The Buildings of Berkshire Theatre Group

Berkshire Theatre Group was formed in 2010 by the merger of The Colonial Theatre and Berkshire Theatre Festival. Each of Berkshire Theatre Group’s celebrated four stages has a rich and unique history.

The Colonial Theatre and The Garage

Colonial Stage

The Colonial Theatre interior, view from the stage.

Colonial Postcard

Berkshire Theatre Group’s Pittsfield Campus is comprised of the historic Colonial Theatre and The Garage. The Colonial was built in 1903 and functioned as a theatre for decades until being turned into a movie theatre in 1937, though there were still occasional live performances.In 1951 it was announced that the theatre would be permanently closing. The Town Players of Pittsfield staged a final performance (Curse You, Jack Dalton) on the Colonial stage in December of 1952. Pictured to the right: Postcard of The Colonial Theatre c. 1914.

Colonial Exterior

The Colonial was bought by the Miller family, and turned into an art supply store, though the family took extreme care to preserve the features of the theatre. By 1997 the Friends of the Colonial Theatre had formed and were generating support and awareness with the hope of restoring The Colonial. The Colonial was designated a National Historic Treasure in 1998 and in 2001 the renovations began. In 2006 The Colonial reopened to the public. Pictured to the left: The Colonial Theatre after the renovation in 2006.

Originally, The Colonial Theatre would seat 1,200 patrons, and currently seats approximately 800. The Theatre was designed to maximize acoustics and ensure that every seat could clearly hear the actors on stage. One way this was achieved was by having no corners, only curved edges, and to this day the only corners in the theatre come from the addition of an elevator.

Garage

Today, the lobby of the theatre has moved into an adjoining building. Built in 1921 as the Berkshire Auto Company, the building was connected to The Colonial Theatre and serves as the lobby, administrative offices, backstage space in addition to housing The Garage (pictured to the right).The name is a tribute to the original building and hosts a variety of smaller, more intimate performances. The Garage offers a distinctive lounge atmosphere and is perfect for comedy and music.

Colonial Historic Lobby

Historic Lobby of The Colonial Theatre.

The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and The Unicorn Theatre

Watercolor of Stockbridge campus

Berkshire Theatre Festival Stockbridge Campus, painting by Leonard Weber from the BTF archives.

The Stockbridge Casino was completed in 1888. By the 1920s it had fallen into disuse and was sold to Mabel Choate, who in turn sold it to the Three Arts Society. In order to preserve the casino, they found a new home for the structure at the foot of Yale Hill Road. The casino was carefully taken apart and pulled by horses to its new location.

Hallock

When they rebuilt the structure they overhauled the interior to create the Berkshire Playhouse. The new theatre seated 450, and dressing rooms were added for the actors. The Playhouse remained more or less as it was until the 1940s. Pictured to the right: Terry Hallock watercolor of the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, 1990.

During the initial 1920s rebuilding and renovation, the three arts society bought the Mellon Barn, which was used as the scene and prop shop. The pigsty (devoid of actual farm animals) was transformed into living quarters for the interns who came to work at the theatre. The barn (now known as the Unicorn Theatre) was also used as an informal stage and it functioned as a workshop space for new and experimental theatre. Pictured below: Rear view of the Unicorn Theatre, painting by unknown artist from the BTF archives.

Unicorn

The Main Stage was renovated again in the 1940s and the 1990s. Today, the Main Stage retains much of its original character with the iconic arches and cupola. The building’s history and import to Stockbridge led to its addition to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

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News & Articles

From the Archive: Eva LeGallienne

By: Katie Birenboim (She/Her/Hers)   Devoted fans of BTG may gasp to discover that until doing a first round of research in the amazing BTG archives, I had never heard … Read On

If you liked our 80s/90s Dance Party, come join us again TONIGHT at The Colonial Theatre for our Dawn of the Divas Dance Party with the legendary DJ BFG (Gabby Squailia) at the Colonial Theatre! ✨

To purchase tickets visit berkshiretheatre.org.
For the last day of Black History Month, we would like to highlight Felicia Curry (@thefeliciacurry), who starred as Nina Simone in BTG's 2021 production of Nina Simone: Four Women. 

An award-winning, DC-based actor and singer and Emmy-nominated host of PBS's WETA Arts, Felicia has won numerous awards, including being named one of "DC's Biggest Theatre Stars" by Washington Magazine and named one of "12 DC Stage Dynamos" by The Washington Post.
TOMORROW, March 1, dance like nobody is watching to iconic diva anthems at the Dawn of the Divas Dance Party at The Colonial Theatre!

If you enjoyed our 80s/90s Dancy Party and our other dance parties in the past, come join us again, as the legendary DJ BFG is BACK to spin the beats that will make you move and groove all night long! ✨

Limited tickets are available, so get yours today at berkshiretheatre.org.
LAST FEW DAYS to buy tickets for Zep & Co THIS SATURDAY, March 2, at The Colonial Theatre!

Combining the power of not one, but TWO legendary rock bands, prepare for an electrifying rock experience with Zep & Co as they merge the best of Led Zeppelin and Bad Company into an epic performance not to be missed!

Don't delay! Purchase tickets today by visiting berkshiretheatre.org.
BTG is remembers with a heavy heart the life of R. Michael Miller, a beloved scenic designer that worked with us for many shows, including Souvenir (2005), Sick (2009), A Delicate Balance (2010) and Babes in Arms (2010). His talents and bright light will be missed, and we are honored to have worked with him over the years.
Coming to the Colonial on Saturday, March 9, prepare to be spellbound and mesmerized by Andy Gross, who is not only a comedian, but also a magician and ventriloquist with over 1 billion views of his viral magic videos! ✨

Captivating audiences across the country, his live shows are hailed as some of the best touring comedy magic spectacles today that must be seen to be believed.

Grab your tickets today at berkshiretheatre.org and prepare for an unforgettable evening of laughter and intrigue!
Tomorrow, February 24 at the Colonial, discover the ultimate tribute to Jimmy Buffett, with Changes In Latitudes, fit for the Mayor of Margaritaville himself! 🌴🎵

Get ready to sway to beloved classics like “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger In Paradise” and “Volcano,” alongside Buffett’s iconic hits such as “Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes.”

Don't miss out! Grab your tickets today at berkshiretheatre.org today!
This week for Black History Month, BTG would like to highlight Lauren Ridloff (@laurenridloff), a deaf American actress who starred as Sarah Norman in BTG's 2017 production of Children of a Lesser God, which transferred in April 2018 to New York City's Studio 54 as the first Broadway revival of the play since 1980. 

Her exceptional, emotional performance earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play. Today, she is best known for her roles as Connie in the TV series The Walking Dead (2018-2022) and as Makkari, the first deaf superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe, in the film Eternals (2021).
Happy Presidents Day! All of BTG's offices will be closed today, February 19, but we will see you tomorrow!
Whether you’re a disco darling, a pop princess, or a soulful songstress, come join us at the Dawn of the Divas Dance Party on the Colonial stage on March 1! ✨

Bringing together divas from every era, DJ BFG will curate a playlist that spans the ages, blending everything from disco divas to pop queens with songs like Beyonce’s “Break My Soul,” Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” and Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

Get your tickets today at berkshiretheatre.org and just dance like nobody’s watching!
Hailed as “The Next Best Thing to Def Leppard,” Leppard: The Def Leppard Experience, featuring Andrew Freeman and with special guest Randy Cormier’s “Best of the ’80s”, will hit the Colonial stage on March 16! 🎸🌟

Join Leppard as they faithfully recreate one of rock’s most iconic bands and their legendary songs, including “Rock of Ages,” “Photograph,” “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” 

Get your tickets today at berkshiretheatre.org!
This week for Black History Month, BTG would like to highlight Gerry McIntyre (@mayorgerrymac), a performer, director and choreographer who has won widespread acclaim for choreographing BTG's 2020 production of Godspell, the only Equity sanctioned show in the country at the start of Covid.

Gerry has worked on and off Broadway for a number of shows, including directing and choreographing Once On This Island and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He also directed the regional premiere of The Cher Show at Ogunquit Playhouse. Currently he is the Associate Artistic Director of the York Theatre.

BTG has had the honor of working with Gerry over the years on many productions, including My Fair Lady (2001), Side by Side (2005), The Who's Tommy (2011), A Chorus Line (2012), Oklahoma! (2013), Godspell (2020), Nina Simone: Four Women (2021), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (2021) and Songs for a New World (2022), and we are proud to welcome him back as the choreographer for our production of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein this summer at the Colonial.
Happy Valentine's Day from the bottom of our hearts! 💖💕
Looking for a band that combines the power of not one, but TWO legendary rock bands?

On Saturday, March 2, prepare for an electrifying rock experience with Zep & Co. as they merge the best of Led Zeppelin and Bad Company into an epic, powerhouse performance. This full-throttle rock show unleashes the monumental hits and cherished deep cuts that defined the era of these iconic arena rock legends.

To purchase tickets, visit berkshiretheatre.org!
TOMORROW, as well as the second Saturdays in March and April, join the drummer for folk legend Arlo Guthrie, Terry A La Berry, for a musical kids concert series that will sweep your family off their feet! Terry A La Berry’s shows are not just concerts; they are immersive experiences where kids become part of the music-making magic 🎵🥁🎸

Availability is limited, so get your FREE tickets today at berkshiretheatre.org!
A week into Black History Month, BTG has been reflecting on the talented individuals in the Black community that we have had the honor of working alongside over the years. 

Each Thursday for the rest of this month, we would like to shine a spotlight on a few of the many extraordinary Black creatives that continue to be a part of our story and have helped make BTG what it is today. 

Stay tuned for our first Black History Month spotlight post next week! ✨
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