2001 Performances


SATURDAY, JUNE 30th at 2:00


A Topsy-Turvy Celebration of the Ko Festival’s 10th Anniversary and of the Arts in Amherst Midsummer’s Day has traditionally been celebrated as the triumph of the sun over the winter darkness. In many cultures, costumes are worn and dances performed to celebrate the spirit of light, life and love. Spirits are said to be abroad, making mischief and turning things upside down. It is in this spirit of the joy of summer light, the mystery of the world of the unseen, and the magic of the arts that the Ko Festival presents this parade of giant puppets and collaborations between local artists and community members. Downtown Amherst. FREE


JULY 6-8


Written and performed by BJ Goodwin

Directed by Janna Goodwin

BJ Goodwin, one of the Valley’s favorite performing artists, was diagnosed in 1996 with breast cancer. This piece is a richly resonant, humorous and deeply moving story based on her experiences seeking help and information and discovering resources. From diagnosis, through a plethora of treatments, to the transformation of a life, this is one woman’s journey of healing body and soul.




Mettawee River Company/The Shakespeare Project

Ralph Lee’s production uses an array of puppets to show the adventures of Archy and Mehitabel, two characters who first appeared in Don Marquis’ column in the New York Evening Sun in 1916. Archy, a cockroach who possesses the reincarnated spirit of a poet and Mehitabel, an alley cat with the soul of Cleopatra, and their eccentric acquaintances face the modern world with humor and a sturdy spirit of determination. Glimpse the urban life from the lowly perspective of this little bug-poet. Outdoors on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn off Snell Street.

Adults $5.00, Children $3.00


JULY 27-29


Progress Theatre

A look at the archetype of black womanhood found in the famous Nina Simone song “Peaches,” examined through the lens of history. This talented company of dynamic, young New York performers is directed by Cristal Chanelle Truscott. A co-presentation of the Ko Festival of Performance, NewWorld Theater, and P.S. 122



I WILL BEAR WITNESS: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer

Theatre Three Collaborative

Co-Adapted and Performed by George Bartenieff

Co-Adapted and Directed by Karen Malpede

“To see I Will Bear Witness is to experience something central to the life of the past century. You may feel stronger, more knowledgeable and emotionally richer. At least I did.”

-Michael Feingold, Village Voice

For all twelve years of the Third Reich, Victor Klemperer, a German Jew who was never deported, kept a secret diary. He recorded in meticulous detail the humiliations and insults, absurdities and brutalities of a civilized society sliding into barbarism. Published in English to universal acclaim only last year, the deeply personal and stunningly vivid diaries are transformed into a riveting solo performance.


JUNE 25-30


Alison Heimsted

The making and performing of large puppets can empower communities to come together and create their own images for celebration or protest. This workshop we will look at variety of large puppet forms including backpack puppets, three-pole puppets and dragons. Led by Alison Heimstead, (Bread & Puppet and Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre’s Mayday Parade in Minneapolis), students will design puppets, build them, and choreograph a sequence for the Midsummer Parade.


JULY 2-7

VIDEOTAPING LIVE PERFORMANCE: For directors, choreographers & performers

Michael Billingsley

Tired of poor quality video documentation of live performances? This workshop with Michael Billingsley, video artist, audio engineer and Executive Director of ACT will cover single and multi-camera shoots, camera techniques, technical and aesthetic considerations in working with theatrical sound and lighting, postproduction and presentation. Participants will gain practical experience working in TV studio situations and in the theater capturing live performance on video. No previous experience necessary.


JULY 23-28


Michael Rohd

Explore performance process and issue-based dialogue with groups; work on facilitation, improvisation, movement, ensemble, and generating performance material. Make art while learning tools to take back to your group. Michael Rohd, author of Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue, will share his work as founder of Hope Is Vital, an international theatre and community dialogue resource. These tools can be used in a variety of professional and community contexts, including public health, educational, and theatre settings. Limited enrollment, so register soon!