Berkshire Playwright Ren Campbell’s “Opus to Moonlight” @ the Whitney [Berkshire on Stage]

January 27th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Sara
David Boag, Mary Anne Nelson Grammer, Randy Lemire, Kristen Bossio and Carla Lewis.

David Boag, Mary Anne Nelson Grammer, Randy Lemire, Kristen Bossio and Carla Lewis.

At 2pm on Sunday (January 29) at the Whitney Center for the Arts, the Town Players of Pittsfield present a staged reading of Opus to Moonlight, the first full-length play by Berkshire resident Ren Campbell.

Three women and one shattering event create a debilitating tension between art and life.

Opus to Moonlight is a story about choices, secrets and creation. Three women, at three different stages of life, return to face the truth about the past. Time is fluid; the past interrupts the brief hour they spend together in the artist’s studio where their greatest achievements and ultimate betrayals occurred. In the end each must choose the future they are willing to create.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Barrington Stage Company Announces 2017 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

January 26th, 2017, 1:00 pm by Sara
Jeff McCarthy as Kunstler

Jeff McCarthy as Kunstler

Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theater in downtown Pittsfield, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson, has announced its 2017 season.

The 2017 season at BSC will include Kunstler by Jefferson Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Jeffrey Sweet (Flyovers), directed by Meagen Fay (Second City in Chicago), and starring Jeff McCarthy (Broadway’s Chicago, BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter); a production of The Birds by Conor McPherson, directed by BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter, American Son); a new production of Ragtime, directed by Helen Hayes Award winner Joe Calarco (The Burnt Part Boys, Shakespeare’s R&J), with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty; and the laugh-out-loud but rarely staged comedy, Taking Steps, by Olivier and Tony Award winner Alan Ayckbourn (The Norman Conquests) in a new production from Tony Award nominated director Sam Buntrock (Broadway’s Sunday in the Park with George).

The 2017 season will continue with This by Obie Award winner Melissa James Gibson (“House of Cards”) and directed by Christopher Innvar (BSC’s The Other Place); Company, with a book by George Furth and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, choreographed by Jeffrey Page (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) and directed by Julianne Boyd, and Gaslight (Angel Street) by Patrick Hamilton.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Women Will Rock the Constitution @ the Colonial Theatre on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

January 20th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Sara
HEAR OUR VOICE by Liza Donovan was one of five graphics chosen from The Amplifier Foundation’s public call for art for the Women’s March on Washington.

HEAR OUR VOICE by Liza Donovan was one of five graphics chosen from The Amplifier Foundation’s public call for art for the Women’s March on Washington.

The Women’s March on Washington has inspired nearly 300 other ‘sister marches’ to take place on Saturday (January 21), including Berkshire County. All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march on that day, as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Nairobi to Paris to Bogotá.

A local steering committee – including Kristen van Ginhoven (co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre) and community members Jayne Benjulian, Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln – is organizing a free local event in solidarity with Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield will be open from 10am-2pm to provide a positive place where people can gather in support of the DC march.

“This event is free and people are welcome to stay the whole time or come and go between 10am-2pm,” van Ginhoven said. “We will be streaming the DC Rally from 10am-1pm in the theater, along with having some other action-oriented activities in the lobby. We are having a curated program from 1pm-2pm inside the theater that will highlight readings from the Constitution and original writing created especially for this event by local writers. The committee came together to organize this event because we wanted to offer a local alternative for everyone who can’t make it down to DC but wanted to support the March.”

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Berkshire Movie Makers Offer Panel Discussion [Berkshire on Stage]

December 12th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Diane Pearlman, Executive Director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

Diane Pearlman, Executive Director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative

Movie Makers in the Berkshires, a panel discussion moderated by Diane Pearlman, executive director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, will be presented at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield at 6pm on Tuesday (December 13). Admission is free. The panel is comprised of film professionals who live and/or work here in the Berkshires: art director Carl Sprague, director Diana Walczak, director of photography Richard Sands, visual effects supervisor John Nugent and director/animator Ben Hillman.

This fascinating panel discussion is offered in conjunction with Now Playing: Festival of Trees 2016, on view at the Museum now through Saturday, December 31, featuring a fun movie and cinema theme. The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative is one of the Presenting Partners for the annual holiday event.

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“A Christmas Carol” Comes to the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

December 9th, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara

boschristmascarol

Berkshire Theatre Group has announced the 11th annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and directed by Travis G. Daly, and presented for the sixth time at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. The production runs from Saturday (December 10) through Thursday, December 22.

Kate Maguire, BTG’s Artistic Director/CEO, says, “It is our pleasure to present this timeless story of redemption. You can be sure that the spirits arriving on stage will lift you towards the New Year.”

Celebrate the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Berkshire Theatre Awards Show @ Barrington Stage Co.’s Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, 11/13/16 [Berkshire on Stage]

November 16th, 2016, 11:00 am by Sara
At the Berkshire Thaetre Awards: (l to r) William Finn, Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Larry Murray and Debra Jo Rupp.

At the Berkshire Theatre Awards: (l to r) William Finn, Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Larry Murray and Debra Jo Rupp

By Larry Murray

This past Sunday night at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret in Pittsfield, something wonderful happened. With just about every theater company from miles around in attendance, the Berkshire theater community honored its own at the Berkshire Theatre Awards. The event ran for some two hours, with plenty of socializing before and after the awards themselves. With just two brief moments on stage to welcome everyone and to present the Larry Murray Award to Julianne Boyd of Barrington Stage Company, I was able to watch what a committee of theater critics, with a little help from their theater friends, was able to throw together. It was pretty impressive.

Those in attendance laughed heartily as emcees Peter Bergman and Macey Levin made jokes and engaged in funny bits of stage business as they doled out their precious plaques to some 25-plus recipients in record time. But it was the non-stop applause for all the nominees, each of whom was mentioned, that brought joy to my heart. So it is this brilliant collection of theater people that get my first thanks, for giving us such a wonderful choice of great plays and musicals to choose from.

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Celebrating the Winners of the Berkshire Theatre Awards [Berkshire on Stage]

November 11th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
(left) J. Peter Bergman and (right) Elizabeth Aspenlieder

(left) J. Peter Bergman and (right) Elizabeth Aspenlieder

The winners of the inaugural Berkshire Theatre Awards will gather at 5pm on Sunday (November 13) at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret at Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield. Along with members of the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association, they will raise a glass of bubbly in celebration of the exciting 2016 theater season nearing its conclusion, and the genesis of these awards in recognition of its importance to the community and economy of the region.

Headlining the evening’s entertainment are Elizabeth Aspenlieder and Debra Jo Rupp, award-winning actors who also make their homes here in the Berkshires. Hosts for the ceremony are J. Peter Bergman from The Berkshire Edge and Macey Levin from Berkshire on Stage, members of the Founders’ Committee.

The event has drawn the Berkshires’ theatrical community together in a show of support that is rare for the off-season. Making an appearance are the four major Berkshire theater companies, and the half-dozen smaller troupes who contribute so much to our year-round cultural life. Among the winners who will claim their awards are Julianne Boyd, Nehassaiu deGannes, Chris Demos-Brown, Jess Goldstein, Dana Harrison, Debra Jo Rupp, Tamara Tunie and Andre Ware.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FESTIVAL FEVER: Made in the Berkshires Festival Is This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

November 10th, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara

berkshires

Berkshire Theatre Group has announced the full schedule of events for the Made in the Berkshires Festival, which will be held this weekend (Friday-Sunday, November 11-13) at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield and the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Now in its sixth year, the festival is a celebration of local art and artists.

The sixth annual festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers. Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts. Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims, two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates this area.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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