Valley clergy will be among readers in back-to-back staged presentations of Voices from Chernobyl, adapted for performance by Vermont’s Spencer Smith from the book of interviews compiled by Svetlana Alexievich. The play dramatizes the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl, Ukraine, nuclear power plant disaster that occurred 25 years ago, beginning on April 26.
“Especially in light of the Fukushima meltdowns, identified by the Japanese government as disasters as serious as the Chernobyl accident, this performance is riveting and full of insight about the dangers of nuclear power,” said Hattie Nestel, organizer of the event.
Amherst: A reading of Voices from Chernobyl in Amherst will begin at 7 pm Monday, April 25 in the Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall at the corner of Boltwood and Spring streets.
Northampton: The Northampton reading will begin at 7 pm Tuesday, April 26, in the Unitarian Society of Northampton / Florence at 220 Main Street.
Both readings are open to the public, and a donation jar will be provided.
Amherst performers include the Revs. Steven Wilco, Randy Wilburn, and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Rabbi Benjamin Weiner, and Alice Swift, Gerry Weiss, and Ruth Hooke. Court Dorsey will direct.
Northampton performers include the Revs. Cindy Stahler, Peter Kakos, Peter Ives, Janet Bush, and Andrea Ayvazian with Michael Ryan and Nancy First. Jeannine Haas will direct.
The Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant disasters have been rated the worst in history. At Chernobyl, a 250-square-mile area around the power plant is officially uninhabitable, an exclusion zone still set aside by officials as off limits because of continually high levels of radiation. It is likely to be off limits for thousands of years.
Sponsors of the Amherst and Northampton readings are the Nuclear Free Future Committee of the American Friends’ Service Committee, Traprock Peace Center, Grace Episcopal Church, and the Citizens Awareness Network.