berkshire theatre group

In Arsenic & Old Lace, good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer’s arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement—about a dozen older gentlemen.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the play, by Joseph Kesselring directed by Gregg Edelman, on the Fitzpatrick Mainstage through August 19th.

The production stars Harriet Harris as Abby, Mia Dillon as Martha, and Graham Rowat at Mortimer.


  Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals.

 

Berkshire Theatre Group is currently presenting the Tony Award-winning musical at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA through August 6th.

 

Directed by Travis G. Daly with music direction by Mark Gionfriddo, the BTG production of The Music Man features over 100 talented Berkshire youth along with Rylan Morsbach as neck-or-nothing, rip-roarin', every-time-a bull's-eye salesman Harold Hill and Haley Aguero as Marian “Madam Librarian” Paroo.

 

We are joined this morning at The Linda by the aforementioned Rylan Morsbach, Haley Aguero, Mark Gionfriddo, and Travis G. Daly.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) delves deep into the complex concept of human loneliness and social disparity. Berkshire Theatre Group presents the show on its Unicorn Stage through August 26th.

Directed by Eric Hill, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) joins Albee's classic play, The Zoo Story (1959), the classic play which launched Albee's sensational career, with its prequel, Homelife written 45 years later. This production features David Adkins and Tara Franklin.

I was a bit apprehensive about attending a performance of the play Children of a Lesser God. Certainly, I was aware of the positive reviews and awards it had received, both on Broadway in 1980 and as a motion picture in 1986. But, I wondered: could this work capture the attention of today’s audience with its main actors communicating in sign language? Could their emotions as well as words be truly conveyed?

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning Children of a Lesser God, directed by Tony Award-winner, Kenny Leon. The play opened Saturday night and runs through July 22nd at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA.

In the play - after joining the staff at a school for the deaf, speech therapist with an unorthodox approach to education, James -- played by Joshua Jackson -- becomes infatuated by Sarah, a vivacious, yet delicate, deaf woman, played by Lauren Ridloff. James tries to help Sarah, a school dropout, navigate her way through the hearing world, however Sarah finds solace in her sphere of silence.

We are thrilled to welcome the play’s director Kenny Leon who won a Tony Award for A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington. He also directed Holler if Ya Hear Me on Broadway and The Wiz and Hairspray LIVE productions on TV.

Also here – the stars of the show - Lauren Ridloff - recently seen in the film Wonderstruck and a former Miss Deaf America – she is joined by ASL translator Candace Broecker Penn. And Joshua Jackson is in the house. He is currently starring in Showtime’s The Affair and is well-known for his roles in Dawson’s Creek & Fringe

Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis.

The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting Million Dollar Quartet at its Unicorn Theatre through July 15th.

Directed and with music direction by James Barry the musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes,” "Fever,” "Walk the Line,” "Sixteen Tons,” "Who Do You Love?,” "Great Balls of Fire,” "Folsom Prison Blues,” "Hound Dog,” and more.

We are joined by Brycen Katolinsky who plays Elvis Presley; Ben Nordstrom who plays The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips; and Christy Coco who plays aspiring singer and Elvis’s girlfriend Dayanne.  

Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group is throwing a dance party next month focused on LGBTQ pride. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with the Group’s Oskar Hallig about the effort.  

Dance for the Arts collaborative

Amid concerns about cuts to state and federal funding, five more cultural organizations are teaming up this summer to encourage Berkshire County residents and visitors to support the arts. 

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group has received a $3,500 grant from the Charles H. Hall Foundation for its year-round educational program.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has been awarded a $2,500 grant to help underwrite tickets for families and children in need.

Music, comedy and great drama are on the schedule for the newly announced Summer season at the Berkshire Theatre Group's Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield and Fitzpatrick Main Stage and Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

Here are some of the highlights: Arsenic and Old Lace, The Music Man, Million Dollar Quartet, a drama by an iconic American playwright, Edward Albee and Lost Lake, a new play by David Auburn.

BTG CEO and artistic director Kate Maguire joins us by phone this morning with a preview. 

"A Christmas Carol" at BTG - 2016
Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

It is an absolute Christmas Classic. And at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield – it is tradition.

It is 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 tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits.

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 – Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, Travis Daly – director of the show and Scrooge himself – Eric Hill. 

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires 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 the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

  The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning rock, horror, musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, is open for business at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA!

The Berskhire Theatre Group production is directed by Ethan Heard the celebrated, farcical production has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Stanley Bahorek plays Seymour Krelborn. He and Ethan Heard join us. 

Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware / Berkshire Theatre Group


  This is the final week to see Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Stockbridge, MA. It ends it’s run this coming Saturday.

Jim Beaver plays the doomed patriarch of the family, Big Daddy. Beaver is an actor best known for his roles on The CW’s Supernatural and HBO’s Deadwood -- where he played  Ellsworth - a prospector with a good heart and (like everyone else on that show) an incredible affinity for creative cursing. He also recurred on FX’s Justified and several other shows and has appeared in film and on stage. He is playwright, a film historian, and a television and film writer.

For the first time, the Berkshire Theatre Group is producing an Off-Broadway show in New York City. The Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Fiorello! will run at The East 13th Street Theater from September 2 and to October 6.

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie.

Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet.

However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as part of their season this summer. The show opened on Saturday after a few previews and runs through July 16th.

We are joined this morning by Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Raymond-James – who play Maggie and Brick on BTG’s Fitzpatrick Stage.

Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  Singer-songwriter and pianist Marc Cohn burst onto the scene in 1991 on the heels of "Walking In Memphis," one of the most resonant songs to make the Top 40 in the last twenty years. The Best New Artist Grammy for 1991 soon followed.

Cohn's short-story songwriting style is heavily influenced by Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, and he is often named among the most personal and introspective lyricists of his generation. 

He will perform at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, February 25th.

  In 2013, The New Black Fest in New York City commissioned six very diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays on the topic of Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege. This commission resulted in a collection of one-acts titled Facing our Truth which continue to be presented around the country, often around February 5th, Trayvon Martin’s birthday. Facing Our Truth's purpose is to spark serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.

Multicultural BRIDGE, WAM Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group and Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker are joining together to present a reading of Facing Our Truth on Saturday, February 6 at 7:30PM at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA with a moderated panel and community discussion to follow.

Here to tell us more are Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, and Gwendolyn Hampton-VanSant, CEO and Founding Director of Multicultural BRIDGE.

  The 5th annual Made in the Berkshires Festival will take place at Berkshire Theatre Group venues this weekend – October 23rd through the 25th.

The festival features cutting-edge theatrical works (performed as staged readings), live music, film, short stories, and dance.

The co-curators of Made in the Berkshires are Hilary Deely and Barbara Sims.

The bewildering journey of finding love in the modern world sets the premise for Terrence McNally’s bittersweet comedy, Frankie And Johnny In the Clair de Lune. The show is running on the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Mainstage in Stockbridge, MA through August 22nd.

After a one-night rendezvous in Manhattan's West Side, Johnny, a compulsive, starry-eyed, short-order cook, is convinced he has found his life companion in Frankie, a wisecracking waitress.

Frankie’s poor history with men leaves her hesitant to commit, but as the night progresses, she lets her guard down and an unlikely romance begins to blossom.

The contemporary love story stars Angel Desai and Darren Pettie and is directed by Karen Allen.

  I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile is a world premiere play by Suzanne Heathcote currently running at The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA. The production is directed by Jackson Gay world premiere, co-produced by New Neighborhood.

This is Rebecca’s life: she wakes up, eats a sensible breakfast, wraps herself in three layers, drives to the train station, commutes to her bookkeeping job in the city, watches the clock, goes home, cooks dinner for her domineering mother, watches TV, and falls asleep grieving for her dead dog. Every day is the same as the next until Rebecca’s underachieving brother begs her to take care of her troubled niece—and she does what she always does—she lets it happen. In an unforgivingly bitter month, three generations of women with nothing in common, except a deeply buried ache, try to keep the cold away.

I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile features longtime BTG artist Keira Naughton as Rebecca, as well as Linda Gehringer, and Ariana Venturi who join us.

*The audio for this interview is lower quality than our other posts. Our first recording failed and we had to retrieve this from a back-up source. 

Michelle McGrady

  The Tony Award-nominated musical that made Judy Holliday a star, Bells Are Ringing is a classic comedy with a sweet heart.

Written by seven-time Tony Award-winners Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Bells Are Ringing was originally directed by five-time Tony Award-winner Jerome Robbins and choreographed by Robbins and eight-time Tony Award-winner Bob Fosse.

The fetching and farcical love story includes notable show tunes, "Long Before I Knew You," "Just in Time," and "The Party's Over."

Bells are Ringing is currently running at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA as part of The Berkshire Theatre Group’s summer season.

Telephone service operator, Ella Peterson, played by Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin is not your typical phone operator. Using a variety of comical personae’s, Ella meddles with her clients’ lives as she takes and delivers their phone messages. Ella’s busybody ways trigger trouble when she falls for one of her customers, Jeff Moss, played by Kate Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat. The show is directed by BTG Alum, Ethan Heard.

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat join us.

  Thoreau or, Return to Walden is a world premiere play running at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

Longtime BTG Alum, David Adkins takes the stage as transcendentalist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. BTG Artist, Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, is directing this production.

The writing of Henry David Thoreau comes to life in this dramatic and uplifting tale as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience.

We are joined by David Adkins.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

A founding member of Shakespeare & Company who left the organization in November is taking on a leadership role with Berkshire Theatre Group.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

A founding member of Shakespeare & Company who left the organization in November, is taking on a leadership role with Berkshire Theatre Group.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Tis the season for summer performance announcements in the Berkshires and the theatre company bearing the region’s name is right in the mix. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis spoke with Kate Maguire, artistic director and CEO of the Berkshire Theatre Group, about its 2015 season. Performances will take place at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield along with the Fitzpatrick Main Stage and Unicorn Theatre in nearby Stockbridge. 

Click here for more information on the 87th season.

  Curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims, Made in the Berkshires is a locally-grown festival of new works including theatre, film, dance, poetry, music, short stories, performance and visual art.

This year’s festival takes place Friday, October 10th through Sunday, October 12th at The Colonial Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre, and The Garage.

Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims join us now along with Kate Maguire. Kate is the Artistic Director and CEO of The Berkshire Theatre Group – whose stages host Made in the Berkshires. Kate will also tell us about a world premiere play that BTG is presenting in October - written and directed by Eric Hill and featuring David Adkins - POE tells the story Edgar Allan Poe - the great American poet and short story writer and his mysterious disappearance for four days in Baltimore in 1849.

  Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting a week-long opera festival in Stockbridge, MA through this weekend.

Part of the workshop festival is a fully-staged production of the Verdi opera La Traviata. It will have performances at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theater Friday August 29th at 8:00pm and Sunday Aug 31st at 2:00pm.

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