Our holiday treat for you!

We cannot hold our annual holiday potluck and musical evening, so this year we will offer a special online performance by Pontine Theatre. Join Co-Artistic Directors, Greg Gathers, and Marguerite Mathews as they share their 40-minute original staging of Sarah Orne Jewett’s beloved story, A White Heron. This virtual theatrical production for all ages can be seen through December 31, 2020.

To attend the online performance, email cooklib@tamworthlibrary.org to request the link.

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)  was an American writer born into an old New England family in the coastal town of South Berwick, Maine. Drawing from her native region, she is admired for her stories celebrating small town life set on the Maine seacoast.  Pontine brings Jewett’s story to life onstage through storytelling, toy theatre figures, shadow puppetry and rolling panoramas.   In the mid-1880s, after the Atlantic Monthly turned down her newest story,  Sarah Orne Jewett wrote to her friend and companion Annie Fields, “What shall I do with my ‘White Heron’ now she is written? She isn’t a very good magazine story, but I love her, and I mean to keep her for the beginning of my next book.”  Jewett kept her word and used it as the title story of her next book.  Readers were universally delighted, and nearly every reviewer singled out “A White Heron” for praise. One critic exclaimed that the story “is a tiny classic. One little episode of child-life, among birds and woods makes it up; and the secret soul of a child, the appeal of the bird to its instinctive honor and tenderness, never were interpreted with more beauty and insight.” Recently “A White Heron” has found new life as feminist scholars have reconsidered the story’s themes.  It mimics and then subverts the old-fashioned fairy tale, in which the arrival of a princely figure challenges a young girl to reassess her place in the world.  All of which explains why this rejected magazine submission remains Jewett’s most celebrated story.

Since 1977, Pontine Theatre has been an active participant in the development of actor-based theatre, creating work that is engaging, innovative and original. Pontine’s work is founded on the actor training technique of French actor, Etienne Decroux.   Co-Artistic Directors, Marguerite Mathews and Gregory Gathers, have produced over fifty original works. Creating and performing these works, Pontine has introduced their unique form of theatre to audiences throughout New England, transforming audience interest in gestural theatre, puppetry, toy theatre and storytelling into enthusiasm for this distinctive synthesis of forms.

“A White Heron,” a performance by Pontine Theatre
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