Theatre Three Collaborative comes to Farm Arts Collective this weekend

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 5/27/21

Theatre Three Collaborative, in association with Farm Arts Collective, proudly presents the world premiere of “Blue Valiant,” written and directed by Karen Malpede and starring George …

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Theatre Three Collaborative comes to Farm Arts Collective this weekend

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Theatre Three Collaborative, in association with Farm Arts Collective, proudly presents the world premiere of “Blue Valiant,” written and directed by Karen Malpede and starring George Bartenieff and Kathleen Chalfant.

The production is the story of “a wild, untamable horse and [a] woman, Hannah Doyle, who risks her own life to discover the horse’s secret; the wily stable owner, Sam Brown, who teaches through taunts; and Maya Zelaya, a young refugee. Each has lost what they loved the most and must find the way to heal.”

In its press release, Theatre Three Collaborative says that the horse “will be played as a live piano score by Theater Three Collaborative’s resident composer Arthur Rosen and represented by stunning visuals created by horse photographer Ellen Lynch.”

Malpede has written and directed 22 plays. How did she get involved with Farm Arts Collective? Malpede told River Reporter, “My connection to Tannis Kowalchuk is our costume designer, Sally Ann Parsons, who has a home in Callicoon, NY. She suggested that we bring the play to Tannis and the Farm Arts Collective. I was familiar with Tannis’ work and she’s a wonderful theatre artist and a wonderful person. We are so happy to be [presenting the play] there.

“Our team went up to the farm in various motorcades to check out the site,” the playwright continued. “Tannis and I are connected through ‘eco-theatre’. I teach environmental justice at John Jay College in New York City.”

“Blue Valiant” will be performed outdoors for two performances only, and while it was not originally intended as such, Malpede had this to say: “It was written to be produced in a theatre, but [because of the pandemic], it’s our good fortune to be able to take the play outside. Our lighting designer, Tony Giovannetti, worked at the Metropolitan Opera for many years and has great experience lighting actors outdoors. It’s sort of thrilling, actually. I have a wonderful tech and design team with whom I’ve worked for many years.”

When asked about the audience, the actors and COVID-19 restrictions, Malpede said, “The audience will be socially distanced in groups of two and the actors will be distanced from the audience. Everybody working on the show is vaccinated... We love the site and it’s quite an extraordinary gift to us to be able to work at Farm Arts Collective.”

“Blue Valiant” will be performed Saturday and Sunday, May 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Willow Wisp Organic Farm, located at 38 Hickory Ln., Damascus, PA. For tickets and information, call 570/798-9530, go to www.farmartscollective.org or www.myrivertickets.com.

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