Posts Tagged ‘Stockbridge’

Tony Simotes Joins Berkshire Theatre Group as Managing Director [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Tony Simotes. Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010

Tony Simotes (Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010)

In news that is as surprising as welcome, Tony Simotes has decided to stay in the Berkshires and apply his numerous talents to the growth of the Berkshire Theatre Group. The question of what would become of “our Tony” following his departure from Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company last October has ended. Happily.

The announcement was made by Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, Kate Maguire. Simotes will become BTG’s Managing Director and an Artistic Associate and will begin work at BTG today (Monday, March 30).

It is reported that his responsibilities will include budgeting, fundraising, community outreach and helping formulate BTG’s strategic plan.

In an on-air interview at WAMC-FM, Simotes also spoke about his reasons for leaving Shakespeare & Company.

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Tony Simotes Directs “When the Sky Falls” at the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
A staged reading of When the Sky Falls by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn March 13, 2015.

A staged reading of “When the Sky Falls” by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn on Friday.

Playwright Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker collaborates with renowned director Tony Simotes, former artistic director of Shakespeare and Company, on a staged reading of Ms. Sirker’s play based on her own experience of living through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Friday (March 13). When the Sky Falls was developed Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway and is the winner of MultiStages Theater’s New Works Contest and Epic Theater Center’s Sunshine Series and was a Lark Play Development Center Playwright’s Week Finalist. At the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge on Friday, Tony Simotes directs a diverse cast of actors from Shakespeare and Company and New York City.

Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker’s When the Sky Falls has been described as a “poetic, surprisingly funny and at times brutal play that is a fantasia on the theme of security in America (Epic Theater Center).” Other critics have described it as “beautifully written,” “poignant and sharply satiric.” Anita Velez Mitchell, theater critic for New York City’s La Voz News, described it as being “among the classics that document [the] history [of Hurricane Katrina].”

Based on Ms. Sirker’s personal experience surviving Hurricane Katrina, When the Sky Falls follows a small neighborhood through the innocent days just before Katrina and the harrowing time after the sky fell. It is a story of surviving epic loss and our collective need for stories in doing so.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire Theatre Group 2015 Plans: “Deathtrap,” “Bells Are Ringing,” McNally’s “Clair de Lune” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Karen Allen will direct Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Karen Allen will direct “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its main offerings for 2015’s summer season musical, the 10th annual community theatre production, the Fitzpatrick Main Stage productions in Stockbridge and a medley of other performances to be presented this summer.

BTG plans a second round of programming announcements, including the Unicorn Theatre’s summer season, in the next several weeks.

“Our 87th season offers a mix of unforgettable musicals and classic, influential plays,” says Kate Maguire, Artistic Director/CEO for the Berkshire Theatre Group. “At the Colonial, they will stage the 1956 Comden and Green and Jule Styne sweetheart musical “Bells Are Ringing.” Ethan Heard is directing this romantic show, once again working with Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat, as he did in last year’s “A Little Night Music.” For our 10th annual community theatre production, the company will present the iconic “Mary Poppins.” As with most of their community productions, some 100 children and adults from the community will participate, some will even soar over the Colonial stage.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER: Edgar Allan Poe’s Life and Death on Stage at the Unicorn [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 6th, 2014
The cast of “Poe” – a world premiere written and directed by Eric Hill at the Unicorn Theatre. (photo: Christina Riley)

The cast of “Poe” – a world premiere written and directed by Eric Hill at the Unicorn Theatre (photo: Christina Riley)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: We’re just weeks away from Halloween, and as if to set the mood for an evening with Poe we had a wonderfully spooky ride through darkness, rain, and fog as we made our way to the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Poe is a new work, getting its world premiere by the Berkshire Theatre Group.

With all the movies featuring grunting zombies, slashers and hauntings constantly being offered to us via Netflix and the local multiplex, one might wonder whether the world has forgotten one of the pioneers of horror, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). All you need to do is listen to Kate Maguire recite “The Tell Tale Heart” in this play to remember how penetrating true horror can be. She’s doing exactly that in the photo above, with David Adkins (far left), as Poe, listening raptly.

Gail M. Burns: Even though I am not a fan of Poe, or of the horror genre in general, I recognize him as an extraordinary writer – one of the first Americans ever to attempt to earn his living solely by his pen. If he had been a sober and careful steward of his finances, that plan might have worked out better than it did…

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Eric Hill Directs “Poe” as Kate Maguire Returns to Stage with David Adkins for a World Premiere [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

POE at Berkshire Theatre Group

Just reading a story by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) out loud to friends is enough to send chills down the spine. The briliance of Poe seems to literally jump off the page and into our imagination in a way few other writers have ever achieved. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story.

So it comes as exciting news that the Berkshire Theatre Group will be staging Poe, a world premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Opening night is Saturday (October 4) at 8pm. Preview performances begin on tonight (Thursday, October 2) at 7pm and the production closes on Sunday, October 26 at 2pm.

And as you might expect of Poe, this new work based on his writing has more than a couple of surprises up its own sleeve. For one, a rare appearance by Kate Maguire on stage as Mrs. O’Donnell. The longtime BTG alum, David Adkins returns to take the title role as the literary great and masterful wordsmith Edgar Allan Poe. Perfect for the autumnal Halloween season of October, the poetic and macabre tales of terror come to life in a brilliant reflection of Poe written and directed by Eric Hill.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Workshop: Festival of Opera @ the Unicorn Theatre, Aug 23-31 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Workshop Festival of Opera at the Unicorn Theatre

The Berkshire Theatre Group is planning a week-long Festival of Opera at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Performances begin Saturday (August 23) and run through Sunday, August 31.

Presented in workshop form, some of opera’s rising stars will be featured in staged presentation of La Traviata, A Lover’s Tale and songs from the Romantics in The Paris Salon.

“This year, for the first time, we’re bringing a little opera back to the Berkshires,” Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire explains. “We have a week long workshop featuring A Lover’s Tale, an extraordinary compilation of Dumas’ original story about the Lady of the Camellias, Charles’s Ludlam’s Camille and La Traviata all rolled into one. Also that week, we will present a staged performance of La Traviata and a wonderful compilation of songs from the Romantics featuring the lovely soprano Megan Weston.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Korean War Vet Fights Drugs and PTSD in Revival of “A Hatful of Rain” @ Berkshire Theatre Group [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
Actor Tommy Schrider stars in A Hatful of Rain in Stockbridge. (file photo)

Actor Tommy Schrider stars in “A Hatful of Rain” in Stockbridge. (file photo)

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Michael V. Gazzo’s A Hatful of Rain, a poignant foray into the devastating effects of heroin in the life of a Korean War veteran at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge. Preview performances begin at 7pm Wednesday (August 13); opening night is 8pm Saturday (August 16); and the production closes at 8pm August 30.

Tickets to A Hatful of Rain are $42 to $62; all preview tickets are $42. Veterans receive 20% off full price tickets.

The war fought abroad is just as devastating as the war fought within. This rings devastatingly true for Johnny Pope (Tommy Schrider) a Korean War veteran who has safely returned home to New York City and now struggles with drug addiction after being heavily medicated during his hospital stay.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

James and Keira Naughton Preparing for Premiere of “Cedars” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
James Naughton stars in Cedars at the Berkshire Theatre Group.

James Naughton stars in Cedars at the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents James Naughton in the world premiere of Cedars at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge. Opening night is Saturday (July 26) at 8pm; preview performances begin on Wednesday (July 23) at 8pm and the production closes Saturday, August 9 at 8pm.

In this world premiere, two-time Tony Award-winner James Naughton takes the stage as Gabe in Eric Tarloff’s one-man comedy, a raw and witty exploration of an estranged father-son relationship. Cedars is directed by Naughton’s daughter, Keira Naughton, who is a long-time BTG artist. She has acted in productions including: Birthday Boy, Macbeth, Faith Healer and The Book Club Play and most recently directed a stage adaptation of Roman Fever by Edith Wharton which featured Kim Taylor and BTG’s Artistic Director, Kate Maguire in 2013.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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