Who We Are
Stage East History
In the mid 1980's, a group of theater artists who had worked together while students at Harvard University, shared a common dream. They wished to make theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience. So instead of following the usual path for theater graduates which was to try to break into the theater scene in New York, they chose instead to create theater in rural communities across the country who would otherwise not ever have had the opportunity to experience theater. They traveled to places none of them had ever visited before, like Marmarth, North Dakota, and Norcatur Kansas. In each community they took up residence for several months where they would create a performance company mixing the professional Cornerstone ensemble with local talent. Together they collaborated in the production of a play that was often an adaptation of a classic, but was always informed by and addressed local concerns. The result was that each community ended up telling their own stories. For example, in Port Gibson, Mississippi, they performed Romeo and Juliet and cast Romeo as an African American, and Juliet as a member of the white community, which gave the famous Shakespearean classic instant immediacy. The resulting conflicts which this created within that community were beautifully resolved through the shared, cathartic experience of the play. Read More
Stage East is Formed
Kathy Chicoine in "Playboy of the Western World"
Community residents formed Stage East in 1990. The first production was "Playboy of the Western World".