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Williams College '62 Center for Theatre and Dance

At sunset, the glass-walled dance studio on the top floor looks out at the mountain ridges. Below, on a September night, a young woman leaps on the main stage. She defies her mother to meet a man near the fields where whe works, and she flings herself into the dark with the night birds, raw and determined, barefoot and alight. South African choreographer Dada Masilo and her company came to Williamstown to perform their own contemporary vision of the classic Western ballet, Giselle.

Twenty years ago, Williams College renovated a brick-and-column theatre into the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, a 21st-century performance space, with four stages and high-end sound and video. In the fall and spring semesters, they hold world-class programming, often new work, brought in by the college and a director who also works with Mass MoCA. Students in the Williams College departments of Dance and Department of Theatre perform and create their own work.

And in the summer, it becomes the home of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which has earned international acclaim for more than half a century.