Berkshire theater group | WAMC

Berkshire theater group

7/17/20 Panel

Jul 17, 2020

   

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, and President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, Artistic Director/CEO of Berkshire Theatre Group Kate Maguire, and Bard Center for Civic Engagement Senior Fellow and Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University Cairo Jim Ketterer.

BTG PLAYS! 2019-2020 Touring Show is "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon," based on the book "Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon" by Mary Pope Osborne. This musical features a book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne and music by Randy Courts, with direction by Travis Daly.

Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon is an adaptation of the fourth of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series, which has sold more than 100 million copies and is available in more than a hundred countries around the world.

BTG PLAYS! Touring Show is a part of Berkshire Theatre Group’s year-round education program, which reaches 13,000 school children annually. Beginning in October and running through the school year, this production is appropriate for elementary and middle school aged children and family audiences, and is designed to introduce students to the excitement of live theatre.

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its 2020 summer theatrical season, with a casting sneak-peek. And Kate Maguire - Artistic Director, CEO, and new WAMC panelist – is here to tell us more.

The 2020 season – which marks ten years since the announcement of the merger between The Colonial Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Festival – includes classics, three world premieres, and plenty in between.

A photo of Berkshire Theatre Group's A Christmas Carol
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on stage at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts December 7 -21.

A holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol” celebrates the import of empathy and community connection – and BTG’s production of the story does the same.

The story was adapted for the stage by Eric Hill, who stars as the miser-who-makes-good, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Eric Hill joined us along with BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education Travis Daly, who directs “A Christmas Carol” and actor and high school student, Kate Goble – who plays Belle.

Based on the Oscar-Winning DreamWorks Animation film, “Shrek The Musical” is a Tony Award-Winning fairy tale adventure, featuring songs from Jeanine Tesori and a book by David Lindsay-Abaire. “Shrek” brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage.

“Shrek” tells the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, that’s where Shrek comes in.

The Berkshire Theatre Group production runs through August 17 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. We are joined this morning by Director Travis Daly and actor Alex Getlin who plays Fiona.

The timeless holiday tradition of “A Christmas Carol” revels in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits. The annual Berkshire Theatre Group production opens December 8 and runs through December 22 at The Colonial Theatre in .

We are able to journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season. Joining us – like ghosts in the night – Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill, who also wrote the adaptation that BTG performs each year.

Berkshire Theatre Group performs in "Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure for elementary school students at the '62 Center at Williams College in Williamstown.
STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

BTG PLAYS! 2018-2019 Touring Show is "Showtime with Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure," based on "Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night" by Mary Pope Osborne, book and lyrics by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, music and lyrics by Randy Courts and directed by Travis Daly.

Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning "Magic Tree House" series is an international phenomenon that has sold over 143 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992 and has been translated into 33 different languages in over 30 international markets.

We are joined by Mary Pope Osborne, Will Osborne, and Travis Daly.

Nobel Prize-winner Luigi Pirandello’s “Naked,” in a new version by Nicholas Wright, is currently running on The Larry Vaber Stage at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The play delves deep into the struggle of self-identity, and the tendency to skew reality to benefit desires of the heart.

Directed for BTG by Eric Hill, “Naked” follows the story of a woman, in the midst of questioning her existence, as the men around her impose their view of her into the world.

Hill joins us now along with actors Tara Franklin and James Barry.

Written by Obie Award-winner Christopher Durang, the comedic double feature, “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You” and “The Actor’s Nightmare” is an absurdly hilarious evening of theatre. The Berkshire Theatre Group production of the show, running now in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is directed by Matthew Penn and features Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris, Levi Hall, Anna O'Donoghue, Tom Story, Matt Sullivan and Ariana Venturi.

Hailed as “consistently clever” by The New York Times when it first opened in 1981, “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You” and “The Actor’s Nightmare” are still bitingly witty satires on the psychology of belief and belonging. The show runs at BTG’s Unicorn Theatre through August 31st. Here to tell us more we welcome: Harriet Harris, Anna O’Donoghue, and Matt Sullivan.

Celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year, Tony Award-winning rock musical, “Hair” takes audiences back to the counterculture of the '60s with now classic songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “I Got Life,” and many others.

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents “Hair” at the Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through August 11. The production is directed by Daisy Walker.

We are joined by three members of the cast Andrew Cekala (Claude), Brandon Contreras (Berger), and Kayla Foster (Sheila).

Like every great organization, there are board members who are the heart and soul of the operation at the Berkshire Theatre Group.

Lee Perlman is BTG's Board Executive Vice President and Treasurer and President of the Greater New York Hospital Association and on the Board of Trustees/Advisory Committee for the American Theater Wing.

Scott Kirchner is a BTG Executive Board Member and owner of Mad Macs, Inc. We also welcome back our host, Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Emmy Award-winner Lee Kalcheim’s World Premiere, “Coming Back Like a Song!” on The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts June 28 through July 21.

In the play, It’s 1956, and three of America’s great songwriters, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen, are at a crossroads in their lives; rock ‘n roll is now king, and their careers could be over.

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Gregg Edelman, “Coming Back Like a Song!” features Tony Award-nominee David Garrison as Irving Berlin, Philip Hoffman as Harold Arlen and David Rasche [rah-shee] as Jimmy Van Heusen.

We are joined by playwright Lee Kalcheim, Director Gregg Edelman, and actor David Garrison.

Hailed as “crackling, resonant, humorous” by NPR and written by Emmy Award-nominated Jason Odell Williams, “Church & State” is a provocative, fast-paced and witty look at the life of a politician, whose belief system gets shaken to the core three days before his bid for re-election.

Directed by Charlotte Cohn founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival and Mainstreet Musicals, “Church & State” intends to have you talking and Tweeting long after the curtain closes – which is why all shows feature a talkback following the performance.

“Church & State” runs through June 30th at the Unicorn Theatre and features: Judy Jerome, Keira Naughton, Graham Rowat, and Andy Talen.

We welcome Graham Rowat, Director Charlotte Cohn and playwright Jason Odell Williams.

The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department brings performing arts into the lives of 13,000 schoolchildren in The Berkshires through touring productions, residency programs, internships and assistantships, after-school programming, camps, children’s theatre productions, seasonal employment opportunities, and more.

Many of our schools lack the funds to provide students with arts education. Berkshire Theatre Group’s Education Department strives – all year long – to fill that gap. Their programs offer children the chance to perform, of course, but also to learn, to build confidence, and to collaborate.

We are joined by Travis Daly, BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education (and director of this summer’s production of "Tarzan"); Allison Rachele Bayles, BTG's Administrative Director of Education; and Hanna Koczela who has been involved with BTG Community Productions and Education Programs for the past 10 years and has just graduated from High School.

The new play, Lost Lake, follows the story of Veronica and Hogan as they’re tangled up in each other's lives by circumstance.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the new touching and funny one-act written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn, on its Unicorn Stage in Stockbridge, MA through October 22nd. The production is directed by Daisy Walker.

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23.

In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. 

The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May. 

  Have you ever wondered if one simple interaction could change your life’s trajectory? The infinite question of “what if?” is raised in Nick Payne’s Drama League Award and Tony Award-nominated drama, Constellations.

Directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman (and featuring Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin and Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat.

Constellations is a poignant two-character drama follows Marianne, a quirky quantum physicist, played by Kate Baldwin, and Roland, a beekeeper, played by Graham Rowat. Their first encounter is seemingly ordinary—crossing paths at a mutual friend’s barbeque. Exploring the endless possibilities of their budding romance, the characters create their own multi-verse to see how their relationship would play out if they had chosen fate over chance.

The show runs through August 27th at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. To hear more, we welcome Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat.

  The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting the World Premiere of playwright Shem Bitterman’s The Stone Witch at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA. It is directed by Drama Desk and Humanities Award-winning theatre & television director Steve Zuckerman and features Tony Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award and Obie Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch.

In the play, Peter, an aspiring children’s book author, is sent to the cabin of his idol, Simon, played by Hirsch, a reclusive award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, to help him finish what might be his last book. Desperate to save his own career, Peter hopes to discover the secret of Simon’s genius, but first he must accept the impossible task: helping Simon confront the monsters that populate the woods inside his mind.

We are joined by actors Judd Hirsch, Rupak Ginn, and Kristin Griffith.

This is a picture of The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Berkshire Theatre Group

The recently announced Berkshire Theatre Group summer season features a range of new works and old favorites.

  As a performer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has had innumerable highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.

He will perform at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA this Friday, presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group.

  Deathtrap is a classic piece of theatre – a two-act, five-character play written by Ira Levin that garnered a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Play and was awarded a Special Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America.

It holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway and was adapted into a 1982 movie starring Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine and Dyan Cannon.

It is now the latest production from the Berkshire Theatre Group on the Fitzpatrick Stage in Stockbridge, running through July 25th. Here to tell us more are two of the stars of the show: Gregg Edelman who plays Sidney Bruhl and Tom Pecinka who plays Clifford Anderson.

Berkshire Theatre Group

Tis the season for summer performance announcements in the Berkshires and the theatre company bearing the region’s name is right in the mix. The Berkshire Theatre Group is bringing a local favorite to the stage this year.  

Berkshire Theatre Group

There has been plenty of talk about how casinos in New York’s Capital Region and Springfield, Massachusetts could impact those communities. But what about the area sandwiched in between? While neither casino is up and running just yet, Berkshire performance venues are keeping an eye on the developments.

  

  Thursday, August 14th at 4pm, The Berkshire Theatre Group - in partnership with Chesterwood - will present "Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare" - an afternoon reading of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite writing by Shakespeare.

  A quartet of noted actors are donating their performances to the event which has been assembled and annotated by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer and is produced and directed by Gordon Hyatt.

One of the actors is Chris Noth, who is best known for his work on Law & Order, Sex and the City, and The Good Wife.

    Thursday, August 14th at 4pm, The Berkshire Theatre Festival - in partnership with Chesterwood - will present "Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare" - an afternoon reading of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite writing by Shakespeare. The reading will take place at Berkshire Theatre Group's Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA and will be followed by a reception at Chesterwood.

A quartet of noted actors: Kathleen Chalfant, Chris Noth, John Douglas Thompson and Fritz Weaver are donating their performances to the event which has been assembled and annotated by noted scholar Harold Holzer, author and editor of over 40 books about Lincoln.

In a world premiere, two-time Tony Award Winner James Naughton takes the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage as Gabe in a one-man comedy, a raw and witty exploration of an estranged father-son relationship.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "A Little Night Music"

Jul 12, 2014

For those fortunate enough to see it, the Berkshire Theatre Group production of A Little Night Music will likely be the highlight of the 2014 summer season. A Little Night Music – along with possessing a superbly written story based on an Ingmar Bergman movie, Smiles of a Summer Night – has music and lyrics by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim and book by his late collaborator, Hugh Wheeler. In addition to its pedigree, this current presentation has a cast that could open next week on Broadway.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Jul 3, 2014

The Mystery of Irma Vep – currently on the main stage at Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge, Massachusetts – is subtitled: A Penny Dreadful.  A quick look in Google offers that Penny Dreadful was the title of a series of stories published in London in the 19th Century.  Printed once over a few weeks, they each cost a penny.  They were described as escapist readings for working-class boys.

  Named one of the best plays of the 20th Century by the New York Times and Time Magazine, The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful is currently running on The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA.

Aaron Mark directs Charles Ludlam’s campy comedy for BTG - which tells the tale of Lady Enid and Lord Edgar who arrive one stormy night at a haunted and dreary estate to investigate the sudden disappearance of Irma Vep. Sidesplitting antics and mysteries unfold as the two journey from the London manor to the ancient pyramids in Egypt with vampires, werewolves, mummies and more in tow in this satire of Victorian melodrama, Gothic horror and classic films.

Broadway Actor, Bill Bowers and Tony Award-nominated, Tom Hewitt take on eight characters in this classic romp of a gothic spoof.

Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced a major grant from longtime area supporters and business leaders.

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