“Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” Mixes Talk Radio and Dance @ Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Anna Bass, Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host (photo: David Bazemore)
Anna Bass, Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes in “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” (photo: David Bazemore)

Dance to talk radio sounds like an impossible thing to pull off, but it’s not. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket presents Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special pre-Festival performance starring Ira Glass, the host and executive producer of the famed public radio program This American Life. “The Tina Fey of dance” (Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post) Monica Bill Barnes and fellow dancer and collaborator Anna Bass perform with Glass, bringing the unlikely art forms of talk radio and dance together for a production that is “unapologetically human and refreshingly relatable” (Brian Schaefer, The New York Times). This limited engagement will be presented in the Pillow’s Ted Shawn Theatre for two performances only, at 8pm on Saturday (June 13) and 2pm on Sunday (June 14).

Lauded as “equal parts heart and humor” (Maura Judkis, The Washington Post), Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host finds harmony in the partnership of radio icon Ira Glass’s trademark storytelling and Monica Bill Barnes’s witty, theatrical movement style. Dancers Barnes and Bass illustrate Glass’s narration in three stirring acts which focus on performance as an occupation, artistic and romantic relationships, and a personal look at the lives of Bass, Barnes and Glass. The stories cover a wide range of subjects, told live and in pre-recorded interviews with dancers: from a Riverdance touring company’s attempt to win the lottery, to the thorny rewards of longtime partnerships and the passing of loved ones. Public radio sensation Glass is a perfect fit for these tender conversations, “inviting those kinds of confessions with his ability to pose piercing questions in casual, almost innocent, way” (Brian Schaefer, The New York Times). Barnes and Bass give lively, poignant performances with multiple costume changes and pantomime style movement, taking the stage both alongside Glass’s narration and in several dance-only moments.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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