Piece Comment

Review of Monhegan Island in Winter

The one-room schoolhouse is the conduit through which we meet the inhabitants of Monhegan- an community that is isolated, tightly-knit, full of vibrant characters. Through their voices, their activities, listeners become aquainted with a whole town in 13 minutes.
And despite the reference in the intro to the "one room schoolhouse" as an institution from another time, once we're in the classroom, it's clear that this is a living-- and essential-- part of this small community.

The best moments in this piece are the action: the play rehearsals in the school, a local resident whipping up egg nog, children sledding, the community christmas party that caps the piece. The narration seems a bit wistful; as if longing, to some degree, for a time when this sort of insular community was more commonplace. On the whole, though, this is a loving and rich portrait of a place.