Arts previews for Oct. 20, 2017

  • “Refugee,” a UMass Amherst production, takes place Oct. 19-22 at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls.

  • “Future, Unknown,” by painter Rodney Madison, opens Nov. 2 at the Augusta Savage Gallery at UMass Amherst. —

Thursday, October 19, 2017
“Refugee” returns to the Shea Theater

 “Refugee,” a play featuring a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor and student crew and the Grammy-nominated musician Tim Eriksen, returns to the Shea Theater in Turners Falls after its full-seat premiere last winter.

In “Refugee,” two Serbian sisters are displaced during WWII to the El Shatt refugee camp in the Sinai desert in Egypt; they’re forced to leave behind their mother and younger brother. The story, drawn from playwright Milan Dragicevich’s mother’s experience, explores “the traumatic effects of being displaced from one’s homeland,” according to the press notes.

By extension, the play poses questions for contemporary audiences about how refugees today are treated, calling for compassion and understanding for those in need.

Performances run Friday through Sunday, Oct. 19-22. $18 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at refugeeplay.brownpapertickets.com.


Garrison Keillor’s benefit performance

 Garrison Keillor, the celebrated former host of “A Prairie Home Companion” and current host of “The Writer’s Almanac,” returns to Amherst Sunday, Oct. 29 for a benefit performance for the Emily Dickinson Museum. The one-man show, at 6 p.m. in Amherst College’s Johnson Chapel, is part of a cross-country tour in which Keillor delivers  “a special program that weaves Emily Dickinson into an evening of storytelling and song,” according to press notes. Tickets start at $70. For more information, visit emilydickinsonmuseum.org/tellitslant. 

New exhibit at the Augusta Savage Gallery

Rodney Madison’s painting exhibition “Future, Unknown” will be shown at the Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1, with an opening reception Nov. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The curator of Madison Studio Gallery in Millers Falls, Madison has roots in Chicago’s South Side and has embraced influences from Europe, a Berkshire art colony, jazz and other sources. He did not discover his passion for self-expression through visual arts until he was in his 50s.

“As I dip the brush into paint and then onto canvas, the painting’s future is unknown, unforeseen,” he says. “My intent is rarely to send messages through my work — what is important is that my artwork conveys energy, creativity, beauty and soul.”