In 2013 we presented 5 weekends of performances on our season theme of


Each year the performances at Ko are curated on a theme that we think will entertain, provoke and inspire our audiences! In 2013 we’re investigating COURAGE. The shows are by a diverse group of artists who are coming to us from Iowa; NYC; Texas; upstate New York; Boston and Hartford. All are original works, created by the people who perform them & their teams of collaborators.

Many audience members enrich their experience at Ko by staying for the discussions that follow every performance. We use the show as a lens to help us discuss our season theme. The discussion is yes, artist/audience — but here in Amherst, famous for being the town “where only the ‘h’ is silent” — post-shows quickly become opportunities for community dialogue. There are other special events & ways for you to participate including an interactive visual art installation by KALI QUINN. Scroll down for all the info!


July 5-7, Fri. & Sat, at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m.


Sean Christopher Lewis (Iowa City)
Teaching a group of troubled kids in rural Kansas, Sean Lewis confronts the similarities in his own background as his father – abusive, estranged – and charming, enters the picture one last time.  A hysterically funny & moving performance described by one reviewer as a “one man NPR…” (read more)


July 12-14, Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m.


Loading Dock (NYC)
The depths of mankind’s last unknown frontiers – outer space and a grieving heart – are explored in this brave and funny new play about a woman’s solo journey to Mars. Radiation exposure, long term weightlessness, low light, extensive communication delays and poor hygiene are just a few of the challenges astronaut Molly Jennis must face as the first woman to head out to Mars… (read more)
Co-sponsored by The Harp Irish Pub & The Green Internet Group



July 14, Sun. at 8:00 SPECIAL EVENT – One night only!


An all ages event by our annual favorites, the Mettawee River Theatre Company (NYC), on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn off of Snell Street. The story of Taliesin comes from a medieval Welsh tale of sorcery and court intrigue… (read more)
No reservations necessary.  Grounds open at 6:30 for folks wishing to picnic!


July 19-21, Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m.

fo n’ ale

The Performance Project’s FIRST GENERATION ENSEMBLE (Springfield, MA)
fo n’ ale (which means “we must go” in Haitian Creole) is a visual poem, a waking dreamscape in which past, present, and future are interchangeable. Seven young people, from Springfield, but originally from Nepal, Haiti, Burundi/Tanzania, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia and the U.S. are on a journey.  They’ve left their homelands but find themselves traveling the same path, all embodying the melancholy of leaving. Peak moments crystalize experience and become a source of power – carrying them, with courage, into the future. (read more)

This production is sponsored by Applewood- Logo


July 26-28 Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m.


Michael Mack (Cambridge, MA)
Like many Catholic boys in the 1960s, Michael Mack wanted to be a priest. That dream ended at age 11 when his pastor invited him to the rectory to “help with a project.” In the decades that followed, Mack wrestled with disturbing questions about sexuality and spirituality, and imagined one day meeting his abuser for a conversation. In 2008 he had that chance… One of only four playwrights to receive the 2013 Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Fellowship in Dramatic Writing. (read more)




You’ve heard of poetry slams – competitive poetry events? Well we’ve got one for first person, true stories – told live & without notes. Stories will be 5 minutes or under & must somehow relate to our season themes of “COURAGE.” A huge hit in previous seasons and at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery this spring; this event might be your opportunity to take your place on the Ko Festival stage alongside KoFest artists & staff.  Cash bar. And prizes! All tickets $15. (read more)


August 2-4 Fri. & Sat, at 8 p.m., Sun. at 4 p.m.


Judy Dworin Performance Project (Hartford, CT)
A stunning dance/theater hybrid on the healing power of gardens, stemming from an essay by emancipationist and social critic Harriet Beecher Stowe + material by contemporary women in or just out of prison.  (read more)

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION LINEUP: Friday – Kermit Dunkelberg will host the postshow and Jane Wald of the Emily Dickinson Museum will join us because Emily too experienced and wrote about confinement and the healing power of gardens, and knew Stowe. Saturday – Sabrina Hamilton (Ko’s Artistic Director) will host, and Jane Wald will again join the artists. Sunday  – Cathy McNally, Executive Director of Voices from Inside (and Spring Story Slam Winner with her cross-generational make-out story) will be with us.


FINDING COURAGE: A Community-Based Art Installation

Kali Quinn is back again this summer to create an interactive piece around our season theme of COURAGE – where all are invited to participate.
Click here to see more about what was created last summer.