Play tackles the dangerous effect of racism

NORTHAMPTON New Century Theatre's Producing Director Sam Rush will direct NCT's only drama this season. "Spinning into Butter," by Rebecca Gilman, opens July 5 and runs through July 14 in Theatre 14 at the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts on Green Street.

At a small liberal arts college in Vermont, the newly arrived dean of students must investigate the pinning of anonymous and racist notes to the door of one of the college's few African American students.

Acclaimed by "Time Magazine" as one of the best plays of 1999, "Spinning into Butter"is an unflinching and honest exploration of the dangers of both racism and political correctness in contemporary society. "Variety" trumpets it as "A play of blistering force..." Gilman's piece is at once riveting, disturbing, and cathartic in its implications.

Director Sam Rush was attracted the script because he felt as though the events in the play could happen to us as easily as they happen to the characters. "Ultimately," says Rush, "it is a great story with a laser like focus on issues of race and racism that affect everyone without exception." This enthralling drama, with its twisting and turning plot, is sure to cause much discussion after the curtain has fallen.

The third show in a season of four, "Kimberly Akimbo," written by David Lindsay-Abaire, brings humor and pathos to the stage. Sixteen year-old Kimberly has progeria, a rare condition causing her body to age more rapidly than it should.

When Kimberly and her family flee Secaucus under dubious circumstances, she is forced to reevaluate her short life while contending with a hypochondriac mother, a rarely sober father, a scam-artist aunt, and the possibility of first love. "Kimberly Akimbo" runs July 19-28; Ed Golden directs.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please log-on to www.newcenturytheatre.org or call the New Century Theatre box office at 413-585-3220.