Arts, Dining & Entertainment

BarnArts opens “Jesse and the Bandit Queen” at Little Theater in Woodstock

Sept. 11-13 — WOODSTOCK — It’s the stuff of pulp fiction, the lore of the West, the romance of the outlaw and, best of all, it’s two talented young people from the Upper Valley riding to the challenges of bringing “Jesse and the Bandit Queen” to the Woodstock stage.

BarnArts Center for the Arts is staging “Jesse and the Bandit Queen” over six performances Sept. 11-13 and Sept. 18-20 at the Little Theater in Woodstock. All Friday and Saturday night performances are at 7 p.m. and Sunday performances are at 5:30 p.m. To reserve tickets, visit

Jesse is, of course, Jesse James. The Bandit Queen is Belle Starr, a rough-and ready- lady of the plains immortalized by a statue in Woolaroc, Okla. Were Jesse and Belle lovers, like Bonnie and Clyde? Who knows? Were Jesse and Belle, like Bonnie and Clyde, infamous outlaws? Most certainly. Did they put their naughty heads together to scheme up havoc? The jury’s out. Fact and fiction slide back and forth during this high-energy two-act play by David Freeman.

Aaron Michael Hodge (Jesse) performed in over 12 productions while attaining his bachelor of arts at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire. He had roles in “Rope,” “Shakespeare in Hollywood,” “ Orlando,” “All in the Timing,” and more. BarnArts fans will remember Memory Apata (Belle) who played Carol in Oleanna earlier this summer. Directing this play is Tom Beck, who has directed all four BarnArts Summer Youth Theatre Institute productions, including this summer’s “The Jungle Book Kids.”

“Aaron and Memory are two of the best actors I’ve ever worked with,” said Tom Beck. “They bring not only talent and training to their roles, but also an intelligence to their understanding of their characters and the script as a whole. The performance that they create should not be missed by anyone who enjoys live theater.”

For info, or 802-234-1645.

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