Stage 33 Live Opens in Bellows Falls

[From the Commons News] A former factory building at 33 Bridge Street is about to get more artistic. Beginning in April, the long-time home of community radio station WOOL-FM, Sherwin Art Glass, and Charlie Hunter Fine Art will count Stage 33 Live as a tenant.

Stage 33 Live, a radio-television-web variety show, features regional performers and presenters offering music, theater, performance, academic, and spoken-word events. The organization is a registered nonprofit, and the Board of Directors consists of Gail Golec, Daniel Hartigan, and Mark Piepkorn.

When asked if there were anything particular to Bellows Falls that inspired the Stage 33 Live founders to put the project there, Piepkorn said, “I live in Bellows Falls. It’s lately kind of earning more ‘cool cred.’ Plus, the room and the stage are here, and half the infrastructure was already in place.”

Adding to that, Stage 33 Live has received encouragement and support from the community, including 33 Bridge Street’s landlords, Dorothy and Stewart Read, Piepkorn said.

Jan and Mike Sheehy, who perform as the Milkhouse Heaters, donated the PA speakers, and FACT TV gave the station a rolling rack for audio equipment. WOOL-FM signed on as an underwriter, and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation gave Stage 33 Live $1,000 in unrestricted seed money.

Still, Piepkorn said, starting a new live music and performance project from scratch with only $2,000 in cash required organizers to “squeeze pennies ’til they screamed in agony.”

Piepkorn said it’s worth it. “There’s tons of potential for artists and intellectuals in the community, and for the community itself.”

Read the full Commons News article here.


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