Solstice is Coming! -- gather your greens, dance your dance, light your
candles and "burn beseeching fires" in celebration of winter's
The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us -- listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
COME CELEBRATE OUR 100th!
in being a part of the Players 100th Anniversary? In a year and a half
The Concord Players turn 100. What an amazing accomplishment, with much
to celebrate! Would you like to be part of the planning of our
centennial year? Please contact Paul Murphy at paulwmurphy
EVENTS AT 51 WALDEN
December 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
and the Night Visitors, an inspiring one-act operetta about the Three
Kings and a crippled shepherd boy by Gian Carlo Menotti. Orchestra and
Opera51 chorus conducted by Alan Yost, with soloists Owen Reimold, Robin
Farnsley, Stanley Wilson, Scott Ballantine, James Liu, and Brad Amidon.
This is a special event to benefit 51 Walden. Tickets are $20
adults/$10 children. Call 978 369-7911 or buy on-line
January 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Youth Theatre Cabaret: Lights, Camera Action. A fun-filled evening of
song, skits and dance by high school and college students. Further
information available at concordyouththeatre
FEAST OF FOOLS
Feast of Fools, a popular festival during the Middle Ages, was held on
or about January 1, particularly in France, in which a mock bishop or
pope was elected, ecclesiastical ritual was parodied, and low and high
officials changed places. Such festivals were probably a Christian
adaptation of the pagan festivities of the Saturnalia. By the 13th
century these feasts had become a burlesque of Christian morality and
worship. In spite of repeated prohibitions and penalties imposed by the
Council of Basel in 1431, the feasts did not die out entirely until the
New members of The Concord Players: Delores Carabillo and Sara and Stonewall Ballard.
The show is cast and rehearsals are underway for our Winter Show, You Can't Take it With You, by
Kaufman and Hart, directed by Kathy Lague. The cast is a mix of old and
new faces to Concord Players' audiences and all have been working hard
on bringing this classic play to life. Performances are Feb. 9-24 and
tickets are available now! Check the website for the full cast list and the link to the ticket information page. We hope to see you there!
we gather here, in this vast symphony of stone, on the morning of the
Feast of Fools. Our streets will soon be filled with those unsavory
elements: criminals, foreigners, and gypsies, who have infested our
city, and are on this one day free to roam without being subject to
The sinister Don Claude Frollo makes his hateful pronouncement early in the story of Disney's stage play, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Frollo's self-lauding sanctimony is the club he wields to bludgeon
ignorant, fearful congregants into false piety and learned prejudice.
His methods are as old as time and as new as this morning's
The stage play is based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel, Notre Dame de Paris and Disney's cartoon movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Its theme is one that the humanitarian Hugo espoused in many of his
works: generosity toward the poor; human decency and fellowship, and
respect for differences. These virtues are pitted against the malignant
hate and bigotry that have plagued the human heart in an eternal
conflict of good vs. evil.
The story takes place in 14th-century Paris. Quasimodo is cruelly
malformed with a hunchback and has lived his life in the dark bell
tower of Notre Dame, where his only "friends" are the the gargoyles and
statues, who talk to him. Smug Frollo is his reluctant guardian, and
visits him in the tower, offering meager treats as rewards for the
cripple's rote repetition of religious cautionary tales.
Quasimodo's loneliness and poignant yearning to be "out there"
among the people of Paris is expressed in a beautiful song of the same
name. Finally, on the day of the Feast of Fools (see
sidebar), he leaves the tower to join the "unsavory ... criminals,
foreigners and gyspies" Frollo so reviles. Quasimodo fares poorly for a
while during the celebration of the feast, but soon he meets and falls
in love with Esmeralda, a kind gypsy woman of intoxicating beauty.
Stories of redemption and retribution are told through the soaring songs of composer Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and many more) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Wicked), with a book by Peter Parnell that both breaks our hearts and pacifies our souls.
The Players have cast an ensemble of superbly talented actors and
singers who will flourish under the very talented Nancy Curran Willis's
direction. Jen Condon will choreograph those frenzied gypsy dances, and
Don Boronson will coax the most lyrical notes from the most celestial
voices--not just from the cast, but from a bona fide chorus, who will sing like angels in the sanctuary of The Players' Notre Dame!
Hunchback opens on the Players' stage April 27, 2018, and runs until May 12.
Auditions for that celestial choir will be held this Wednesday,
December 13, at Tri-Con Church, 54 Walden Street, Concord, across from
our theatre at 51 Walden.