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BTG PLAYS! Year-Round Education Program

Berkshire Theatre Group is following all state and local guidelines for education-based programming and activities. BTG PLAYS! will resume as soon as allowed.

Cast of Disney’s Aladdin JR.; 2019; Photo by Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware.

Berkshire Theatre Group’s mission is to support wide ranging artistic exploration and acclaimed performances in theatre, dance, music, and entertainment. BTG’s celebrated four stages reflect the history of the American theatre; they represent a priceless cultural resource for the community. Our vision is to be a center for creative work that enriches, educates, invigorates, and transforms artists and audiences.

BTG PLAYS! Year-Round Education Program serves 13,000 school children in over 27 schools across 15 towns. There are approximately 5,000 students in Pittsfield, of which we serve 3,000. Through careful planning and programming, BTG offers children and families access to culturally enriching activities. Thirty percent of families participating in these programs are economically disadvantaged and all Pittsfield Public School students qualify for free and reduced lunch. BTG provides free and reduced ticket prices, camps, and internships.

BTG PLAYS! includes 12 different initiatives in three distinct categories:

  • School Partnership Programs
  • Performing Arts for Young People
  • Pre-Professional Internship Programs 

In-School Residency

BTG’s In-School Residency is a 14-week creative and collaborative process in which students develop and write their own one-act plays. In this program students with a variety of learning styles grasp the fundamentals of playwriting. The Student Study Guide, distributed to each student, includes concepts of theatre, literature, writing, and playwriting.

In-School Residency Class at Richmond Consolidated School – Richmond, MA, 2019.

In-School Residency Class at Reid Middle School – Pittsfield, MA, 2019.

 

After-School Program

BTG’s After-School Program is a hands-on kinesthetic learning experience celebrating each student’s unique artistic voice. Trained actors encourage students to trust their own imaginations and work within the context of a group. Offered throughout Berkshire County schools, BTG tailors each session based on school and individual needs.

After-School Class at Conte Community School – Pittsfield, MA, 2019.

Learn From Home

BTG created programming to engage students to Learn From Home. With master classes in music, singalongs, and playwriting, BTG worked to inspire students of all ages.


Thank you for giving me such a “proud momma moment” today! We are asked all the time, “Why BTG? What is it about BTG?” These pictures have a lot to do with the answer. BTG takes every opportunity to showcase their artists and give back to the community. They support and empower children to be confident performers, public speakers, and advocates in their community. BTG takes care of every actor, and…with seemingly little things like this…every FAMILY. Parents are educated, informed, included, and valued along with their children as part of the theater. It’s not “Why BTG?”, it just IS BTG! The line from Tarzan said it best; Two worlds, one family!
THANK YOU FOR THIS SMILE

-Michelle Colvin


Thank you to everybody involved with this program for everything this summer. Everyone’s kindness and spirit is what helps me feel that I belong in the artistic community. I’ve struggled for years to truly know for sure what direction I should go in, and this is yet another chapter in my life which reinforces and accelerates my drive to be a performer. Every single person at BTG had a hand in making this a worthwhile experience, and my happiness is a direct product of theirs.


I liked performing all of the plays. I liked this because it was fun to watch my play come to life.

-Persephone


What I liked about the BTG Program was when we started to write our stories we all encouraged each other.

-Madysen


I learned to be brave and tell our lines to other people and perform in front of little kids.

-Sabrina


I learned how to persevere and never give up.

-Harmony


I love acting! I love it all, the memorizing, the faces, the becoming of your character, and most of all, the fun! And while I was performing I could feel the excitement of my peers and the crowd.

-Stella


Learn More about:

Field Trip and Touring Performances

For more information, contact:

Allison Rachele Bayles
Administrative Director of Education
(413) 448-8084 x19
allison@berkshiretheatre.org

Brian Marshall and Isabella Brown at <em>A Christmas Carol</em> Opening Night, 2016. Photo by Madelyn Gardner.

Brian Marshall and Isabella Brown at A Christmas Carol Opening Night, 2016. Photo by Madelyn Gardner.

Students at Conte Community School during the BTG PLAYS! In-School Residency Program, 2017. Photo by Courtney McLaren.

Students at Conte Community School during the BTG PLAYS! In-School Residency Program, 2017. Photo by Courtney McLaren.

The cast of <i>You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown</i>, 2019. Photo by Jacey Rae Russell.

The cast of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 2019. Photo by Jacey Rae Russell.

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Did You Know?
Just like NPR, Berkshire Theatre Group depends on the generous giving of its members!
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We believe the performing arts can transform a community.
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Of the 16,000 Berkshire County school children, we serve 13,000 through our BTG PLAYS! Year-Round Educational Programs.
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Theatre is the place where we go to understand what lies in the human heart.
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BTG's buildings, on two campuses in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, are historic treasures.
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Berkshire Theatre Group believes that the creative arts are dependent on a free society that encourages freedom of speech and debate.
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In a Boston Globe article by Don Aucoin on Covid‑19, Artistic Director Kate Maguire said:
"Out of need will come the way. Once the pandemic ebbs, whenever that is, there will be an incredible need to gather again." The theatre has existed from the time of the Greeks. We will go on.
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