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Small Theatre Alliance of Boston

Theatre@First in the Press

"All-Volunteer Theatre Enriches Somerville Arts Scene: Featuring Theatre@First"
By Elizabeth Hunter

"Theatre@First is a very special organization, always working to expand the definition of community theatre. We engage individuals and organizations throughout the community to create affordable, quality theatre in local spaces. (Read more)




The Bully Plays

The Boston Globe
Sunday, October 20, 2013
"Production Gets at the Heart of Bullying"
By Juan Esteban Cajigas Jimenez

"For Jeann Callinan, it only took a few minutes of rehearsal time to admit she had tears in her eyes.

Callinan's emotion represented years of heartache when her only child was continuously bullied during grade school in Medford. The bullying continued through middle school until he graduated and opted to attend Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington in 2011.

Callinan, 55, is the director of Theatre@First's production of "The Bully Plays" on stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square." (Read more)




Part of an article about Somerville, MA

The Washington Post
Thursday, December 20, 2012
"A Crafts Explosion in Somerville, Mass."
By Robin Soslow

"Elizabeth Hunter, artistic director for Theatre@First (think Shakespeare updated with corporations replacing kingdoms and 'SomerVaudeville' shows), credits Somerville's artful abundance to 'the sheer density of creative people,' from robot-makers to circus performers." (Read more)



The New England Theatre Geek
Friday, September 13, 2012
"Bent, Not Broken"
Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

"When the stakes grow to dizzying heights, Theatre@First's production of Bent has the power to draw its audience as tightly as a bowstring. The air crackles expectantly as viewers wait for the other shoe to drop." (Read more)



Monday, September 17, 2012
Reviewed by Kilian Mellow

"The title of Bent refers, superficially, to the state of being gay. But on a deeper level, it refers to the way entire societies can be twisted out of shape. ...overwhelming in its sheer power thanks to Hair-Wynn and McQueary's piercing performances." (Read more)



My Entertainment World
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
"Theatre@First's Bent Delights and Shocks"
Reviewed by Brian Balduzzi

"Theatre@First's Bent is a stunning reminder of the real talent and triumph in Boston community theatre. Their willingness to explore difficult, provocative material exemplifies true theatrical craftsmanship, worthy of the standing ovation on opening night.....I hope Theatre@First's next production, Lysistrata, is as compelling as this production; if so, we're in for a real treat of a season!" (Read more)



Pride and Prejudice

The New England Theatre Geek
Saturday, March 24, 2012
"Pride and Prejudice: Stage Proves a Better Home for the Classic Satire Than Film"
Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

"Elizabeth Hunter adapts, directs, and brings an enormously funny Pride and Prejudice to the stage. Longtime Austen-fans should rejoice at their good fortune. The thorough play is probably closest to my own imagining of the classic 1813 novel.…" (Read more)




The Wheatley Chronicle
Sunday, October 2, 2011
"The Play's The Thing! Community Theater Is Alive And Well"
by Jacob Sommer

"Even though on average people watch over 4 hours of TV a day, we still hunger for the experience and thrill of a live show. Elizabeth Hunter didn't dream of founding a theater company when she was young, but she has always had a fondness for theater. 'I first adapted and directed a modern take on Twas the Night Before Christmas when I was 8,' she said. 'That was a sufficiently challenging production that I told my mother I wasn't going to direct again until I was 20.…" (Read more)



As You Like It

The Boston Globe
"The Perfect Stage for Love to Flourish"
September 9, 2011
By Danielle Dreilinger, Globe Correspondent, Globe Staff

"In As You Like It, staged in Davis Square through Sunday (Sept, 11) by the Somerville community theater group Theatre@First, Jacques declares famously that all the world's a stage, and that men have seven ages spanning birth, youth, courtship, maturity, and decline.

It turns out that Theatre@First is doing an unexpectedly good job at the third age: courtship.…" (Read more)




My Entertainment – Theatre
July 15, 2011
"Theatre@First Intimately Stages Equus in Somerville"
By Brian Balduzzi

"Peter Shaffer's Equus has seen many notable productions since it was written in 1973, including a 1976 Broadway production featuring Anthony Hopkins and Peter Firth playing Dr. Martin Dysart and Alan Strang, respectively. Most recently, I saw the 2009 Broadway revival with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe tackling the same roles. While appreciating the production and loving the script, I was not impressed with the theatricality and storytelling of the play until I saw Theatre@First's innovative production.…" (Read more)



The Arlington Advocate / Wicked Local Arlington
Posted June 13, 2011
"In a Man's Clothes: Q&A with Elizabeth Hunter"
By Maria Chutchian, Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service

Arlington, Mass. – "From now through June 18, Arlington resident Elizabeth Hunter will perform in Equus at Theatre@First in Somerville. She'll be playing the lead role of Dr. Dysart, a character written as a man. The show, about a psychiatrist who must evaluate and help a teenager who has a disturbing relationship with horses, will run from June 10 through June 18. Hunter, who co-founded the group, has a long history in theater around Arlington. 'For many reasons, Equus has been the richest acting experience of my theater career," she said.…" (Read more)



Bay Windows
June 13, 2011
"The World of Equus – Dark or Just Different?"
By Lauren DiTullio, Contributing writer

"Community theatre production offers queer scope through which to view Peter Shaffer's play.

The modest area in the basement of Unity Church in Somerville, Mass. does not immediately strike you as a space ideal for making theatrical magic. Yet as David Policar's current production of Equus reveals itself, easing into interesting visual tricks and incredibly clever staging, you'll find yourself falling into the worlds he has aimed to create – the inside and outside of a troubled teenager's head. " (Read more)



Somerville Scout
Posted on June 9, 2011
"Theatre@First Premieres Equus"
By Sandra Manzanares

"Theatre@First premieres its production of Peter Shaffer's Equus on Friday, June 10 at Unity Somerville (6 William St). The play will run until June 18 with a total of six shows. The play's script follows a psychiatrist attempting to treat a teenage boy whose enthrallment with horses turns violent. The play features mature content and language. Dave Policar, a long-time Theatre@First director, was first introduced to Equus as a high school sophomore.…" (Read more)



Somerville News
June 2, 2011, Latest News, by The News Staff
"Theatre@First performs Equus"
By Sanjeev Selvarajah

"Somerville Theatre@First's treatment of Peter Shaffer's play Equus avoids many of the dramatic techniques contained in the script, but everything else, from plot to dialogue, is representative of its core themes of isolation and passion.…" (Read more)




Bare Bones: A Language of Their Own

Somerville Journal / Wicked Local Somerville
"Somerville Theatre@First to present A Language of Their Own"
Posted August 17, 2010 @ 9:19 AM

"Somerville – Theatre@First will present Chay Yew's play, A Language of Their Own, as a staged reading Thursday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. as part of Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First at Unity Church, 6 William St. at College Avenue.

In his poetic, yet explicit and sometimes raw script, Yew introduces a couple of Asian American men struggling with the meaning of AIDS for themselves and their relationship. Their breakup sends them reeling in different directions, connected by their shared background and deep emotional ties.…" (Read more)




The Somerville News
February 24, 2010, in Latest News, by The News Staff
"Dracula Comes to Somerville"
By Ben Johnson

"The Somerville theatre scene has jumped on board with the vampire craze that is sweeping America today. Theatre@First, Somerville's largest community theatre organization, is performing Dracula this month as its annual winter production. The play, adapted by John Mattera from the original novel by Bram Stoker, is a faithful retelling of Stoker's famous vampire saga.…" (Read more)



Somerville Scout
Posted on February 18, 2010
"Theatre@First Presents Dracula"
By Mark Mazzei

"On Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 pm, Theatre@First will host Dracula at the Elizabeth Peabody House (277 Broadway).

Sourced from the 1897 classic by Bram Stoker, this production uses John Mattera's adaptation from 1980.…" (Read more)



2009 and Earlier

Never After

Somerville Journal / Wicked Local Somerville
Posted September 2, 2009 @ 2:26 PM; updated September 3, 2009 @ 1:27 PM
"Modern Day Fairytale Never After Premieres at Somerville Theatre This Month"
By Auditi Guha

"Somerville – It's not your traditional fairytale, though there are fairies, dragons, merry men, royalty and peasants.

Theatre@First's Never After is a musical about a princess who is destined by a conniving fairy to be a lesbian. Ill-suited to her role as a fairytale princess, she leaves her kingdom in search of adventure. Along the way, she makes friends in unlikely places, fights dragons, finds her true love and discovers her own indomitable strength.…" (Read more)



The Winter's Tale

Somerville Journal / Wicked Local Somerville
Posted April 16, 2009 @ 11:59 AM; updated April 16, 2009 @ 12:05 PM
"Theatre@First presents The Winter's Tale April 23 - May 2"
By Auditi Guha

"Somerville – Somerville's own Theatre@First brings Shakespeare back with The Winter's Tale. Eight performances are scheduled April 23 to May 2 at the Unity Church near Davis Square. Directed by Somerville resident Kamela Dolinova, the performance features live original music by young composer Michael J. Veloso. According to Theatre@First Web site, The Winter's Tale is 'gripping, funny, mysterious and beautiful, building towards one of the most magical and joyful conclusions in theater history.'…" (Read more)



The Rimers of Eldritch

Somerville Journal / Wicked Local Somerville
Posted November 4, 2008 @ 4:22 PM; updated November 4, 2008 @ 4:28 PM
"Rimers of Eldritch Gritty, But With Humor"
By Rachel Rose-Sandow
GateHouse News Service

"Somerville – Murder, attempted rape and other forms of abuse show the twisted side of human nature in Lanford Wilson's The Rimers of Eldritch, Theater @ First's new production. A small town turns inside out when its coal mines shut down in this drama that starts Nov. 7 at Elizabeth Peabody Theatre in Somerville. But it's not all sadness and gloom, said director Andrea Humez, a Somerville resident.…" (Read more)



Festival@First: C'est Levine!

Somerville Journal / Wicked Local Somerville
Posted July 11, 2007 @ 5:33 PM
"Theatre@First Features California Writer in Fourth One-Act Festival"
By Masha Sten-Clanton
GateHouse News Service

"Somerville – Somerville resident Mare Freed doesn't mind having a 'split' personality. In fact, she revels in it. Freed, a frequent performer in Theatre@First productions, will play to her strengths in T@F's new production, Festival@First: C'est Levine! She'll transform herself into three wildly different characters, all within about five minutes.…" (Read more)



Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Somerville News
March 3, 2004
"All the Community's a Stage for New Theatre Group"
By Georgiana Cohen

"With the curtain going up next week on its inaugural production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a new theater group based out of the First Congregational Church, located at 89 College Ave., hopes to spark the spirit of community theatre in Somerville.…" (View PDF of article)