Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good Drama Lives in Unexpected Local Places

Despite all of the portable digital, and at-home visual entertainment options, from iPods to DVDs to cable and satellite offerings on demand, live theater still continues to attract audiences. The intimacy of a live performance, the audience reactions, the excitement as the lights dim and the curtain rises, and perhaps a multitude of other reasons, make live theater the entertainment of choice for many people.

But if you don't want to travel to Boston, pay outrageously high ticket prices, and need binoculars to see the facial expressions of the actors, consider your drama options right here in the Ham.

Community theater, with its often amateur casts and limited budgets sometimes gets a bad rap, but there are sometimes gems to be found right in your proverbial back yard.

The Amazing Theater Company puts on several plays a year at the Amazing Things Arts Center. A recent production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie garnered rave reviews. The troupe will be staging Ivan Menchell's The Cemetery Club in April.

Framingham Community Theater makes its home at the Framingham Civic League building next to town hall downtown. This theater company has been around about three years. It produces a variety of types of plays, from A.R. Guerney's classic Love Letters last year, to a 2006 production of Nunsense, to a murder mystery dinner theater in 2005.

The Performing Arts Center of Metrowest, located in the same building as the Danforth Museum on Union Ave., has a lively children's theater company that produces several plays a year.

They also offer a summer musical theater program for kids. This is the place to be for young thespians who can't get enough of the drama bug acting in their school productions.

Speaking of school-based theater, the Framingham High School Drama Company puts on great productions that far exceed the quality of the average high school play.

And it's not just their parents who think so. Framingham High won the state-wide high school drama competition in 2006, and has advanced to the semi-finals this year. Go FHS Drama!