Rocking and Rolling into the New Year!

2019 has been a year of growth and opportunity for Berkshire Theatre Group.
From record attendance numbers and expanded education programming to
historic renovations, 2019 was a year of new beginnings!

BTG’s Willy Wonka Kids, 2019. Photo by: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS marked the first annual Fall Children’s Show at BTG. Featuring 140 elementary school students, this production helped to bring together children and families from across Berkshire County. The Fall Children’s Show came about as an extension of the annual Elementary and Middle School Spring Community Show, which started in 2018. These shows are a tradition that gained momentum this year and will continue in 2020 with Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.

Cast of BTG’s production Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story, 2019. Photo by: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

2019 marked record numbers for Berkshire Theatre Group. Each year, BTG strives to provide meaningful, engaging, and provocative productions that connect with our patrons.

Claire Saunders, Harriet Harris and Marcus Gladney Jr. in BTG’s The Skin of Our Teeth, 2019. Photo by: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware.

Connecting with more people each year not only allows for BTG to grow as an organization, but provides an opportunity to connect more deeply to the community and reach our vision to be a center for creative work that enriches, educates, invigorates, transforms, and strengthens our community for the better.

The newly renovated Thaddeus Clapp House at 74 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield.

Berkshire Theatre is proud to be a steward to historic buildings throughout Berkshire County. The renovation of The Thaddeus Clapp House began in 2015 with the help of many individuals as well as local and state grants. The renovation was completed in 2019! Funding has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between Mass Development and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Additionally, the restoration of The Thaddeus Clapp House Porch was funded through the City of Pittsfield’s Community Preservation Act program.

Through the Community Preservation Act Program Berkshire Theatre Group has been able to provide necessary preservation measures to our treasured historic buildings. In 2019, the Stockbridge Community Preservation Act Program generously funded the addition of a ramp (to replace the chair lift) at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage to ensure access for all patrons. They also funded needed repairs to the historic Front Facade, restoring the Playhouse and ensuring that all of Stanford White’s beautiful architectural features shine. Also this year, the Pittsfield Community Preservation Act Program provided funding to repair the roof at The Colonial Theatre. The repairs ensured that The Colonial would continue to provide live performances for the community year-round.

With all of this growth and change, it became clear that a new internal structure was necessary to help cultivate support for each of these programs and historic structures. A new development team was hired: Kim Krautter, Director of Donor Services & Hospitality; Brian Marshall, Director of Donor Relations & Assistant to the Artistic Director, CEO; Lillian Lee, Director of Grants and Campaigns & Accessibility Coordinator; Olivia Melillo, Development Assistant; and Jacey Rae Russell, Marketing and Development Assistant. Each member of the team brings a unique set of skills and perspectives that complement each other. With a renewed digital strategy, focused campaigns, and greater attention to the unique needs of each individual patron BTG is ready to head into the new year! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported us in 2019!

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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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