Out & About: Woodstock remembers past through monologues 

Kate Johnson is amongst those who will be performing a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell)

Kate Johnson is amongst those who will be performing a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell) Vermont Standard — Rick Russell

Wayne Thompson is amongst those who will be performing a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell)

Wayne Thompson is amongst those who will be performing a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell) —

Sarah Ward gets instruction from director Sherry Belisle during a rehearsal of a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath. It is to be performed at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell)

Sarah Ward gets instruction from director Sherry Belisle during a rehearsal of a staged reading of “Tales of Old Woodstock” by Kyran McGrath. It is to be performed at the North Chapel in Woodstock, Vt., on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at 4 p.m. (Vermont Standard - Rick Russell) —

By LIZ SAUCHELLI

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-02-2023 6:55 PM

WOODSTOCK — Nearly 50 Woodstock-area residents will join together Sunday to perform a staged reading titled “Tales of Old Woodstock,” which focuses on the town’s first 100 years.

The event features monologues from the “Woodstock Anthology” written by Kyran McGrath and published by The Elm Tree Press in 1980. Each monologue imagines the thoughts of a Woodstock resident or historical figure who passed through town. Community members will perform a little fewer than half of the monologues from the book at 4 p.m. at the North Chapel, located at 7 Church St. Admission is by donation and carpooling is recommended due to limited parking.

The staged reading is being organized by Sherry Belisle, who came across her copy of the “Woodstock Anthology” while looking through her collection of books.

“It’s so clever because he gave them imagined voices,” Belisle said. “Some of them are grumpy, some of them are funny, some of them are inspirational.”

She recalled that the Woolhouse Players community theater group put on a production in the early 1980s and thought it might be fun to put on again. A few months ago, Belisle began reaching out to people she thought would be interested in performing.

“I began recruiting and then all of a sudden when the word got out, people started calling me,” she said.

Now the cast numbers 47; the youngest participants are in their 30s and the oldest are in their 80s. Each monologue is about a minute long.

“People are dressing up,” Belisle said. “It’s really fun.”

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Editor’s note: For more information, visit northchapelvt.org/north-chapel-events-and-activities/news-events. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.