Marsha McLean: A Night of Theater at The MAIN

Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean Katharine Lotze/Signal

Comedy, tragedy, drama — these are just three types of theater productions that are offered right here in our city. No need to “go over the hill.” Come visit the city of Santa Clarita’s premier arts and entertainment district — Old Town Newhall. There you will discover the ideal destination for theater lovers to see memorable and thought-provoking performances each week.

One location where one can enjoy a night of theater is at The MAIN! Offering a variety of events throughout the year, The MAIN (24266 Main St. in Newhall) is a multi-use arts center that hosts concerts, plays, comedy shows and much more. This month is especially exciting at The MAIN, as a pair of productions are being staged throughout August.

Opening this Friday night, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m. is “Painting Churches,” by Tina Howe. This play follows Gardner and Fanny Church as the couple moves out of their home in Beacon Hill to a summer cottage on Cape Cod. Their daughter, Margaret, is an artist on the verge of celebrity and hopes that by painting her parents’ portrait, she will be able to come to terms with them.

This play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1984 and was also the basis for the 1994 film “The Portrait,” starring Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall. It is funny, sad and heartwarming all at once. “Painting Churches” has performances Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18.

I love going to the theater because of the immersive experience each play and performance delivers. As soon as you walk in and find your seat you are transported to a world where anything is possible and you don’t know what will happen next, especially if you are seeing a production for the first time.

One production that is guaranteed to take you on such a journey is called “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” which is a late-night performance that opens at The MAIN on Friday, Aug. 9 at 10:30 p.m. Breakout troupe The Old Mask Era and its directors Calliope and Denim Weisman put on this show that presents the audience with 30 plays in 60 minutes.

The interactivity of this show, which has been going strong for 30 years and delighting audiences in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, creates a unique audience experience that is never the same from one night to the next. That is because the audience chooses the order in which each two-minute play is performed.

What can you expect to see during a production of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind?” As the timer counts down, performers will alternate between comic, tragic, political, personal and abstract plays. The 30 chosen are from a larger collection of material to ensure a new show every night. You can be part of this phenomenon at The MAIN Aug. 9, 10 and 17 starting at 10:30 p.m. or join the mid-week show on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

You’ll want to be sure to get to The MAIN when doors open for any show you attend so you will be sure to obtain a seat for you and your friends. The intimate nature of the space means that there is no such thing as a bad seat in the house.

Whether you are an avid theater lover like I am or want to see a show for the first time, visit The MAIN to see a unique blend of performances. You can learn more about shows at The MAIN and purchase tickets by visiting

Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].

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