|At this time, each show’s COVID-19 policy is set by the performer… refer to the particular show’s page on this website for details. Respect those who choose to wear masks at shows where they’re not required by giving them six feet of social distance at all times — they have their reasons. Seating will continue to be a minimum of eight feet from the stage, and chairs will be set up in pods of two. If you wish to make a custom seating pod for your party, arrive early and we’ll help you do it. People who have already arrived and have arranged their seating will not be expected to move, and if they’re maintaining a 6-foot boundary that should be respected. This policy may change without notice. The Stage 33 Live crew is vaxxed and boosted and would prefer it if you were too. You should make our newsletter your new friend who lets you know about any substantive changes of any sort, and about upcoming shows.
Stage 33 Live is a welcoming, casual, scrappy but well-mannered, big-hearted, nonprofit listening room in an industrial-rustic former factory with 40 seats, run by chipper upstart adult volunteers on an island in the rural Vermont village of Bellows Falls on the Connecticut River bordering New Hampshire.
Imagine a state-of-the-art, million-dollar performance center… got it? That’s not us. Imagine a sparkly-clean room with glossy walls and cafe tables… that’s not us either. We’re not a bar, club, restaurant, coffeeshop, bookstore, music store, or anything other than what we are.
We’re a listening room. We’re the middle path between the relaxed comfort of a neighborhood bar (minus the bar) and the high quality of a swanky music hall (minus the swank). We’re about discovery — up-and-comers right up close.
Some people are happier in a loud club scene with a cover band, and that’s cool — it’s just not what we do. Not everyone is into deeply appreciating unfamiliar songs played by musicians they may not have heard of before, or enjoying original theater, or soaking in original prose and poetry and presentations.
We don’t do gajillions of shows — one every three weeks or so, with summers off — so each one is special and meaningful.
What’s it like? Go to tinyurl.com/stage33live and click on the Shuffle symbol to get a random sampling of everything ever, from our first days of terrible cameras to our latter days of pretty good ones. (Some YouTube phone apps don’t have a shuffle button, but if you go to the website instead you’ll find one there.)
We started this to help local and regional composing musicians and original spoken word presenters. Along the way we somehow hit the radars of performers bigger than we are, who asked to come play too. Well, sure! Their participation gives the project more visibility and ‘legitimacy’, which helps the people we’re really doing this for. An example where trickle-down actually works.
The room has mostly defined itself as an acoustic folk/Americana singer-songwriter place, but we run jazz, pop, spoken word, rock, and more. Best way to be in the loop about what and when things are happening is to sign up for the email newsletter.
Although our listening events are informal and friendly, they’re rarely a good environment for squalling babies, ADHD kiddos, or disruptive adults. It’s all about honoring the stage. Cell phones off, pop a lozenge if you’ve got a cough. Be attentive. Applaud like crazy though… cheer a great solo, laugh loud at a good joke or groan loud at a bad one. Heck, heckle if it seems appropriate. But honor the stage.
Seating is limited to 40. Chairs up front are saved for people who bought advance tickets or made advance donations. After the chairs are full, there’s some standing room. We don’t sell out very often, but it happens. We have padded chairs, and non-alcoholic drinks and weird snacks by donation.
Only original material written by the performers themselves is allowed. Or stuff from the public domain. We host local, regional, and national professionals and amateurs alike, and we record and film them in the act for a radio/TV/internet program we’re cooking up – the homegrown love child of Tiny Desk Concerts, Ted Talks, Austin City Limits, Science Friday, The Midnight Special, and those old-school PBS performance specials from back before they had all that money, infused with the naive enthusiasm The Little Rascals.
We started with a couple $50 white-label kiddie-cameras because that’s what we could afford to get wheels on the ground; five borrowed microphones, a mixing console we got at an auction for $40 (that went dramatically up in smoke an hour before a show), and a pair of fuzzy no-name PA speakers from freecycle. Our first lights were hardware-store white floods in track fixtures that were already there. We’ve come a long way since then.
Everything we host is because somebody reached out to us. We don’t use a booking service, and we don’t solicit performers. The people on the stage and the people in the audience are both there because they chose to be there for each other. It’s a beautiful symbiosis.
If you’re a performer, this means that you shouldn’t wait for an invitation because it won’t come. Take a look at the “For Performers” page and then get in touch if you’re into it.