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"Not What Happened" at Conn College

Published October 03. 2013 4:00AM
Birgit Huppuch in "Not What Happened" JEFF WOODWARD

"Not What Happened" is described as a "duet by two people who could never have met: the historical re-enactor and the real person whose life she re-enacts."

So are we talking a "Twilight Zone" episode here? Nah, this play is more dramatic than sci-fi.

The piece was created by Ain Gordon, who pulled inspiration from time he spent researching his subject in rural Vermont. His focus was on an average woman doing her chores in 1804. Although, of course, he wove a more complex take on that subject.

"Not What Happened" also features photographs that Forrest Holzapfel, who's the town historian of Marlboro, Vt., took when he and Gordon visited reforested manmade settlements. The idea, Gordon has said, was to conjure "a sensorial portrait of our past."

This is all in keeping with Gordon's reputation for devising productions that reflect neglected histories. Gordon, by the way, is a triple threat - writer, director and actor - who has won three Obie Awards.

"Not What Happened" plays Saturday at Connecticut College's Palmer Auditorium as part of the school's onStage series.

Gordon and Holzapfel will be part of a panel discussion on how history is interpreted at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Blaustein Humanities Center's Ernst Common Room. Also on hand for this free session are Richard Pickering, deputy executive director of the living history museum Plimoth Plantation, and Lisa Wilson, Conn College professor of history.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

"Not What Happened," 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Palmer Auditorium, Connecticut College, New London; $24 ($21 seniors, $12 students); (860) 439-ARTS.

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