the 2019 season is Goodrich and Hachett’s timeless play The Diary of Anne Frank. Anne’s voice, in her search for identity as the child of an oppressed minority in dangerous times, is iconic. Yet the play’s popularity as an iconic Holocaust story may divert attention from other historical and more recent horrific genocides.

Why this series? The institutionalization of oppressive practices by dominant social groups and the consequent threat to cultural identity of minorities is the thread running through this project. In particular, we raise questions specific to the influence of such practices on youth. Can contemporary young people from demonized populations succeed in developing a healthy sense of their own cultural identity in today’s climate of fear and intolerance? How can literature & the arts represent their struggles and validate their right to claim their unique heritage.

We invite you to come along with us as we explore these questions through the lenses of the unique voices represented in the plays and diaries in this series. Join in the discussions and bring what you learn back to your family, your friends, your community in a bid to bring us together in a society built on empathy and inclusion.

Other Diaries          

Reading and Discussion group     Free         Registration required       Limited seating

                  The reading and discussion group, “Other Diaries”, will read two hitherto unpublished diaries written by other young Holocaust victims. Participants will also read selections from “The Gaza Monologues”, unpublished writing by Palestinian teens during the Second Intifada.

Discussion Leaders                 Ted Thornton, Middle East history scholar;  Bernard Baker, Holocaust history scholar
Thursdays, October 3 & 10         7 -9 pm           170 Main St, Greenfield     Registration deadline:Monday, September 30


Veritas by Betty Shamieh

A Rehearsed Reading.    Directed by Ryan “Little Eagle” Pierce       Free and open to public.          No reservations needed

  VERITAS is based on the history of four Indigenous young men trained at Harvard as Christian ministers in mid-1600s New England. Each in his own way experiences the conflict between their traditional values & the pressures of colonial Christian religious fervor. Characters include such familiar historical figures as Metacom (King Philip) and Rev. Charles Chauncy, president of Harvard College.

Sunday, October 13              3 pm- 6 pm                 Old White Church, Deerfield
Discussion leaders: Rebecca Daniels – Project scholar, dramaturg; Betty Shamieh – Playwright; Ryan Pierce – Director


An Echo of Laughter by Betty Shamieh

A Rehearsed Reading.  Free and open to public. No reservations needed. Limited seating                                         

In AN ECHO OF LAUGHTER, a Palestinian teacher has used Anne Frank’s diary as a text in her English class but questions its value for her students in reading about what would be regarded as an enemy’s experience.

Discussion leaders:  Betty Shamieh, playwright and reader;  Ted Thornton, Mid-East scholar
Sunday, October 13              7:30 pm  170 Main Street,   Greenfield


 FOR FREE EVENTS: Call to register to ensure your place at Facing Closed Doors events. Reservations are not necessary unless otherwise noted, but there is limited seating at some of the venues.
Call 413-768-7514 or write to silverthornetheater@gmail.com
FACING CLOSED DOORS is made possible by a grant from MassHumanities


The Plays in Context Series

Want to know more about the shows before you go? Silverthorne personnel discuss salient points about each season show in hour-long sessions at local community centers. Participants read from the script, learn about playwrights and story-lines, and get a glimpse of the production process. All sessions are free and open to the public.
Greenfield Community Center   35 Pleasant Street, Greenfield     413-772-1517
Tales of the Lost Formicans     April 12    1-2 pm  
The Fantasticks     June 14      1-2 pm    
The Revolutionists     September 13     1-2 pm    
The Diary of Anne Frank     October 11     1-2 pm         
Northfield Senior Center     69 Main Street (rear entrance), Northfield 
These sessions are free and open to the public. Lunch is available during these sessions. The cost is $3, and reservations may be made by calling 413-498-2186. 
Tales of the Lost Formicans     April 18   11:30 am-12:30 pm  
The Fantasticks     June 20      11:30 am-12:30 pm  
The Revolutionists     September 12     11:30 am-12:30 pm  
The Diary of Anne Frank     October 10       11:30 am-12:30 pm  




Silverthorne Theater Company © 2019. All rights reserved.