Posts Tagged ‘New Stage Performing Arts Center’

“Death and the Maiden” to Open Pittsfield’s New Stage Summer Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Paulina (Deann Halper) warns her husband (Gary Cookson) not to untie her prisoner (Marc Geller) in New Stage Performing Arts Center’s taut psychological drama opening Thursday, June 14. Photo: Peggy Reeves.

Paulina (Deann Halper) warns her husband (Gary Cookson) not to untie her prisoner (Marc Geller) in New Stage Performing Arts Center’s taut psychological drama opening Thursday, June 14. Photo: Peggy Reeves.

Rape and retribution are not easy subjects, but in the taut and ultimately mysterious Death and the Maiden we get a paranoid thriller with shadows of Harold Pinter flickering across the script. We think this mind-bender is a great supplement to our more usual summer diet of easy laughs and pretty tunes, fun though they may be.

Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden will play from June 14th to July 1st at the New Stage Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, above the Beacon Cinemas on North Street.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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“Blood Sky” and Yasmine Rana visit brings International Women’s Month to the Berkshires [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Yasmine Rana (photo by Dennis Dalelio)

Yasmine Rana (photo by Dennis Dalelio)

Under a variety of titles, March has become the month that women’s history and progress is marked, and its course for the future charted. Some countries celebrate Women’s Day on March 8, 2012 and others take the whole month while here in the Berkshires there are a number of initiatives that are scattered throughout the month.

One of the most interesting begins on March 9, and runs until March 25th at Pittsfield’s New Stage Performing Arts Center on North Street. New Stage will host the play Blood Sky written by Yasmine Beverly Rana, and directed by Mari Andreico.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

New Plays Wanted for New Stage’s April Festival of New Works [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
New Works at New Stage

The New Works at New Stage Festival returns from April 13-29, 2012 with a brand new lineup of new works from some of the Northeasts best emerging playwrights.If you have tried your hand at playwriting, it could be one of yours that is staged.

Last year’s festival saw the premiere of a number of new plays that have continued to be workshopped and produced, including the Trial of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which was workshopped beyond the festival and premiered at New Stage in the fall of 2011.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Be Here Now: Rowdy Kids Reinvent Tradition in Castle Hill’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 2nd, 2011
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Holiday traditions get a once over when the kids take over the stage for a holiday show that does a lot to freshen up our favorite traditions. We love the Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, and these days it seems there are plenty of Scrooges around who don’t like either the old or the new. so here’s a show with the best of both.

When the news came that the venerable Castle Hill Theatre Company would be presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this holiday season at New Stage Performing Arts Center from December 2 to December 18th…well, I knew there was a Santa Claus. It’s been on my list for a long time. And I have been a good boy lately, too.

Based on Barbara Robinson’s beloved children’s book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever tells the story of what happens when one church’s boring, predictable Christmas pageant is taken over by the six tough, rowdy Herdman kids – the worst kids in town. It is full of laughs, warmth and Yuletide spirit.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: “Four Dogs and a Bone” @ New Stage Performing Arts Center, Pittsfield [GailSez]

Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Collette (Deann Halper) pitches her vision for his film to bereaved screenwriter Victor (Michael J. Foster) in "Four Dogs and a Bone." (photo: Enrico Spada)

Collette (Deann Halper) pitches her vision for his film to bereaved screenwriter Victor (Michael J. Foster) in "Four Dogs and a Bone." (photo: Enrico Spada)

I am pleased to announce that Four Dogs and a Bone is an auspicious debut for the newly formed Berkshire Actors’ Theatre because not only are the four actors involved very capable and the little play they have chosen is entertaining, but they have cleverly surrounded themselves with an impressive roster of folks behind the scenes. This may be an “actors’ theatre” but Founding Artistic Director and actress Clover Bell-Devaney knows that theatre is a team sport and the best acting in the world only looks that much better when well directed on a spiffy set under professional lights in nice costumes – especially in an intimate venue where actors and audience are in close proximity.

Many of these folks behind the scenes have made names for themselves with stellar work, both visible and invisible, at larger regional venues such as Barrington Stage and Shakespeare & Company. As a critic, when I see their names, I know that I am guaranteed serious work. To put it crudely, actors are a dime a dozen and a big name can deliver a crummy performance as easily as an unknown can knock it out of the park, but when I see that Andrew Volkoff has directed and Brian Prather has designed the set, I know this company means business!

John Patrick Shanley (1950- ) won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for his first film Moonstruck (1987). Although he has written consistently for the stage and screen since 1982, he did not achieve the same level of success again until Doubt (stage play 2004, film 2008) for which he won the Tony for Best Play, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a second screenwriting Oscar. So for nearly two decades Shanley slaved away as a “one hit wonder” churning out screenplays and scripts for the stage with little commercial or artistic recognition.

Click to read the rest of this story at GailSez

LIVE: “The Book of Liz” @ New Stage Performing Arts Center, Pittsfield [GailSez]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
The cast of the New Stage production of "The Book of Liz" in some of their various characters: L to R - Alex Reczkowski, Diane Prusha, Robert Allen, Ken DeLoreto and Karen Lee (photo: Ned Oliver)

The cast of the New Stage production of "The Book of Liz" in some of their various characters: L to R - Alex Reczkowski, Diane Prusha, Robert Allen, Ken DeLoreto and Karen Lee (photo: Ned Oliver)

Situated in a low-ceiled room above the Beacon Cinema, the New Stage Performing Arts Center is exactly that – new. Under the leadership of Nicki Wilson, for the past two years NSPAC has been producing a steady stream of intriguing little plays that mainstream theatres can’t take the financial risk on. I am happy to report that on Friday, July 8, with Guys and Dolls, Going to St. Ives, and Tommy running mere blocks away, a decent crowd gathered to witness the opening night of The Book of Liz proving that there is a healthy market for theatre in Pittsfield.

I would imagine they were drawn to the play, as was I, because it was written by the brother and sister team of David (1956- ) and Amy (1961- ) Sedaris, both award winning humorists and performers, under the nom de plume of The Talent Family. The Book of Liz (2002) pokes fun at the extremes of organized religion and the title character is a member of a sect, presumably Christian, called the Squeamish. Like the Amish they eschew modern conveniences, wear a lot of black, and live in a tightly knit community.

Since I am a mild-mannered church secretary by day, the idea of a play written by two very funny people that poked fun at organized religion was very appealing.

Click to read the rest at GailSez.

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