Dinosaurs for the holidays! Piti Theatre Company & Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association are bringing DinoFest back to town – and to much of the rest of the world online – on Saturday and Sunday, December 11 & 12. Blending science, arts, and community-building, DinoFest 2021 will feature Piti Theatre’s film adaptation of “Dexter and the Dinosaurs”, a field trip to Greenfield’s Dino Pocket Park with Jurassic Roadshow, Dino Improv and a Zoom Presentation by a nine year old budding paleontologist. Free tickets and info: ptco.org/dino
Saturday, December 11th
@ Garden Theater, 361 Main Street, Greenfield
10:15 am – 10:45 am: Film Premiere: “Dexter and the Dinosaurs” an original dramedy for all ages with most roles played by Piti Theatre’s Youth Troupe and music by Northampton singer/songwriter Carrie Ferguson. The movie tells the story of Greenfield’s Dexter Marsh’s discovery of tracks in front of Town Hall in 1835. Doors open at 10:00 for informal fossil viewing with Jurassic Roadshow.
@ the Dino Pocket Park (across from the Town Common) with Jurassic Roadshow
11:00 – 11:30:Join us for a walk around the corner with Jurassic Roadshow’s Sarah Doyle, Piti Theatre, Kay Lyons and the gang. We will explore Greenfield’s newest (and smallest) park, play Sarah’s dino discovery game and check out real fossils. On the way we will pass the exact spot where Dexter discovered dinosaur tracks!
Sunday, December 12th
@ The Lava Center, 324 Main Street, Greenfield
2:00 – 2:30: Doors open, informal fossil Q&A and display with Jurassic Roadshow’s Sarah Doyle
2:30 – 3:30: Dino Improv – Children will join Piti Theatre and special guest Kay Lyons in creating imaginary worlds, scientific discoveries, funny scenes and T-riffic dinosaurs. Recommended for ages 6 – 10.
@ The Lava Center and Zoom
3:30 – 4:00: An Exploration of Dinosaurs – Watch Party at the Lava Center and Zoom event.
Efraim Dean Weinbarber is a budding nine year old paleontologist and dinosaur enthusiast. This will be Efraim’s second ever Zoom class for adults and kids. Please attend with sculpey, clay, or paper and something to draw with close by for a short art project at the end of the presentation. Materials will be available at the Lava Center.
5:15 – 6:00 pm:”Dexter and the Dinosaurs” Live Stream with Q&A on Zoom.
Other resources available online for home viewers include Piti Youth Troupe’s performance “The Mayor of Greenpants” and videos from Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, The Beneski Museum of Natural History, the Second Congregational Church, and more!
Dawn of DinoFest
Intrigued by Piti Theatre’s New England-wide Bee Week program and the annual BeeFest launched by Greenfield’s Second Congregational Church, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s long-time Executive Director Tim Neumann and Piti’s Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Mirin discussed how to bring dinosaur history to life for local residents. Neumann states, “I thought that the rich intersection of deep time and local history might merit a new celebration around a great scientific contribution from Greenfield’s history.”
In 2017, the Great Greenfield DinoFest was born. The Festival is particularly indebted to the extraordinary lives of Greenfield’s Dexter Marsh, a day laborer who noticed what looked like bird footprints in the flagstone from Montague he was using to lay sidewalk near Town Hall in 1835 – seven years before the word dinosaur was invented – and James Deane, the first person to treat the strange impressions as objects of scientific interest. Marsh’s keen eye and Deane’s analysis piqued the interest of Amherst College’s Professor Edward Hitchcock, who became the first scientist to study dinosaur tracks and interpret their meaning. Hitchcock died believing the tracks had been made by giant prehistoric birds, but nevertheless, Marsh, Deane, and Hitchcock played important roles in the birth of the new branch of paleontology called ichnology.
DinoFest 2021 is supported in part by grants from the Greenfield and Leyden Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency as well as a variety of local business sponsors, The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and New England Foundation for the Arts Resilience Fund. Special thanks to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and the Greenfield Business Association.
About Piti Theatre Co.
Piti Theatre Company is an award-winning touring troupe based in Shelburne Falls and Les Ponts-de-Martel Switzerland, founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Godeliève Richard and Jonathan Mirin. Piti (pronounced “pea-tea”) is an ancient Indian (Pali) word translated as “joy” or “rapture.” Piti creates original performances and community-building events that accelerate local transformation towards joy, sustainability and justice.
About Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Founded in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1870 as the first historical society in Western Massachusetts, today the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association is a vibrant regional organization, supporting the Memorial Hall Museum and Library, Deerfield Teachers’ Center, Indian House Children’s Museum, and Community Outreach projects.