What's Happening in the Hilltowns

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Special Events, Cultural District Events, Events in Downtown Shelburne Falls

Piti’s 8th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival
Saturday, March 18, 2017
 Contact jonathan@ptco.org, (413) 625-6569
Celebrate the Sweetness of Spring . . . Piti Theatre Company’s 8th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, March 18-19

Featuring Grammy-winning singer/storyteller Bill Harley & Piti Theatre’s World Premiere “Sammy and the Grand Buffet”

In recent years it’s been anybody’s guess when the sap is going to start flowing in the maple trees but Shelburne’s Piti Theatre Company’s celebrated SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival has continued to mark the changing of the seasons close to spring’s first official day at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls. The 8th annual SYRUP Festival will flow on March 18 – 19 this year, featuring the international touring troupe’s usual potpourri of theater, music, syrup-tasting, clowning, all ages workshops and free Real Pickles.

This year's headliner is author, songwriter, storyteller, performing and recording artist Bill Harley. Recipient of Parent’s Choice, ALA and two Grammy awards, Harley uses song and story to paint a comedic and heartfelt picture of growing up, school and family life. Awarded the lifetime achievement award from Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and an honorary degree from Hamilton College, he tours nationwide. The first book in his latest work, a children’s book series about fourth grader Charlie Bumpers, recently won the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award.

Saturday, March 18 at Memorial Hall

2 pm: Piti Theatre’s Sammy and the Grand Buffet is a solo physical comedy performed by Jonathan Mirin, directed by Godelieve Richard and developed in part with Avner the Eccentric (Avner Eisenberg). The show is inspired by Chaplin, Keaton, New Vaudeville as well as the work of contemporary companies such as Norway’s Grenland Friteater. In the play, Sammy is busy preparing the restaurant for the evening’s Grand Buffet…but it’s not easy being Sammy. Forty magic, music and accident-filled minutes later, two audience members are invited onstage to partake of the feast.

3 to 4:00 p.m.: Extended intermission featuring syrup-tasting, complimentary Real Pickles, a raffle with Red Sox tix as the Grand Prize, baked goods and ticket holder discounts around the village.

4:00 pm: Bill Harley performs his own set as well as narrating two of his stories performed by Piti Theatre’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Harley’s performance will start with special guest Northampton singer-songwriter Carrie Ferguson playing an original song written for the Festival celebrating spring choreographed by Piti’s Godeliève Richard and danced by Shelburne Falls’ Ballet Renversé.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 students/seniors, $5 for children 12 and under. One tickets lets you see either or both performances. Tickets are available at Boswell’s Books, Shelburne Falls and World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield (cash/check only), online at ptco.org/syrup, by calling 1-800-838-3006

and at the door (cash/check only) starting at 1 p.m.

Sunday, March 19 at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School

2 - 3 p.m.: Funny Stuff, an acting and physical comedy/clowning workshop for children ages 7 – 12 led by Piti Theatre’s founding Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Mirin. Children will learn the basics of creating comic characters and their theatrical environments. Limited to 10 participants. Free.

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Funny Stuff for Grown-ups, Acting and Physical Comedy/Clowning Workshop where participants will road-test exercises from the actor’s (and clown’s) toolbox that can be applied in both theatre and “real world” contexts like status work, improvisation, creating comedic characters, and developing rapport with an audience. Limited to 10 participants. Workshop fee: $15. Register for workshops by emailing info@ptco.org or call (413) 625-6569. No previous theatre experience required for either workshop.

The program is supported in part by grants from Buckland, Conway, Shelburne, Hawlemont and Plainfield Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Special thanks to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association.

About Piti Theatre Co.

The Piti Theatre Company is based in Shelburne Falls, MA and Les Ponts-de-Martel Switzerland. Piti (pronounced "pea-tea") is an ancient Indian (Pali) word which can be translated as joy or rapture. The company’s mission is to create new work for the stage lending itself to the happiness of artists and audiences. The company was founded in 2004 by a husband and wife team, Godeliève Richard and Jonathan Mirin. Richard is a Swiss dancer, choreographer, director and designer. Mirin is an American playwright, actor and director. Piti has been nominated for two Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards. Piti Theatre is Shelburne Falls’ only professional touring theatre company.


Anyone who would like to see the Festival in exchange for volunteering should call Piti Theatre at (413) 625-6569.


Location Memorial Hall, 51 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls