Spectacular Summer Theater in Ashfield, Massachusetts

I was lucky enough to get a seat to the preview showing of Double Edge Theaters 2014 performance of Sharazad, a Tale of Love and Magic. This rambling one of a kind farm stage creates a real life immersion experience, transplanting the audience throughout the performance from one magical viewing point to another, creating a true journey experience hard to replicate anywhere else.


Image Courtesy Double Edge Theatre

What struck out to me most, was that I actually felt like I was part of the story, a feeling I hardly, if ever get, when attending a performance in a traditional venue. Not to mention how nice it was to stretch my legs, and not remain seated for two hours. While a comfy orchestra seat at the ballet can be nice, strolling along with the cast and crew through fields, up through post and beam barns, and along the rivers edge is hard to beat. The fresh country air, and breathtaking sunset as a backdrop re-enforce the real feeling of it all, more than any indoor set ever could. Sorry Broadway!


Image Courtesy Double Edge Theatre

The story is woven by a remarkable group of local and international visual artists to tell a beautiful tale of a woman who attempts to transform her world through courage and imagination. Beautiful moments, such as an underwater scene and quoting of Rumi, "The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you, Don't go back to sleep! You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep!." There was no sleeping in the audience, as we enjoyed beautiful women swimming through streams, made to be magical sea creatures, and genies popping up from the trees far above, all while an enchanting woman on a stone pillar in the distance waved her fabrics in the wind. All this brought the audience on a journey through a beautiful display of lighting, projection, aerial performers, countless yards of fabric, puppets, and original musical performance. In fact, there is often so much to see, it leaves one not sure where to look next, but always looking at something beautiful. The actors also did their jobs well, performing this famous story of Arabian Nights.

For those who may have been to the Internationally renowned, and award winning Double Edge Theatre, be assure this years performance is fresh and new. This year marks the theaters 32nd year, and their 20th year in Ashfield. They recently were awarded a cultural award from the State of Massachusetts, and continue to thrive in their mission to celebrate living culture through arts, and nature. They offer yearly artistic immersion programs, combining hands on training and collaborative theater production, with an international group of resident artists. Their shows sell out to over 3000 theater guests each year, and it is highly recommended that you make your plans and reserve your tickets for this summers performance early. Get your tickets, and learn more at www.doubleedgetheatre.org. Enjoy the show, I mean, the spectacle!

Images courtesy of Maria Baranova