Barrington Stage Company

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Pittsfield, MA home of Barrington Stage Company.

Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is a regional theatre company in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. It was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd, and Managing Director, Susan Sperber, in Sheffield, Massachusetts. BSC has committed itself to a three-fold mission: to produce top notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre, especially young people.

In 2004, BSC developed, workshopped and premiered the hit musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Following the successfully Broadway run, which nabbed two Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Featured Actor, BSC made the move to a more permanent home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Previously housed in the Consolati Performing Arts Center at Mount Everett High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, BSC purchased and renovated the Berkshire Music Hall in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Its 520-seat Mainstage Theatre is now located on 30 Union Street. In 2008 it signed a 5 year lease on an old VFW to house its Stage 2 venue, a small black box space. In 2012 the company secured the purchase of the VFW turning it into the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, including the St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2) and a 49-seat space dubbed Mr. Finn's Cabaret.

The Theatre[edit]

Originally named the Union Square Theatre, the Mainstage theatre hosted vaudeville acts, stage shows, and eventually, silent pictures. In 1983, the venue became known as the Berkshire Public Theatre, which produced plays until 1994. In 1994 the space changed hands once again and became the Berkshire Music Hall.

When Barrington Stage Company purchased the building in 2005, it underwent a full renovation and became the 520-seat venue you see today, opening its doors in the summer of 2006.

New works[edit]

Outside of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, many other new works have seen their world premieres at BSC. In the last seven years, BSC has produced 11 world premieres. In 2003, BSC produced The Game, a musical based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, Mark St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee and Freud's Last Session, all plays that transferred to New York for Off-Broadway runs. In 2005, BSC workshopped and then premiered Cusi Cram's Fuente.

Musical Theatre Lab[edit]

Created in 2006, the Musical Theatre Lab (MTL) is a place for young musical theatre writers to develop their work from an early reading to full productions. Overseen by Tony-Award-winning composer-lyricist William Finn, it has produced four workshop and seven world premiere musicals.

Many of the new musicals have gone on to a life after Barrington Stage. The Burnt Part Boys was produced at Playwrights Horizons in Spring of 2010. Funked Up Fairy Tales continued to be developed at the Sundance Institute in December 2007. Calvin Berger was produced at George Street Playhouse with an Off-Broadway production planned. See Rock City or Other Destinations is now published by Samuel French.

Education[edit]

This award-winning, multi-tiered program is very much at the heart of BSC's mission of engaging a younger generation.

  • KidsAct! is a musical theatre program for children ages 8 to 15. Students work with a variety of instructors, directors, and choreographers and finish the program with a fully staged musical production.
  • BSC casts a full youth theatre company, with each actor receiving a stipend. The youth actors work with professional directors and choreographers, mounting a professional musical production that runs for 5 weeks each summer.
  • BSC reaches out to college level theatre administration and technical theatre students with the Professional Internship Program. These inters all receive housing and a stipend and the opportunity to be an intrinsic part of producing a full summer theatre season.

Playwright Mentoring Project[edit]

Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP) is an intensive, six-month after school program that uses theatre as a catalyst to help at-risk youth learn valuable life skills that will help them develop positive self-images. Over the course of the program teens create an original performance piece based on their own stories in a safe and confidential environment where they can express themselves, develop conflict/resolution skills, and create a supportive community. PMP participants' age range from 13 to 19 years old. Many live in foster homes, in single parent families or in families struggling to support themselves financially. These teens are frequently struggling with issues such as bullying, substance abuse, foster care, unconventional family structures, violence, pregnancy, sexuality, self-injury, eating disorders, date rape, racism, and acculturation, as well as many of the other challenges that youth face during the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood.

In 2007, PMP received the national Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. It is the nation's highest honor for out of school programs in the arts and humanities.

Notables[edit]

Productions[edit]

BSC won the Elliot Norton/Boston Theatre Critics Award in its inaugural year for The Diary of Anne Frank. Two years later they won the same award for its production of Cabaret, which transferred to Boston for an extended run at the Hasty Pudding Theatre.

Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session [1] became BSC's longest running show in the summer of 2010. Over two summers and multiple extensions, it lasted 61 performances prior to its Off-Broadway run.

Other popular productions at BSC include a 2005 production of Follies and a 2007 production of West Side Story.

Artists[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°27′25″N 73°15′14″W / 42.4570°N 73.2538°W / 42.4570; -73.2538