On the Stage
Enchanted Circle Theater is a professional theater company that produces original plays on historical, cultural and socially relevant themes designed to capture the imagination of school and community-based audiences. ECT’s productions and workshops have earned national acclaim. In addition to thousands of schools and museums along the East Coast, the company has performed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the Jewish Museum in NYC, the Amaturo Theater in Miami, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston.
For twenty-five years, we presented touring school-based performances that focused on the peoples of the earth, literature, and the earth itself. Our productions sparked children’s interest in cultures around the world and integrated music, dance, theater, visual and literary arts for a fully arts-integrated approach to learning.
In 2000, we began to create site-based historical plays on socially relevant themes for our region. We currently have two of those productions in repertoire.
BETWEEN THE CANALS: The Evolution of a Mill Town is a Living Museum-styled theater production, which ECT premiered in 2001 and performed on-site in the historic Lyman Mill, now known as Open Square. Back by popular demand, we have re-designed the play so it can tour to any location.
In BETWEEN THE CANALS, the audience is transported back in time, from present day Holyoke to the mid-1800s.Through a series of vignettes, live music and a dramatic slide show, the audience witnesses the building of the 1,000 foot dam across the Connecticut River; French-Canadian children leaving their family farm to work in the mills; Irish and Canadian children working 14 hours a day in a textile mill; a Labor Union meeting where they draft a resolution to improve working conditions; and Susan B. Anthony speaking from the steps of the new Holyoke City Hall. The play ends back in present day, as a young Puerto Rican child prepares for her first day of school in her new home. BETWEEN THE CANALS offers a message of hope for the future, based in the harsh realities and personal triumphs of the past.
THE SKINNER SERVANTS’ TOUR: A Living History of Wistariahurst is more than a house tour and more than a play. It’s 1927- Holyoke. The mansion is in chaos. The mill owner’s daughter demands perfection, and the housekeeper is losing her mind. Find yourself behind the scenes in the home of America’s premier silk manufacturer, William Skinner. The Skinner Servants’ Tour reveals the disparate lives of the rich and the poor, and the compelling relationship between them.
- Night, by Elie Wiesel
- Go Tell It On The Mountain, by James Baldwin
- The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
- When I was Puerto Rican, by Esmerelda Santiago
- A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines
For more information on booking a performance, dramatic reading, or to inquire about commissioning an original work for your museum or historic home, email firstname.lastname@example.org at (413) 534-3789.
“The art of masterful storytelling is alive and well in the hands of Enchanted Circle Theater, with its combination of impeccable artistry, delightful good humor and incredibly imaginative costumes.” ~Librarian, Springfield, MA
” I learned many ways to focus children’s attention using quick activities. I gained suggestions for ways to stimulate discussion and expand vocabulary and oral language for my ESL students.”
~ Holyoke Public Schools Kindergarten Teacher