Ashland Community Theater Gets Ready for Take Off, Dec. 7, 8 and 9

Cynthia Whitty
ACT to Perform “Gate 19” in Its New Home at the Ashland VFW
Issue Date: 
December, 2017
Article Body: 

Everyone has an airport story, Ashland Community Theater (ACT) founder and director Joe White said. It’s a theme he has been thinking about for a year. Finally, on Dec. 7, 8 and 9, the Ashland group will perform “Gate 19,” 6 to 10 12-minute scenes written by local Metrowest writers.
White described the production as “mostly a comedy.” The directors are White and Heidi Hanson.
This year ACT received its largest numbers of submissions since it was founded in 2013. The “Gate 19” writers—Chris Erath, Lex Erath, Bianca Guzman, Colleen Locke, Katy Shander-Reynolds and White—have varied backgrounds: one is a teacher; one, a med student; another, an economist. “It’s an eclectic group,” White said.
White described the company’s distinctive creative process: “The core team, ACT founders Katy, Heidi, Mauro, myself and some others, review and choose [the submissions] we want to workshop. Then we cast the scene, assign directors and begin to workshop with all of them, working towards the final production. This process is a very collaborative effort, a process that differentiates us [from other theater groups]. No one has a bad idea. The process is fun. We refine [the scenes] to where we can perform them on stage. I like to encourage writers who like this process of writing and ‘workshopping’ their work. It is much harder than performing a known play.”
“Gate 19” has 19 actors; several will be heard but not appear on stage. Close to 12 people are needed to design and build sets and with lighting and sound.
This fall ACT entered into a partnership with the Ashland VFW to renovate and use space at the 311 Pleasant St. facility. The space will provide ACT with a long-term home, giving the company more scheduling flexibility than they had before. The renovated space will be unveiled during ACT’s December production.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 at, or $15 at the door. White likes to encourage residents to donate tickets to allow seniors and families in need attend the show.
Anyone interested in volunteering with ACT should contact White at [email protected].