FIRST PERSON FRESH – Women’s Solo Performance Festival


presented by PAULINE PRODUCTIONS, in association with KoFest

April 28, 29 & 30, 2023
Program A: Fri. at 7:30 p.m. (Sold Out) & Sat, at 3 p.m. (POSSIBLE AVAILABILITY AT THE DOOR)

Program B: Sat. at 7:30 p.m. (POSSIBLE AVAILABILITY AT THE DOOR) & Sun. 3 p.m. (Sold Out) Click to see to our WAITING LIST POLICY.

CITYSPACE – The Blue Room
Old Town Hall, 43 Main St.
Easthampton, MA


An ADHD Girl’s Guide to…WHOA! — Sue Tracy
Stories Gone Missing — Alice Barrett
Alp Me Make It thru the Night — Jarice Hanson
Telling the Story/Untelling the Diagnosis — Beth Filson 


Holding Space — Vanessa Adel
Friendship: A Love Story — Jo-Anne Hart
Love, Death, & Warthogs — Laura Wetzler

Directed by JEANNINE HAAS (Artistic Director/Pauline Productions) and SABRINA HAMILTON (Artistic Director KoFest), with Liesel de Boor

Stage Manager: Laurel Turk
Lighting Designer/Technician: Ezekiel Baskin
Additional Project Support: Julie Robbins, Jennifer Ladd

Seven women from various walks of life will debut their new “first person” solo theatre pieces that run the gamut from comic to serious, and poetic to music-filled, with themes that include mental health, love, loss, family and showbiz.

In the fall of 2022, Jeannine Haas, Artistic Director of Pauline Productions—with a mission of “strong roles for women onstage and behind the scenes since 2006″—put out a call for women who would like participate in an on-going workshop in which they could dive deep  develop a solo theatre piece based on their own life experiences. Thirteen women, many of them alums or inspired by the Ko Festival’s Story Slams and “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance” workshops, accepted the call and met regularly, engaging in a group process to develop and support one another. Sabrina Hamilton, Artistic Director of the Ko Festival has joined in to support the project both administratively and artistically. This Festival is the first showing of seven of the fruits of this labor.

Jeannine Haas, Artistic Director of Pauline Productions and Sabrina Hamilton, Artistic Director of KoFest co-facilitated the development workshops and directed the pieces, along with Liesel De Boor. The seven pieces, which vary in length from 20 to 45 mins, have been divided into two separate programs. See more detailed information below.

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SKU: First Person Fresh Category:




SUE TRACY with AN ADHD.GIRL’S GUIDE TO . . .WHOA! Join Sue and her life’s cast of characters on her journey from high school English class to mid life. It turns out everything she needed to know was in her high school text book. Too bad she never read it.

Sue Tracy most recently played Kate in the Irish play Dancing at Lughnasa, where she was delighted to bring all of her Irish heritage to bear for that role. She is passionate about pickleball and all things outdoors. She combines her love of humor and the outdoors in her role as Director of Programs and Development at All Out Adventures.

ALICE BARRETT with STORIES GONE MISSING uses stories her Irish grandmother told, stories her grandmother would not tell, folklore and poetry to explore her lineage. We carry our lineage around with us everywhere we go, in our bodies and spirits. We discover it with our stories. We are our stories, the ones told, and the ones hidden.

Alice Barrett was born this time around, May 1949 in New York City. Her parents were “narrowbacks,” first generation Irish. Now she lives with Jeannine Haas and a couple of animals in a small house on a small mountain in Goshen, MA. She is a member of Back Porch Writers. Her book, “The Bridge” is available from her, from Human Error Press, and Amazon.

JARICE HANSON with ALP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT  is a  story that recalls a special night in which a frightened young woman confronted the reality of one of her family’s most deeply held secrets.  In her aloneness, she finds a part of herself that has been hidden, and in one night, the trajectory of her life changes.

Jarice Hanson has finally realized her high school ambition to write and perform her own material. While acting as a responsible adult and indentured servant at the University of Massachusetts as a Professor of Communication she also performed in professional theater, tv, and film.  She now tours with her Chautauqua performance of “Frances Perkins: A Woman’s Work.”   While comfortable speaking the words of others on stage, she thanks this amazing group of women for their bravery and honesty in showing how deep feelings and life memories create stories that touch hearts and minds.

BETH FILSON with TELLING THE STORY/UNTELLING THE DIAGNOSIS: is about one woman’s collision with the mental health system as she confronts personal crisis. The piece challenges current constructs around mental illness and helping, and asks: Who gets to tell our stories, and what our stories are about—especially in the context of the psychiatric system. 

Beth Filson earned her MFA in Poetry at the University of Iowa, Writers Workshop. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Wild Light Poetry Contest from Red Hen Press and The Los Angeles Review. Beth is known nationally and internationally for her work in trauma-informed practices, and has been using her experience as a former psychiatric patient to inform her work. This is her first staged performance bringing some of those stories to the community she lives in and loves.


VANESSA ADEL with HOLDING SPACE:  which is about parenting a child who does not fit easily into the boxes of social and institutional imperatives. It is about staying attentive to the everyday, to the mysteries embedded in every moment, and to the power of relational alchemy; while struggling to navigate our collective conditions and conditioning in a time of crisis, crumbling institutions, and irrelevant road maps.

Vanessa is so grateful to be a part of this theater production. A long-time adjunct professor in sociology, she recently left academia to pursue independent research and writing, community climate education, and performance, while homeschooling one of her four children. She lives in Northampton with her partner and two of their four amazing children.

JO-ANNE HART with FRIENDSHIP, A Love Story: Love stories are rarely told about friends. But finding one’s deepest friend to last a lifetime is sacred. This is the story of a troubled young woman forming connection and trust with a man whose love permanently changed her life. From a time before email and cellphones this storyteller uses the history of their letters to illustrate their enduring love.

By far the highlight of Jo-Anne’s new foray into performing is winning the Grand Slam Prize at the KoFest 2022 Story Slam. She has also told a Moth story live in Boston. Jo-Anne has a PhD in Political Science and an MFA in Creative Writing. She is a professor at Lesley University teaching both in Social Sciences and in the Arts and Culture grad program. She is grateful to Jeannine Haas and Sabrina Hamilton for this solo opportunity.

LAURA WETZLER with LOVE, DEATH, & WARTHOGS: Starting from her first crazy gig in the Catskills and ending with her bizarre misadventure as a part-time safari guide, musician & filmmaker Laura Wetzler’s rollicking new first-person narrative explores themes of love, death, identity, cancer survival, the magic of music, and the joy of being of use. Bravely sailing into the maelstrom of family memories, the reverie of lovers lost and found, and the unknowns of living in a human body, Laura navigates what to her is a very confusing world in six funny, poignant scenes featuring original songs from her critically acclaimed CDs. Love, Death, & Warthogs is Laura Wetzler’s first work for the theater.

Singer songwriter guitarist  Laura Wetzler is a recording artist, speaker, and award-winning filmmaker, touring in over 100 shows each year. “Superb performances” New York Times; “Great voice, great writing!” WBAI NYC. Her CDs Flying, Songwriter’s Notebook, Kabbalah Music, Again! Again! & The Fracking Blues receive wide airplay. Laura’s first film, What Happened at the Veterans Home? (2021) which she wrote, directed, produced, and scored, has won 14 international awards, including Best Screenplay in Paris, Palm Springs, & Philadelphia, Best Humanitarian Film in Prague, and Honorable Mention at the Cannes World Film Festival, and is now available for streaming. Laura is also the US director of the Abayudaya Deaf Education Program (volunteer).More at and on FB.


JEANNINE HAAS  (Producing Artistic Director of Pauline Productions) has been a member of Actor’s Equity Association since 1982. She spent her 20’s working in NYC theatre in the 1980’s which included a year acting with the “company-in-residence” at Ellen Stewart’s La MaMa ETC. Credits there include a 5-hour version of Danton’s Death, Katana (Time & Space Ltd) and A Race (Ping Chong & Meredith Monk) among others. At age 28, she moved to Western Massachusetts to be an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith (BA in Theatre) and received an Ed.D. in Creativity and Human Development from University of MA, Amherst (’96). In 2006, she founded Pauline Productions with a mission of making theatre with “strong roles for women onstage and behind the scenes.” (Boston Marriage, Mayflower Plantation, Scaramouche Jones, Doubt, Parallel Lives, Red State of Marriage, Collected Stories, O Yes I Will, The Roommate, Breastless—to name a few) Jeannine has taught, acted, and directed with many regional theatre companies including: TTP at Majestic Theater, Real Live Theatre, Hubbard Hall Theater Co., New Century Theatre, and Silverthorne Theater.  This grand experiment of working as an ensemble on creating solo pieces (a bit of a mind twister) has been a rich growing experience and a fascinating deep-dive with an incredibly talented group of women who are mostly new to writing for, and performing on, the stage.  We’ve been busy planting seeds and bulbs this winter and welcome you as our very first audiences to see our green buds peeking thru the snow.

SABRINA HAMILTON co-founded and is the Artistic Director of the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA which completed its 31st and final season last summer. She now turns her focus to helping to lift up and amplify other artists by collaborating with them artistically, and by mentoring and developing their capacity to present work.  She is the Resident Lighting Designer as Springfield College, but also frequently works outside the region. She has just been invited by the OISTAT Lighting Design Working Group to create a special lecture/demo on the Art & Craft of Puppetry Lighting, during the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic this summer.  For many years she worked with the New York theatre company Mabou Mines as Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Performer, and Assistant Director. Last June she was invited to create an installation version of Starcock for the Mabou Mines 50th Anniversary Celebration,  a piece she first worked on in 1985.  As the bulk of her directorial work has been in developing women’s solo autobiographical performance, she is delighted to be a part of this project!

LIESEL DE BOOR is an honored graduate of the MFA Film Program at Columbia University.  Her films have screened on big and small screens all over the world, and have received awards from The National Board of Review, Eastman Kodak, The Milos Forman Fund, New Line Cinema, and Polo Ralph Lauren, and her feature film scripts have won an award from Nickelodeon, and been selected for the IFP Market.  She is a co-founder of The August Company, where she wrote and directed The Sound of Music in Five MinutesGone and Chekhov. More recent directorial projects include Hallowed Ground and Kelsey Flynn’s The Wrath of Mom.


EZEKIEL  BASKIN (Lighting Design/Technician)proud to serve as Pauline Productions’ Resident Lighting Designer! Favorite shows with Pauline Productions include NOW, Breastless, 4000 Miles, and Scaramouche Jones. They are a freelance director, arts educator, producer, and lighting designer. Recent directing credits include The Monastery (Theater Between Addresses), Grail Knight (TBA), Plague Wedding (TBA), Night Train (Electric Lite Collective), Queer Intimacies (Eggtooth Productions), Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Hampshire College), and Caeneus (HC). Recent lighting design credits include Intimate Apparel (Silverthorne Theater Company), Time as a Symptom (Philly Fringe), Blood and Water (Viewpoint Theater), A Little Night Music (Greater Worcester Opera), The Life and Death of Queen Margaret (Real Live Theatre), and various concerts for Five College Dance. Ezekiel is a Governing Member of Real Live Theatre, a Founding Member of Theater Between Addresses, Vice President of the Board of Silverthorne Theater Company, and a member of Play Incubation Collective’s Artistic Advisory Team.

JULIE ROBBINS (Publicity and Support) has a passion for creativity. Although not performing her “mythic piece,” that she wrote during this inspiring workshop, she has been active in the valley theater scene since 2006 when she was initially on the board of directors of New Century Theater appearing on stage in Lend Me a Tenor and two other productions in the valley. She has a knack for writing dirty limericks, poems and prose.  Her first full-length play called  Scared-Giver: the musical won her accolades from her supportive friends and  biased husband Joel, whom she lives with in Northampton.  She is the life engagement coordinator of Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton.  If you ever want to volunteer your passions, she eagerly awaits your call!!

LAUREL TURK (Stage Management) is a writer, singer, and performer.  Her backstage experience dates back to pulling the curtain for her 8th grade production of Blithe Spirit.  This is her debut a Stage Manager, so you can blame her for anything that goes wrong.  Previous work with Pauline Productions includes the debut production of her first play, Breastless.  It went on to win the Festival Award at the Midtown International Theater Festival in 2016.  Laurel is honored to work with this stunning group of women and to witness the unfolding of their stories.

JENNIFER LADD has had the pleasure of working with Pauline Productions in the play Mayflower Plantation and has done a short one-person piece, What You Should Do With A Million Dollars. She has always wanted to act in a John Sayles movie but in lieu of that, has enjoyed taking acting classes with Jeannine Haas and Toby Bercovici.

Production Support

Chief Production Sponsor: Martha Richards, Founder of

Pauline Productions has been supported, in part, for this project by contributions from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and Art Angels

Ko has been supported, in part, for this project by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency

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