Emergent Ensemble Theatre and “The Aliens” Found in Housatonic Tunnel [Berkshire on Stage]

June 3rd, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara
The actors

The actors

By Larry Murray

The Emergent Ensemble Theatre is a new performing company we want to tell you about, and they are currently performing Annie Baker’s The Aliens in a back alley tunnel off the main drag in Housatonic. Word is, it’s wonderful. The unlikely humorous and heart-wrenching play is not in a theater, but being performed next to the Housatonic River at 430 Park St. It runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm through June 7.

For those who think theater has become the last refuge of the elderly and set-in-their-ways crowd, this new company is breaking all the traditions and reinventing the art form for a new generation of fearless explorers of life, drama and meaning. They are homegrown and have been using the Front Street Gallery in Housatonic as their rehearsal space, but when it came time to perform, they needed a very special space, one that would lend itself to Baker’s story.

They ultimately decided on a non-traditional venue, a tunnel attached to a historic mill building in Housatonic. It provides a perfect backdrop for the story. To quote the production’s director in The Berkshire Edge: “We thought about using a coffee shop, but discarded the idea quickly because the play is hyper-realistic. On the other hand, I didn’t want it to get lost in an outdoor space, either,” said Maizy Broderick Scarpa. “So we started searching for more traditional theaters. But while rehearsing in Housatonic we found this tunnel, and it was instantly clear that we had to perform here; not only does it provide the framing the play needs, but the entire company is completely energized by the space.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Five Firsts: Dona Frank of the Spurs, USA

February 16th, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg
Dona Frank and The Spurs


1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Highway 61 Revisited,” Bob Dylan. It was a toss-up between this and the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul,” but I was not able to convince my parents to give me the money to buy both. I wasn’t much of a “chore” person, but I remember working in the neighbor’s yard to earn the money to eventually buy “Highway 61.” This came to be one of the most important records of my life and led me on a path of poetry, music and literature. There is a very impactful phrase in one of the cuts, “Like A Rolling Stone,” that I repeated then and still do today… “When you ain’t got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal”. It still says it all.

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ArtBeat: Jump In!

September 3rd, 2009, 2:22 pm by Greg

jumpinHead first!
Feet first!
Heart first!

It doesn’t really matter which way you jump, but JUMP IN!

From 5:30-8pm on Friday, September 4, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 28 Renne Ave., Pittsfield, Mass. hosts the opening reception for the group exhibition, “Jump In!,” celebrating water in the landscape.

Co-sponsored by the yet-to-be-built Housatonic River Museum, the exhibition features photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture, writing and video inspired by the waters of the region.

“Jump In!” also serves as the premiere of “A Sound Map of the Housatonic River,” a commissioned sound installation by internationally acclaimed sound artist/musician Annea Lockwood.

Nearly two dozen other artists are represented in the exhibition, including Tim Prentice, Fern Leslie, Kevin Sprague, Laurie McLeod, Suzanne Howe-Stevens, Peter Kitchell, Michael Boroniec, Monika Pizzichemi and Leila Daw.

Water-related events and entertainment will compliment the artful offerings at the gallery.

The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibition will remain on view through Saturday, October 31.


Caffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital District Habitat For HumanityArtist Charles Haymes