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The Show Goes On

DATE: Saturday, October 8, 2022

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Leslie Phillips Theater

ADMISSION: In advance: $12.50 general admission, $10 students and seniors; at the door: $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors.

Leslie Phillips 24-hour theater festival returns Oct. 8

HCC alumni perform at the 2019 Leslie Phillips Festival at HCC.

After a three-year pandemic pause, the annual Leslie Phillips Festival, an evening of short plays written, directed, and staged in 24 hours, returns to Holyoke Community College.

HCC theater alumni and students will assemble on the evening of Friday, Oct. 7, to begin brainstorming ideas and writing plays they will perform the next night, Sat., Oct. 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in HCC's Leslie Phillips Theater.   

The annual benefit, last held in 2019, honors the legacy of Leslie Phillips and raises money for the Leslie Phillips Theater Fund for Arts and Education. The festival was first organized in 2016 by HCC alumni working with HCC theater professor Pat Sandoval '84 as a tribute to Phillips, founder of the HCC theater program, who died in 1988  after inspiring legions of HCC students.  

Artistic coordinator Denise Boutin '77, talks abourt the festival – and Leslie Phillips – on Mass Appeal.

"This is an evening of creativity and collaboration for the HCC theater community and the community at large," said HCC alumna and festival coordinator Lisa Poehler '84. "It's also a chance to invest in the future generation of HCC's theater program and students – all in the name of our beloved mentor, Leslie Phillips."  

After the show, festival attendees are invited to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the HCC Players, the theater group founded in 1972 and led by Phillips until her death. 

Funds raised from the festival enable the HCC Theater Department to hold master classes, make capital improvements, and hire guest artists – "Anything to enrich, enable, and expand the educational experience of HCC students," Poehler said. 

The annual Leslie Phillips Festival was suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.    

To participate in the festival as an actor or director, please register at or send an email to Lisa Poehler at 

Festival tickets can be purchased in advance at (Search for "Phillips Festival.") Advance tickets are $12.50 general admission, $10 students and seniors; at the door: $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors. 

PHOTO by MICHAEL GORDON: HCC alumni perform at the 2019 Leslie Phillips 24-hour theater festival at HCC.