New Berkshires theater company, THECO, bows this weekend


GREAT BARRINGTON >> A new Berkshires theater company, The THEatre COmpany (THECO), makes its debut this weekend with the first area production of James Sherman's "From Door to Door."

The show's two-weekend run begins 7 p.m. Friday at Lauren Clark Gallery, 25 Railroad St.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 13 through 15. There will be a special Mother's Day matinee this Sunday at 2.

Bruce T. MacDonald is directing a cast whose members include Gayle Schechtman of Pittsfield, THECO co-founder Harryet Candee, of Monterey, and Leah Parker, of Lanesborough, with Cindy Hogulnick as a Wandering Fiddler, performing incidental and segue music composed especially for this production by Alexander Savronsky.

Set in and around Chicago from 1936 to 1999, "From Door to Door" follows the lives of three generations of women over a period of 63 years.

The play focuses on the lives of Bessie, the matriarch, who finds herself in the midwest after fleeing the Russian civil war; her daughter, Marya (Mary), an aspiring young artist whose memories shape the play's narrative; and her daughter, Deborah, whose own life takes several surprising turns.

THECO is the creation of Berkshires actor, director and producer MacDonald, who lives in Pittsfield, and Candee, editor and publisher of The Artful Mind.

In a news release, MacDonald and Candee characterize THECO as "an ensemble comprising performers, artists, and writers working to create spare — in terms of space and sets — works of art, enabling a format in which the interaction between performer and audience is paramount."

The company's productions will be mounted in a variety of spaces throughout the Berkshires.

MacDonald has directed and acted at Mixed Company (Great Barrington), Berkshire Public Theatre (Pittsfield), Manic Stage (North Adams), Main Street Stage (which he co-founded in North Adams with Spencer Trova), and Jewish Theatre of the Berkshires (Lenox). He also has worked with New Stage in Great Barrington and his own Mything Link Productions.

Candee has been editor and publisher of The Artful Mind for 23 years. Once active in theater, Candee says she ended her long hiatus when she appeared in the cast of Berkshire Theatre Group's 2012 community production of "Olver!" She has since performed in the Berkshires and the Albany, N.Y. area and has studied at several acting schools. She counts MacDonald as one of her acting coaches.

MacDonald and Candee met in a scene study workshop mentored by Patrick Bonavitacola and found, a news release says, that they shared similar visions of theater so they formed THECO.

Candee says she found Sherman's play when she appeared in a staged reading of it in Albany. MacDonald says he "completely fell in love" with the script when Candee gave it to him and felt it was worth a full production.

Complete ticket information is available by phone at (413) 854-4400 or by email at


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