Stockbridge, MA, - Norman Rockwell Museum and The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will team up in 2019 to present the world premiere of Above the Timberline, a radio play based on the critically acclaimed novel by illustrator/author Gregory Manchess. Performed by high school students from Berkshire County, the radio play will be presented on Friday Feb. 1, starting at 7 p.m, on the stage of The Mahaiwe, 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Gregory Manchess will also be present to talk about his process and experience working on his first novel.

Set against the projected backdrop of illustrations from the book, the live performance will also utilize special animation and sound effects to bring Manchess’ futuristic tale to life. Original artwork from the artist’s book is currently featured in the exhibition Gregory Manchess: Above the Timberline, on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through Feb. 24, 2019. Admission to the radio play is free, however tickets must be reserved in advance at the Mahaiwe Box Office or online by going here

Above the Timberline follows the grand tradition of classic adventure stories, providing both art and story for a tale set in a futuristic world where it has snowed continuously for 1,500 years. Manchess’s expressive paintings, inspired by the Golden Age of illustration, bring to life the story of the fictional Wesley Singleton, son of the famed polar explorer Galen Singleton. Wesley searches for his stranded father in a lost city while responding to elements both adversarial and welcoming—and finding his own sense of identity and family along the way.

Voted best fantasy artist at the 2018 World Fantasy Awards, Gregory Manchess has worked for nearly forty years on advertising campaigns, magazines, and book covers. His work has appeared on covers and for feature stories in National Geographic Magazine, TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and The Smithsonian. The artist’s masterful figure work has led to numerous commissions for stamps by the U.S. Postal Service, including the Mark Twain stamp and the recently released March On Washington stamp.

Norman Rockwell Young Scholars

This collaboration between the Norman Rockwell Museum, Mahaiwe, and Gregory Manchess, is part of a larger commitment to make art and artists accessible to area youth, as a source of inspiration and workforce development. Starting February 1, 2019, Norman Rockwell Museum invites area eighth grade students to apply to become Norman Rockwell Museum Young Scholars. Young Scholars will access Museum programs, internships, work directly with artists and staff, and receive support applying for post high school opportunities. To learn more about the program, contact the Museum at 413.931.2253 or education@nrm.org.

(press release sent to WSBS from the Norman Rockwell Museum for online and on-air use)