We mourn and grieve for Black Americans who have suffered too long. Enough.
Watch Elizabeth Acevedo at The Summit on Inequality & Opportunity
“Dear Mr. President,” a powerful video message by Valisia LeKae
By Nikki Giovanni
childhood remembrances are always a drag
if you’re Black
you always remember things like living in Woodlawn
with no inside toilet
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in
and somehow when you talk about home
it never gets across how much you
understood their feelings
as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale
and even though you remember
your biographers never understand
your father’s pain as he sells his stock
and another dream goes
And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good
and I really hope no white person ever has cause
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy
Berkshire Theatre Group Announces First Musical in the United States Approved by Actors’ Equity Association
Updated on July 6, 2020
Pittsfield, MA – Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) and Kate Maguire (Artistic Director, CEO) are excited and proud to announce they will be producing Godspell this summer – the first musical in the United States to be approved by Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The show will be presented outdoors in an open-air tent adjacent to The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and is scheduled to run August 6 through September 4. Tickets will be available for purchase Tuesday, July 7 at 12pm. Casting for Godspell is also announced below.
BTG Board of Trustees Co-President Lee Perlman said, “We could not bear the thought of a Berkshire summer without live theater to support our community, so we jumped through every hoop to create a safe way to make this happen. I hope our production gives hope to the tens of thousands of theatre professionals who are on the sidelines this summer. Theater is unstoppable and will be back!”
Maguire said, “Godspell got the green light after establishing a strict protocol to protect the health and safety of the audience, the performers and others involved in the show. We have been working daily and in the true spirit of care and collaboration with Actors’ Equity Association for the past several weeks.”
Maguire continued, “Guided by Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association Mary McColl and her extraordinary team, I have learned much about how to lead a theatre in the new world. Our industry, which has been devastated by this global pandemic, will be served by their seriousness, data driven wisdom, and profound understanding of the need for artists to rebuild. I am so proud that Berkshire Theatre Group, in its 92nd season will be authorized and granted the responsibility to produce the musical Godspell.”
After careful consideration with the local and state government, Mayor Linda Tyer of Pittsfield and Actors’ Equity Association, BTG relocated Godspell from its original site at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge to outside under a tent at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.
Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association Mary McColl said “Equity staff around the country have been collaborating daily with producers on health and safety questions and now we can reveal the results of that work. Every production is different and will be evaluated on a case by case basis focusing on the safety of our members. We will continue to collaborate on safety plans where the epidemic is under control and where employers can maintain a safe work environment for their employees.”
BTG has outlined procedures and protocols in a manner that is consistent with current Actors’ Equity Association and state and local mandated health and safety guidelines. Temperature scans will be done for patrons at their point of entry. No-contact scanning stations for tickets will be placed at point of entry, spaced at least 6 feet from the temperature scan. Free-standing hand sanitizer stations will be placed at various locations throughout the space. Patrons will be required to wear masks. One way traffic patterns will be enforced with arrows and 6 foot markers on the floor, as well as lines down the center of hallways, to and from the tent, restrooms and concessions. The restrooms will have entrance and exits that are separate and one way. Every other stall, urinal and sink will be marked not usable. A doctor/nurse will be on duty for all performances. Additional safeguards will also be in place.
They’re Playing Our Song, originally slated at The Unicorn Theatre in August, will move into summer 2021. Letters to the President, slated for Labor Day weekend, is cancelled. All patrons with tickets will be contacted to make arrangements. An update about the fall season will be announced in the next few weeks.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield, online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org, by calling (413) 997-4444, or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. The ticket office is open Monday–Saturday from 10am–2pm. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.
Outside at The Colonial Theatre
conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak
music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
originally produced on the New York Stage by Edgar Lansbury, Stuart Duncan, Joseph Beruh
directed by Alan Filderman
music direction by Andrew Baumer
choreography by Gerry McIntyre
Outside Under the Tent
at The Colonial Theatre Parking Lot
BTG’s Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street
Previews: Thursday, August 6 at 7pm
Press Opening/Opening Night: Friday, August 7 at 7pm
Closing: Friday, September 4 at 7pm
Tickets: Preview: $75 (General Admission)
Tickets: $100 (General Admission)
In this timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love, a group of eccentric disciples help Jesus teach a variety of parables through interactive games and a heaping dose of humor. Led by the international hit, “Day by Day,” Godspell features a parade of beloved songs by Tony, Academy and Grammy Award-Winner, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Children of Eden), including: “By My Side” “Save The People” and “All for the Best.” Brought to life by the dynamic team of director Alan Filderman (Runaways for New Studio at NYU; BTG: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown) and choreographer Gerry McIntyre (Broadway: Spamilton, Once On This Island, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; BTG: A Chorus Line, Oklahoma!), this theatrical sensation is a powerful reminder that through the power of community, love and kindness will live on.
COVID-19 Important Update
Updated July 6, 2020
Updated March 31, 2020
Vladimir: Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! –Samuel Beckett, “Waiting for Godot”
First, and most important, from all of us at Berkshire Theatre Group, we send you heartfelt greetings and sincere hopes that you and your family are all well.
We are indeed all needed at this time and all mankind is us. The entire world is one in need right now, and we will all play a role in meeting again on the other side of this global pandemic.
I want to offer you an update. Our staff is working from home, and we are putting plans in place to bringing programming as soon as possible.
Spring and summer shows previously announced will be postponed, with dates to be determined. One of BTG’s box office associates will be calling patrons with tickets to make arrangements for ticket exchanges, donations, and credits.
In the meantime, BTG will be offering weekly online classes and talks on BTG’s Facebook page, presented by our incredible artists and alumni, and will feature online programs for all ages. A schedule will be sent out every week by email.
We will also be posting weekly “couch concerts” on our social media, featuring many of our BTG family singing their favorite songs!
A full schedule of fall events at the Colonial and Garage, including music, comedy and more will be announced soon. Please stay tuned as we are busy programming.
We look forward to opening our doors and being with you. The human spirit is being challenged right now and we know the theatre has always offered a poetic sanctuary, particularly in uncertain times. We will be that resource for our community once again. Our theatre is nearing its 100th anniversary. Our long history offers comfort and confidence that we will survive through these days.
To those of you who have provided us with donations during this time of such struggle, we send our gratitude for this critical care.
Like Vladimir and Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s enduring tale of survival…we go on.
Yours most sincerely,
Artistic Director, CEO