Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Barrington Stage Co. Adds Plays by A.R. Gurney, Jiehae Park [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 25th, 2016
Peerless by Jiehae Park follows its premiere at Yale Rep with a Barrington Stage production.

Peerless by Jiehae Park follows its premiere at Yale Rep with a Barrington Stage production.

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company has announced two additional productions for their 2016 season, in addition to two one-night-only special events.

Following its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theater, Peerless by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, Wondrous Strange), and directed by Margot Bordelon (Okay, Bye; At the Rich Relatives), will be the third production for the St. Germain Stage, with previews beginning on Thursday, July 21; opening night set for Sunday, July 24; and running through Saturday, August 6.

How far would you go to get into the college of your choice? When brilliant, ambitious twin sisters L and M realize that perfect academics and superb extracurricular activities aren’t enough to get into their dream college, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Peerless is a comedy … until it isn’t. Casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.

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“M Is Black Enough” Fuses New Music & Spoken Word @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 24th, 2016


M Is Black Enough exercises spirited conversation and debate through steel pan, cello, text and voice. Cellist Jeffrey Zeigler (of the Kronos Quartet) teams up with composer-percussionist Andy Akiho, poet Roger Bonair-Agard and percussionist Sean Dixon for a work-in-progress program of spoken word and music, both complex and aggressive. Slam poetry meets new music in this electrifying and thought-provoking program of music and words presented by three acclaimed contemporary performers in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (March 26).

Jeffrey Zeigler is a versatile cellist known for his work within the classical and new music realms. The New York Times describes his playing as “fiery…with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone.” His debut solo album, Something of Life, features premiere works by notable contemporary musicians, including composers Philip Glass and Paola Prestini, and drummer Glenn Kotche of Wilco. MASS MoCA audiences will remember Zeigler from the 2015 Solid Sound Festival where he performed a duet with Kotche.

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Close Encounters with JS Bach… And PDQ Bach [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Acronym Baroque String Band

Acronym Baroque String Band

The Berkshires’ premiere chamber music organization, Close Encounters With Music, celebrates Johann Sebastian Bach and his progeny at 6pm on Saturday (March 19) at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington with “J.S. Bach and Sons: Legitimate and Otherwise.” The Bach brood boasts an illustrious cluster of great musicians who act as a bridge into the classical style. Family members represented include Bach’s uncle Heinrich and his sons Johann Christoph Friedrich, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Also appearing on the program is Johann Sebastian’s “illegitimate” son (the 21st of Johann’s 20 children!), P.D.Q. Bach (aka, Peter Schickele), in a concerto for “Four Handed Viola” that combines musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and the antics of slapstick comedy.

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WAM Theatre Presents “Special” in Workshop Production [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 14th, 2016


WAM Theatre is co-producing a workshop production of Special with playwright and actress Rachel Siegel at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge for a three-day run beginning on Friday (March 18). Created and performed by Siegel, and based on personal experience and interviews with mothers of children with special needs, Special follows one woman’s journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome.

WAM Advisory Board member Jayne Atkinson will direct this funny, unstinting and ultimately inspiring look into the complexities and possibilities of love. “I am very honored to be part of Special,” Atkinson said. “It is a humorous, poignant, at times dark journey – an eye of the needle experience that will move us all deeply.”

“I did a lot of writing during my pregnancy with [our son with Down Syndrome], and knew that I would do something with it eventually,” Siegel explained. “I wanted to broaden the story and interview other mothers, but I really didn’t know any other parents of special needs children. Then I found this wonderful organization called Whole Children in Hadley, started by mothers who knew they needed this kind of group for their own children and for themselves. There I met wonderful women, wonderful mothers, who wanted to do the best for their children. And they agreed to be interviewed by me.”

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Pittsfield’s Town Players Stage Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 11th, 2016
 (from left to right) Alanna Bassett as Jenny, director, Matthew T. Teichner , Jerry Greene as Adam and Leah Marie Parker as Evelyn. (photo: John Kickery of Kickery Kreative Photography)

(from left to right) Alanna Bassett as Jenny, director, Matthew T. Teichner , Jerry Greene as Adam and Leah Marie Parker as Evelyn. (photo: John Kickery of Kickery Kreative Photography)

How far would you go for love? For art? What concessions would you make? What price would you be willing to pay? Such are the painful questions explored by Neil LaBute in his play The Shape of Things – a modern retelling of the fall of man. After a chance meeting in a museum, Evelyn, a sexy, aggressive artist, and Adam, a shy insecure student, become embroiled in an intense affair. Before long it veers into the kind of dangerous, seductive territory that LaBute does best, as Adam, under Evelyn’s steady influence, goes to unimaginable lengths to improve his appearance and character. Only in the final and shocking exhibition, which challenges our most deeply entrenched ideas about art and love, does Evelyn reveal her true intentions.

Opening tonight (Friday, March 11) and with performances Friday through Sunday for two weekends, is Town Players of Pittsfield’s production of The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield.

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The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Arrives March 12-20 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 10th, 2016


The month of March in the Berkshires is known for maple syrup, as the sap starts flowing in our beautiful forests. But there have been other kinds of creative juices rising in these hills every March since 2010. The Berkshires is also known for celebrating Women’s History month with an outpouring of women’s creative voices and visions, thanks to the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, now in its sixth year.

This year, BFWW presents a new conference-style festival, offering 33 events beginning on Saturday (March 12). For nine full days more than 60 nationally renowned and local women writers will present workshops, discussions, readings, performances and talks. Many events are free, although some do require pre-registration and tickets.

Among this year’s featured presenters are the young adult authors Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, a mother-daughter team, as well as the celebrated food writer and restaurant critic, Ruth Reichl, who will give a brunch talk on Saturday, March 19 at Hotel on North in Pittsfield. Other popular Berkshire writers include Laura Didyk, Lara Tupper, Sonia Pilcer, Alison Larkin and many more.

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“A Marvelous Order,” a New Opera at Williams College [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
Jane Jacobs (l) and Robert Moses (r). Fascinating subjects for an opera about a man who destroyed as much as he created and the woman who was finally able to stop him.

Jane Jacobs (l) and Robert Moses (r). Fascinating subjects for an opera about a man who destroyed as much as he created and the woman who was finally able to stop him.

Williams College’s ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance is presenting “A Marvelous Order,” a new opera about the infamous New York City urban planner Robert Moses and the journalist Jane Jacobs. With music by Williams alum Judd Greenstein and libretto by Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Tracy K. Smith, the opera is a story about New York City, and about cities, in general. It’s a story about the people who live in those cities and how the decisions made on their behalf, by those with authority and those who resist that authority, tangibly impact their lives. It’s a story about two brilliant, visionary urban theorists, each of whom turned their theory into practice, and in so doing changed the landscape of New York and the field of urbanism forever. And it’s a story that continues to this day, in New York City and beyond. There will be one performance only, at 8pm on Saturday (March 12). Tickets are $10/$3 students.

This story is told through the lens of the struggle between Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses over the fate of Washington Square Park and lower Manhattan in the 1960s. When Jacobs’ neighborhood was threatened by Moses’ highway development plans, she mounted community opposition that successfully halted Moses’ actions and weakened his hold on urban policy. That moment of conflict represents the juncture between two approaches to urban planning, personified by the two antagonists, that continue to frame the contemporary development of cities around the world.

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Beckett’s “Endgame” at Williams College [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 7th, 2016


Williams College Theatre Department is proud to present Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Written and first performed in 1957, Endgame was Beckett’s first play after he garnered international acclaim with Waiting for Godot four years earlier. Shorter and more theatrically compact than Godot, the play is set in a small bunker surrounded by a barren landscape: “there is no more nature.”

Yet despite the desperate circumstances of its four trapped characters, Endgame retains the unique mixture of sharp humor and vivid characterization that marks all of Beckett’s plays. The combination of catastrophe and comedy, of bleak reality and sharp-edged wit, creates a theatrical tour de force that many claim to be the Nobel laureate’s true masterpiece. Thursday-Saturday (March 10-12) at 7:30pm at Williams College’s ’62 Center’s CenterStage in Williamstown. Tickets are $3.

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