Your Town

An Award-Winning Living History Residency and Performance, Available Live & Virtually!

dance.princes of deerfield movie still.douglas mason photo
painting tea box.princes of deerfield movie

What might life have been like for a free African-American couple in Deerfield in the late 1700's? Blending documentary with a narrative that imagines a group of children in who gather in the former barn of Lucy Terry and Abijah Prince followed by a panel discussion with artists and historians. Lucy Terry is America's first known African American poet.

Following the world premiere, now you can watch The Princes of Deerfield at your leisure below as well as the post-show panel discussion.

tea party dance.princes of deerfield movie still
final princes flyer

More about the Your Town Program . . .

Put the history of your town to work transforming the present! By working with museums, arts organizations, historical societies, professional and local historians, librarians, schools and community groups, Piti Theatre can develop original scenes that our professional actors and musicians create alongside local actors of all ages. The new script, videos and/or podcasts become widely distributed cultural resources. In 2024, Piti Theatre's Jonathan Mirin received Massachusetts Historical Alliance's Rising Star Award for a decade of "Your Town" projects.

"Collaborating with Piti Theatre Co has been an incredibly gratifying experience and a great joy to stretch ourselves to produce creative and challenging virtual content amid the multiple shutdowns and uncertainty of this unprecedented year. "
- Namulen Bayarsaihan, Director of Education, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (read the whole letter of support or listen to excerpts from the podcast series)

I saw 'Olde Coleraine' at Riverfest in Shelburne Falls, MA, and was so facinated, moved and impressed - the MUSIC was amazing and so sweet, with the children singing, and the subject matter was near and dear to my heart having grown up along-side a river . . . I actually cried - really enjoyed it!"
- Shauna Lynn, Shelburne Falls

"Your Town" Video Library

 

Residency goals include

breakfast

Giving citizens of all ages a deeper connection with their town

William Webb, founder for Ridgefield CT's NAACP Chapter

Framing current events in a historical context

Case Study: Hindsight Is

Suffragist Alice Paul

In collaboration with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, Piti Theatre developed a series of podcasts in the radio play genre highlighting figures and events from Ridgefield that spoke to our historical moment in 2020.

Podcast Series

"Thank you for the opportunity [to be in the podcast] and the wonderful job you and the cast did in honoring our father's legacy. The exchange between Delita and Bill Webb made me smile as it brought back many fond memories of the love and harmony within their marriage. The conversation between Private William and Bill Webb was compelling in such a way that it provoked the thought of how wonderful it would be for a similar writing/work to be created by Jonathan Mirin and Cast in today's time period depicting Bill Webb (my Dad) and William Webb of today (2020) having that same discussion. Thank you again to all for the care and detail expressed in this production!"
- Nancy Dixon, William Webb's daughter

Reverend William Webb, Ridgefield, CT
Reverend William Webb, Founder Ridgefield, CT NAACP
Ridgefield High Class of '34 who held a mock trial of Adolf Hitler
Ridgefield High Class of '34 who held a mock trial of Adolf Hitler

The "Hindsight Is" podcast series was made possible in part by Connecticut Humanities and the New England States Touring Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Case Study: "Olde Coleraine"

Piti Youth Troupe Rehearsing Olde Coleraine

In response to a request for a new play with music about the history of Colrain, MA – and funded by Mass Humanites and the Mass Cultural Council – Piti Theatre created a dramatic framework that can be adapted to any New England mill town.

Selected Music

"One of our students is a fourth or fifth generation Colrain resident. She was able to grasp the connection between her experience in rehearsal and the oral history lessons her family had handed down through the generations. She was able to be a part of the performance and have her family come and witness her acting out the very life of their ancestors . . . Another student in the class is a very reserved boy. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine he would participate so willingly and enthusiastically in this performance. However, he really came out of his shell and enjoyed the experience."
- Amy Looman, Principal, Colrain Central School

Case Study: "Dexter and the Dinosaurs"

mill.boys

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, a museum and education center in Deerfield, MA, asked Piti Theatre to create a performance inspired by the local history of Greenfield, MA as it relates to the birth of paleontology. The performance also helped usher in a new town-wide annual festival called "The Great Greenfield DinoFest" which engenders civic pride as well as inspiring young people with the story of citizen-scientist Dexter Marsh who discovered dinosaur tracks outside town hall in 1835 before the word "dinosaur" had been coined.

 

Selected Music

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This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.