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Northampton High School Black Box theater debuts with one-act comedies

NORTHAMPTON — The curtain will open on Northampton High School’s new Black Box Theater next week, with a slate of one-act plays and a special performance to benefit the Northampton Survival Center.

On Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m., the NHS theater department will present two student-directed one-act comedies in the black box space: Christopher Durang’s “The Actor’s Nightmare” and Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound.”

In a special benefit for the Northampton Survival Center, the high school’s two improvisational troupes, Funktionlust and The Unusuals, will showcase their creative humor at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7. The troupes will perform pieces sparked by audience suggestions as an opening for the one-acts.

Tickets for all shows are $5 and are available at the door.

The high school’s Black Box Theater was created for student productions, experimental works and high-quality film screenings, according to NHS theater teacher Stephen Eldredge. School families raised funds for the long-planned renovations, which were completed at the start of the school year.

Eldredge said students are also thrilled to be able to host a benefit performance for the Survival Center. “It’s fun and funny and for a good cause,” he said.

The nonprofit center provides emergency food and other assistance to low-income families in 18 Hampshire County communities. Its two distribution centers in Northampton and Goshen provide more than 650,000 pounds of food to the needy each year.

The Black Box will continue to be busy through the remainder of the school year. The high school’s fourth annual shorts festival of student-led one-act plays is scheduled for January 8-10, followed by a production of the George Feydeau farce, “The Lady from Maxim’s” in February and “Fahrenheit 451” in May. Details are available on the NHS website,

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