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.

Plan Your Visit

Read our suggestions on where to dine, and where to hang your hat.

Get Started
Did You Know?
Just like NPR, Berkshire Theatre Group depends on the generous giving of its members!
Join Today!
We believe the performing arts can transform a community.
Learn More
Of the 16,000 Berkshire County school children, we serve 13,000 through our BTG PLAYS! Year-Round Educational Programs.
Learn More
Theatre is the place where we go to understand what lies in the human heart.
About Us
BTG's buildings, on two campuses in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, are historic treasures.
Theatre Info
Berkshire Theatre Group believes that the creative arts encourage freedom of speech and debate.
Get Involved
"Out of need will come the way. Once the pandemic ebbs, whenever that is, there will be an incredible need to gather again." - Artistic Director, Kate Maguire
Join Today!
The theatre has existed from the time of the Greeks. We will go on.
Learn More
Join Our Mailing List

Receive the latest BTG News, Updates, Special Offers, and more right to your inbox.

Subscribe

News & Articles

"A powerful piece of theatre...leaves the viewer mouth agape saying WOW.” -Marc Savitt, 
@officialbroadwayworld 

Critics are raving about B.R.O.K.E.N code B.I.R.D switching! This world-premiere play runs for a limited time, now through July 9! 

Read this review– link in bio 💙

📷: @jaceyraeruss
33 0
Hold fast to dreams...

B.R.O.K.E.N code B.I.R.D switching OPENS TONIGHT! Happy Opening to the talented cast, crew and designers! 🌟
53 1
Join us and let us gather courage together for the work that lays ahead. Thank you NAACP-Berkshire County Branch and WAM Theatre for hosting. Facebook event details in the link in our story.
105 1
“I don’t want you to say whatever. I want you to tell the truth.” 

Previews start tonight, and we open THIS SATURDAY! 🌟 

📸: @jaceyraeruss
65 2
Stop by BTG’s table today at the Juneteenth Celebration at Durant Park! ❤️💛🧡💚🖤 

Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, is now a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19th in various parts of the United States since 1865.
32 0
Repost from @rhargrov 🌟❤️
Happy Saturday! Don’t mind me just jumping with joy to be a part of this amazing cast at @berkshiretheatregroup 🤸🏽‍♀️.
5 days til our first preview!
.
.
#berkshiretheatergroup #btg #brokencodebirdswitching #tarawilsonnoth #worldpremiere #theater #actress #blackactress #blackwomenonbroadway #broadwayworld
50 3
🌟OPENING NEXT WEEK 🌟
Check out the latest feature on @officialbroadwayworld ! Link in bio!
68 2
“It is a story about race and identity, of promise and purpose… but perhaps more importantly, it is the story of the potency of being seen. The universal need to be seen for who we are. “ -Tara L. Wilson Noth, Playwright 

B.R.O.K.E.N code B.I.R.D switching opens next week at the Unicorn Theatre! Ticket link in bio! 🎟
.
.
.
#intheberkshires #BTG2022 #theatre #visitstockbridgema #worldpremiere #berkshires
75 3
Casting for Summer 2022 has been announced! Featured here is the talented cast of B.R.O.K.E.N code B.I.R.D Switching. Check the link in our bio for the full casting announcement! 🌟
88 2
Izzy, one of our education program students, is having a blast at #pride at the Common in Pittsfield! Come join the fun and stop by our table to enter to win TWO FREE TICKETS to Songs For A New World! 🌈🙌
107 6
Join us June 17th at the Colonial for The Black Legacy Project's Premiere Film Screening! 

After the screening, the night will conclude with a community conversation about the Project. Tickets are free and available on our website below!
23 0
We remember and honor all of those who have sacrificed for our country 🇺🇸
20 0
This past Sunday we had a great celebration at the renaming event of our beautiful Artist house! ❤️

Thank you David Lloyd and Meg Mortimer for your generosity and continued support!
66 3
Happy World Dracula Day! 🦇

This day commemorates the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula on May 26, 1897. Arguably the most well-known and iconic monsters, Dracula has inspired writers and horror writers all over the world. It's only fitting that there's a whole day dedicated to the Count!

Join us this summer, August 11-27 for this classic tale at the Colonial! Ticket link in bio!
32 0
Follow Us