Feb. 16-18, Pontine Theatre presents Burnt Into Memory: How Brownfield Faced the Fire, performed by guest artist Jo Radner. Performances take place at Strawbery Banke Museum located at 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth. Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance online: www.pontine.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door a half-hour prior to each show, based on availability. Performances are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. For information contact Pontine: [email protected] / 603-436-6660.
In October of 1947, after a season of terrible drought, wild fires burned all over the state of Maine. The town of Brownfield was one of the worst areas: 80 percent of it, including all churches, schools, post offices, and other public buildings, was completely destroyed in the space of a few hours. Drawing on newspaper accounts, letters, and oral history interviews with survivors of the fire, Jo Radner’s performance presents an extraordinary story of terror, courage, neighborly responsibility and recovery.
Award-winning storyteller, Jo Radner, has performed her stories based on the history of northern New England from Maine, where she makes her home, to Hawaii and Finland. Ms. Radner teaches storytelling in Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Learning M.A. Program. She has served on the board of the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress and as President of the American Folklore Society. She holds her PhD from Harvard University and after decades of teaching at the American University in Washington, D.C., moved to Lovell, Maine, to explore the many stories she had learned from her New England ancestors.