(Great Barrington, MA) April 4, 2019 –The public is invited to TheatreFest@SaintJamesPlace in Great Barrington May 2 to 4. The festival features staged readings of original plays, most of which are Berkshire premieres, works in progress and emerging artists. Presenting companies include Berkshire Voices, a program under Berkshire Playwrights Lab; GhostLit Repertory Theatre; and New Stage Performing Arts. The three-day event includes 11 works by 10 local playwrights.
TheatreFest runs from Thursday May 2 through Saturday evening May 4. Tickets are free with a suggested $10 donation. Seating is limited, it is recommended to rsvp to guarantee seats at www.saintjamesplace.net
This festival is supported by Mass Cultural Art Week 2019
Thursday, May 2, 7pm GHOSTLIT REPERTORY THEATRE presents “PTERODACTYLS” by Nicky Silver. This piece is an absurdist black comedy about the demise of the Duncan family, and, by extension, the species. Emma Duncan, a hypochondriac with memory problems, and her orphaned fiancé, Tommy, confront her mother, Grace, with the news of their intended marriage.
Friday, May 3, 7pm NEW STAGE PERFORMING ARTS presents “DIAL IT BACK” by Nicki Wilson. A zany farce about a divorcing couple’s rivalry to win control of their failing theatre. Pandemonium ensues when an aspiring actor and a sassy ex-stripper want a piece of the action too!
Saturday, May 4, 2pm MATINEE BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “THE SISTERHOOD” by Anne Undeland. When Candy taps her old friend Cookie to become a middle-aged superhero, a member of “The Sisterhood”, what’s really at stake?
Saturday, May 4, 2pm MATINEE BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “OUR LADY OF BROAD STREET” by Jane Denitz Smith. Now checking in for an indeterminate stay: The Virgin of Guadalupe. On the eve of an iconic NYC hotel’s grand re-opening, an ambitious young architect discovers what happens when pragmatism collides with blind faith
ADDED – Saturday, May 4, 2pm MATINEE BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “PALE BLUE DOT” by Samantha Cullen
A young woman must turn her home into an Air Bnb after a sudden breakup. Meanwhile, she joins a 12-step recovery group to address some of her behavioral patterns.
ADDED – Saturday, May 4, 2pm MATINEE BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “LUNCH WITH DAD” by Michael Brady
A trip home threatens painful and unexpected consequences for an aspiring singer and her devoted high school music teacher.
(New Title) Saturday, May 4, 2pm MATINEE BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “ASKING FOR A FRIEND” by Michelle Joyner
Looking for connection in all the wrong places…
Saturday, May 4, 7pm EVENING BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “DANSE MACABRE” by Steven Otfinoski
There comes a time when even the downtrodden must take a stand. DANSE MACABRE is the story of the elaborate dance the artist enters into with a tyrant to survive in a world of chaos and fear. The artist is Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. The tyrant, Joseph Stalin.
ADDED – Saturday, May 4, 7pm EVENING BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “The Embrace” by TAMIR
G. is dying embracing the unknown, stepping into other realms consciously while her daughter rages against the night.
ADDED – Saturday, May 4, 7pm EVENING BERKSHIRE VOICES presents “THE SIXTH” by Joshua Briggs. In The Sixth, an idealistic, young congressional candidate collides with the calculating, opportunistic, and downright idiotic world of the political establishment. Or maybe a naïve fool must confront the reasoning of seasoned experts. Or maybe no one knows what they are talking about.
NOW A TRILOGY Saturday, May 4, 7pm EVENING “First Date Trilogy” by Jessica Provenz. It’s love at first meet for Hannah and Steve. These savvy young daters are in sync on everything from the moment they meet… until they get to their voting records.
Programs Subject to Change
GhostLit Repertory Theatre Company’s core mission is to create innovative and transformative work, from the odd and experimental to the classic musical. Our intention is to bring audiences a reflective and thought provoking experience. GRTC is a company that creates a safe space to explore bold and artistic endeavors and be an incubator for new work. In addition, GRTC aims to present a platform of heightened styles of performance to the youth of Berkshire County created around old and new forms of theatre. Our goal is to capture and engage our audiences by creating work that is risky, surprising and at times audacious; to celebrate theatre as an artform in which to test political, social and moral ideals.
New Stage Performing Arts mission is to bring new and existing works with inherent social value to the Berkshire community and beyond. Whether it be for adult or family, New Stage’s primary purpose is to present theater that shines a light on thought-provoking topics and leaves the audience a bit wiser for having seen the play. New Stage believes in nurturing relationships with its writers. New Stage invites the audience to view the play’s evolution through each stage of development, and believes that through the audience’s feedback, the playwright is enabled to create a stronger and more powerful piece of writing. Above all, New Stage believes in creating exhilarating theatrical works. From drama to comedy, from storytelling to stand up, to puppet shows and pageants, we want to tell stories that matter.
Berkshire Voices was created by and for Berkshire-based playwrights to provide key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers, fostering supportive artistic relationships across generations and experience levels. BPL provides a framework for the crucial first read of a new play, allowing our writers to hear and experience their work and receive supportive feedback from our artistic staff and our theatre-skilled audiences. Each year, 10-12 playwrights meet once a week for 8 weeks in two sessions (winter & fall) to share new work and offer constructive criticism in a supportive community environment. At the end of each session free performances created during the session are shared with the public.
Saint James Place is a state-of the-art cultural center, where community residents enjoy music, theater, dance and other performances along with lectures, classes and meetings year-round in the heart of downtown Great Barrington. Saint James Place is available to host events of all kinds, including weddings, conferences, galas, reunions and receptions. The historic buildings re-opened in January 2017 as a home for Berkshire County arts groups in need of quality performance, rehearsal and office space.