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Will Call

Will Call #68: David Eppel bids farewell with Tartuffe

David Eppel shares thoughts on apartheid, creativity in the shadow of oppression, and his 35 years as a professor of theatre at Williams College*

David Eppel, professor of theatre at Williams College; photo by Jason Velázquez.
David Eppel, professor of theatre at Williams College; photo by Jason Velázquez.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass—The Williams Theatre Department is proud to present Molière’s classic comedy Tartuffe, translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur. Get ready for a Baroque romp, a minuet in rhyming couplets, and a wicked, hilarious satire, complete with keyhole peepers and eavesdroppers. First performed on May 12, 1664 at Versailles for Louis XIV, Tartuffe was instantly banned and had to be rewritten so as not to offend the church, the aristocracy, the king, and just about everyone else. Watch as the ruling classes are hoisted by their own hypocritical petard. All of the above, and much, much more, awaits…in thigh-slapping iambic pentameter, no less. There will be a post-performance Q&A after the Saturday evening performance hosted by “Monsieur Tartuffe comes to America” author Emmanuelle Delpech and Costume Designer Deborah Brothers. Performances are on Thursday, March 8th to Sunday, March 11th at 7:30 PM and Saturday, March 10th at 2:00 PM on the ’62 Center’s Adams Memorial Theatre, located at 1000 Main Street, in Williamstown, MA. Tickets are $3.

Tartuffe cast:
Nadiya Atkinson ’21
Tobias Delgado ’21
Terah Ehigiator ’18
Samori Etienne ’21
Caroline Fairweather ’20
Nicole Jones ‘20
Scott Lipman ’18
Evelyn Mahon ’18
John Murphy ’21
Christine Pash ’18
Thomas Robertshaw ’19
Jack Romans ’20
Jack Scaletta ’18

David Eppel, Director
Fiona Selmi ’21, Assistant Director
Jason Simms, Set Designer
Deborah Brothers, Costume Designer
Natalie Robin, Lighting Designer
Bobby McElver, Sound Designer
Julia Tucher ’21, Assistant Sound Designer
Paige Carter, Properties Master

The Theatre Department works to develop in each student an understanding of theatre that is both broad and deep. Through creative expression and critical study, we challenge students to engage both contemporary and historical modes of performance. Theatre students make artworks through design, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. They are encouraged to experiment, to risk, and to make bold choices. Working collaboratively with faculty and guest artists, students integrate intellectual, physical, and emotional responses into an array of live performances each academic year.

For tickets, visit the Williams ’62 Center Box Office Tues-Sat, 1-5 pm or call (413) 597-2425.

 

*This article was created, in whole or in part, using submitted officially released information.

Will Call #67: Underground Railroad Game at ’62 Center

ADVISORY: Explicit content. Underground Railroad Game contains sexually explicit material, strong language, and mature themes, so is recommended for adventurous audiences ages 18 and up. Questions about what you’re in for? You can reach out to Producing Director, Randal Fippinger for more info.

Underground Railroad Game, created by Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard, and directed by Taibi Mager, plays the '62 Center March 1.
Underground Railroad Game, created by Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard, and directed by Taibi Mager, plays the ’62 Center March 1.

Created by Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard, Directed by Taibi Mager

Named one of the top ten theatre experiences of 2016 by the New York Times, Underground Railroad Game is a vivid, piercing piece of experimental performance from Philadelphia-based company Lightning Rod Special. Over its rapid-fire 75 minutes, the piece toes the line between sketch comedy show and excruciating American history lesson, set in a middle school classroom. Keep Reading

Will Call #66: Bach At New Year’s and Travis Daly on “A Christmas Carol”

Longtime Berkshire Bach Ensemble member Eugene Drucker takes on directorship of “Bach At New Year’s”

Eugene Drucker takes the directorship of Berkshire Bach’s time-honored and celebratory "Bach at New Year’s"; submitted image.
Eugene Drucker takes the directorship of Berkshire Bach’s time-honored and celebratory “Bach at New Year’s”; submitted image.

Today is Wednesday December 20, 2017 and you’re listening to Episode #66 of Will Call, our final episode of the show for the year. I’m your host, Jason Velázquez, and I thank you not only for tuning in today, but for being such a fine, fine audience throughout 2017. It has been my treat to share with you news and interviews from the performing arts universe here in the Berkshires. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find out where 2018 will lead us.

I am so pleased to announce that this episode is sponsored by one of the newest supporters of the Greylock Glass, The Spirit Shop of Williamstown, located at 280 Cole Avenue, purveyors of fine wines, a masterfully curated selection of domestic and imported beers, local hard ciders, and a full range of liquors—if you check your cabinet and find your holiday entertaining supplies lacking, a trip to the Spirit Shop, might just be the solution you’re looking for.

 

Advertisement for The Spirit Shop, Williamstown, Massachusetts
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At the top of the show, we heard a clip from Rondeau, one of six contradanses by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, at their 2015 extravaganza, “Bach at New Year’s — A Blast of Brass,” under the direction of Kenneth Cooper. This season inaugurates a season of change for the Berkshire Bach Society. Emerson String Quartet founder and internationally renowned soloist, Eugene Drucker takes the directorship of Berkshire Bach’s time-honored and celebratory “Bach at New Year’s”, as well as performing as featured soloist with the Berkshire Bach Ensemble.

We’re joined this episode by Paula Hatch, Executive Director of the Berkshire Bach Society, to talk about this year’s Bach at New Year’s event and to look forward to 2018.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, at the Berkshire Theatre GroupFirst though, we had a brief conversation with Travis Daly of Berkshire Theatre Group who directs their beloved community production of A Christmas Carol again this year. And again, tickets are still available for this beloved staging of A Christmas Carol at berkshiretheatregroup.org.

That was a portion of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, played by the Berkshire Bach Ensemble during their 2016 Bach at New Year’s. All six Brandenburg Concerto’s were performed for last year’s holiday spectacular, the final such with Kennth Cooper as director before his retirement. With me now is Berkshire Bach Society executive director Paula Hatch to describe this 2017 event and to fill us in about what’s known of the 2018 season.

Head on over to http://berkshirebach.org/ for tickets and more information. Well, that’s our show for this week. I’ve been your host, Jason Velazquez, and again, I do thank you for listening today, and throughout 2017. I hope you’ll join me next year for another great season covering the performing arts in the Greylock corridor. Take care!

 

Bach at New Year’s Program 2017-2018

Mozart: Divertimento in D Major, K. 136

William Boyce: Symphony No. 1 in B flat Major for oboes and strings.

Purcell: Chacony and Fantasias; Cebell and Fanfare; The Faerie Queen Prelude and Celebration

William Boyce: Symphony No. 1 in B flat Major for oboes and strings.

Mozart: Violin Concerto in A Major — K. 219 (the Turkish – Drucker soloist)

Bartok: Duos for Two Violins, Sz. 98: New Year’s Greetings

Telemann: Concerto in D Major for Four Violins — TWV 40:202

J.S. Bach: Contrapunctus #9 from The Art of the Fugue.

Mozart-Bach: Five fugues for String Quartet from The Well-Tempered Clavier

J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major — BWV 1066

Will Call #65: The MCLA Allegrettos deep in a new season of harmony

Razor sharp a cappella and gospel group to give free performance

The MCLA Allegrettos; photo courtesy the Allegrettos, via Facebook.
The MCLA Allegrettos; photo courtesy the Allegrettos, via Facebook.

 

from publicity materials

Known for their powerhouse vocals, the MCLA Allegrettos are quickly becoming a name on the collegiate music scene. Focusing on complex vocals, rock solid technique, emotive nuances, and power; the Allegrettos deliver a sound that has no flats, avoids sharps, and only produces perfect harmony.

ADVERTISEMENT, The Spirit Shop, Williamstown, Massachusetts
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Allegrettos A Cappella Performance

Saturday, December 09 at 7:00 p.m.
SereniTea Cafe and Bar
303 Ashland Street, North Adams, Mass.
Free! More info.

In three short years the Allegrettos grew from a 10 person Christmas caroling group, to a thirty member, award winning ensemble that has opened for the likes of Craig Harris, The Sweetback Sisters, Blitz the Ambassador, and Regina Carter.

The purpose of the MCLA Allegrettos is to challenge its members in all aspects of performance, from learning vocals to developing a visually stimulating and entertaining performance to a variety of audience members. It also enriches the community by performing varying genres of music which therefore provides a sense of other musical cultures.

The Allegrettos began in the winter of 2009 as the Hoosings. Freshman J. Cottle had always wanted to go caroling and for the first time, found himself in the position to do so. Together with 9 other freshmen (Jessica Jean-Charles, Kate Moore, Lizzy Mullen, Shavonne Brown, Chantel Baptista, Paul Miranda, Quincy Goodwin, Ryan Howard and Joel Siskin) the Hoosings caroled all around campus. Since then the group has tripled in size, and now focuses on Holiday, A Capella, and Gospel music, and has performed over 30 times across the state. In 2011 they were finalists in the first season of Together In Song, and won 2nd place in the first annual Lenox Caroling Festival.

Will Call #64: MCLA presents Tartuffe, Shakespeare & Co.’s 2018 line-up of Billy’s works

PLUS a sneak peek (well, more of a sneak listen) to our 1st place storyteller Jennifer Holey telling her tale about “Little Creatures” at the inaugural batch of the new Berkshire Yarn Mill’s live story event!

Sandy McKnight's Pop Clique provided welcome acoustic tunage for the first storytelling event of the new "Berkshire Yarn Mill," launched Wednesday night at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams.
Sandy McKnight’s Pop Clique provided welcome acoustic tunage for the first storytelling event of the new “Berkshire Yarn Mill,” launched Wednesday night at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams.

 

The Spirit Shop, 280 Cole Avenue, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The Spirit Shop, 280 Cole Avenue, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Today is Friday, December 1st, 2017, and you’re listening to Episode 64 of Will Call, here at the Greylock Glass. I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I have to say welcome to all our listeners, and thanks for tuning in. I am so pleased to announce that this episode is sponsored by the newest supporter of the Greylock Glass, The Spirit Shop of Williamstown, located at 280 Cole Avenue, purveyors of fine wines, a masterfully curated selection of domestic and imported beers, local hard ciders, and a full range of liquors—if you check your cabinet and find your holiday entertaining supplies lacking, a trip to the Spirit Shop, might just be the solution you’re looking for.

“Canon and Variation,” by Twin Musicom, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

This episode features two great conversations about Berkshires theatre, both performances that are being staged right now as well as productions that are coming up in 2018. We speak first with Laura Standley, Associate Professor, Theatre – Acting and Directing at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts about the 2017 / 2018 Season entitled, “We the People.” We explore Molière’s “Tartuffe,” which enjoys a much-anticipated opening this weekend at the Venable Theatre on The MCLA campus. The link to tickets and more information is, of course, in the shownotes.

We’re also thrilled to finally have our long-awaited conversation with Shakespeare & Company’s artistic Director, Allyn Burrows, who is feeling pretty pleased with the outcome of the 2017 season, his first at the 40 year old Lenox institution. We talk about how the 2018 line-up of Shakespeare works came together, and how developments in staging locations have generated new enthusiasm for outdoor performance. No amount of prying would get him to reveal other titles from next year’s roster, but he assures us that we won’t have to wait too much longer.

Some of you probably heard about the launch of the new Berkshire Yarn Mill storytelling project this past Wednesday, November 29th. Actually, I know some of you heard about it, because some of you were there. The Greylock Glass began this initiative to help promote live storytelling in North County, and our first monthly batch of yarns, spun at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams, was a huge success. We’ll hear a sampling from the winning story later, but right now, let’s go to our conversation with Laura Standley of MCLA’s Fine and Performing Arts Department.

 

Affiliate Link.
Affiliate Link.

“Tartuffe,” by Molière
Presented by the MCLA Department of Fine and Performing Arts
December 1 –10
Tickets

We speak about this complex work of satire with Laura Standley, Associate Professor, Theatre (Acting and Directing), who explained that this was a perfect choice for the 2017–2018 season, entitled, “We the People.”

 

 

 

Laura Standley, Associate Professor of Theatre—Acting and Directing; photo by Dennise Carranza.
Laura Standley,
Associate Professor of Theatre—Acting and Directing; photo by Dennise Carranza.

 

Laura Standley holds a BA in Theatre from University of Central Oklahoma and an MFA in Acting from University of California Irvine. She has studied under master teachers Robert Cohen, Dudley Knight, Annie Loui, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Ragnar Friedank, Joanna Merlin, Barney O’Hanlon, Lenard Petit, Ted Pugh, and Fern Sloan. Recent collaborations include Passage (work in progress) with Kickwheel Ensemble Theater, as well as Howard Barker’s Scenes From an Execution and David Ives’ The Liar with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. New York directing credits include Reckless Season (New Works Reading Series), Pump Boys and Dinettes, Lobby Hero, and Burn This, all with Ground Up Productions. Favorite academic directing credits include bobrauschenbergamerica,Romeo and Juliet, Mud and The Successful Life of 3 by Maria Irene Fornes, Angels in America,Hedda Gabler, and the punk rock version of Steven Berkoff’s Agamemnon.

 

Laura has taught at University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Stony Brook University, Chapman University, and University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors Equity, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Association of Theatre Movement Educators, and the Michael Chekhov Organization. Laura is fascinated with the intersection of movement, action and the theatre experience. Her work incorporates classical theatre, body-based disciplines, and the use of dance choreography techniques in preparing performance. Laura continues to be inspired by this work in meaningful ways and is constantly looking for new forms of making theatre.

Thoughts on Shakespeare & Co.’s 40th season with Allyn Burrows…

…and a look forward to the 2018 line-up of Shakespeare works.

 

About Allyn Burrows

Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company, photo by Olivia Winslow.
Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company, photo by Olivia Winslow.

As Artistic Director of  Shakespeare & Company, The Tempest, God of Carnage, T.S. Eliot and his Love of Shakespeare, Or, King John, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV Pt 1, Measure for Measure, Betrayal, The House of Mirth, Love’s Labours Lost, Macbeth, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

As Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Allyn directed productions of Romeo & Juliet, Pericles, Jon Lipsky’s Living in Exile, Richard II, and The Tempest, and performances there included The Winter’s Tale, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VIII, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Richard III. 

He recently performed in Can You Forgive Her (Huntington Theatre), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway Theatre), Shipwrecked (The Lyric Stage), Oceanside, The Seafarer, Pursuit of Happiness, and The Homecoming (Merrimack Repertory Theater), and Five by Tenn (Speakeasy Stage). The 2006 Elliot Norton Award recipient for The Homecoming, King Lear, and Five by Tenn, Allyn also received the 2011 IRNE Award for Breaking the Code. Off-Broadway credits include Bug, Killer Joe, Louis Slotin Sonata, Closetland, and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd.

He has worked regionally at The Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include The Broad Squad, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Against the Law, and on film in The Company Men, Julie & Julia, and Manchester by the Sea.

Learn more about Rosalind and other women who populate Shakespeare’s works.

Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays, by Tina Packer. Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, by Tina Packer (affiliate link). “Rosalind: A Biography of Shakespeare’s Immortal Heroine,” by Angela Thirlwell (affiliate link).

Macbeth
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Melia Bensussen
July 3 to August 5
Tina Packer Playhouse

A gripping tale of blind ambition and nefarious plotting by two of Shakespeare’s most notorious anti-heroes of all time, Macbeth is a deliciously shadowy thrill ride. When yearning and imagination collide in the darkest recesses of a passionate mind, there may be blood. If victims fall in the consumption of power, the conscience can devour itself from within. Peace and sleep do not come without a reckoning. Such is the eternal and towering reminder of this stunning classic.

As You Like It at twilight
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows
July 10 – August 18
Roman Garden Theatre (Outdoors)

Like the Roaring Twenties for this country, the Forest of Arden represented a world of possibilities for young Rosalind. Our brilliant adventurer escapes a threatening world of suppression, even death, and her exile represents a dramatic break between past and future as she traverses the forest and the prospect of new horizons. Menace gives way to hope, re-invention, poetry, and love, cooked up with a big dose of hilarious comedy!

Love’s Labor’s Lost
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kelly Galvin
July 11 – August 20
The Dell at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home (Outdoors)

 

 

 

 

Will Call #63: Utter Whimsy and Dust Bowl Faeries, plus Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

5th Annual Whimsy at the Whitney Center for the Arts, with afterparty tunes provided by the Dust Bowl Faeries; AND a costumed, elaborately staged reading of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Shakespeare & Company.

Lydia Barnett-Mulligan, as Mary Bennet, in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; photo by Olivia Winslow.
Lydia Barnett-Mulligan, as Mary Bennet, in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; photo by Olivia Winslow.

Keep Reading

Will Call #62: The Wolves roam CenterStage in DeLappe’s 2017 masterpiece

The cast of the Williams Theatre Department production of "The Wolves," written by Sarah DeLappe, and directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury. The show runs November 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18; photo by Jason Velázquez.
The cast of the Williams Theatre Department production of “The Wolves,” written by Sarah DeLappe, and directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury. The show runs November 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18; photo by Jason Velázquez.

This is Will Call, #62—We travel this episode to somewhere in the Midwest to meet high school women’s soccer team The Wolves. Rather we’ll speak with Misha Chowdhury, who directs this Williams Theatre Department staging of Sarah DeLappe’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist play, The Wolves, which runs Nov 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 on the CenterStage. Keep Reading

Will Call #61: Antigone in Ferguson, Social Activism Panel Discussion

Amy Holzapfel Chair, Associate Professor of Theatre at Williams College, moderates a discussion about the politics of participatory performance, and the lessons and practices it can share with democratic assembly in public space. She is joined by panelists, Bryan Doerries, Director, Antigone in Ferguson; Taibi Magar, Director, Underground Railroad Game, Rebecca Schneider, Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University.

 

 

The hook is to connect theatre with the contemporary wave of engaged social activism.

Joining In: Participatory Performance and Social Activism Panel Discussion
Thursday, September 28, 2017; 5:00 p.m.

Directing Studio, ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance

’62 Center for Theatre and Dance

The following information comes from released material provided to the Greylock Glass.

 

CenterSeries

presents

Theater of War Productions

Antigone in Ferguson

featuring Tracie Thoms, Zach Grenier

with  Duane Foster, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Willie Woodmore

 

Amy Holzapfel, Chair, Associate Professor of Theatre; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Amy Holzapfel, Chair, Associate Professor of Theatre; photo by Jason Velázquez.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance’s CenterSeries is excited to kick-off the 2017/2018 season with a timely production of Antigone in Ferguson, directed by Bryan Doerries and composed by Phil Woodmore. Both compelling theatre and searing social justice project, Antigone in Ferguson is a radical and unlikely staging of Sophocles’s classic tragedy, conceived in response to the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Antigone’s themes of integrity and human folly, set down in the fifth century BCE, resonate through the ages, illuminating the recent clash between public authorities and American citizens as they call for justice in police brutality cases. At the end of the performance there will be a community discussion. There will be one performance only, on Saturday, September 30th, 2017 at 8:00 PM on the ’62 Center’s MainStage, located at 1000 Main Street, in Williamstown, MA. Tickets are $10/$3 students.

 

A play that speaks to Ferguson’s tragedy and lets the audience speak back. – PBS News Hour

 

Bryan Doerries, author of “The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today,” directs this timely adaptation. Performed by an all-star cast along with a gospel choir featuring police officers, educators, and community members from Ferguson, the play makes an appeal for the timelessness of Sophocles—and the urgency of grappling with his implications in our current political climate.

 

Theater of War Productions (ToW) presents community-specific, theater-based projects that address pressing public health and social issues. Through the presentation of dramatic readings of seminal plays followed by public conversations, the company’s programs confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, police and community relations, prison reform, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse and addiction. Using theater to build a common vocabulary for openly discussing the impact of these issues, events are designed to generate compassion, empathy, and understanding between diverse audiences. All events are free to the public and feature leading film, theater, and television actors. Notable artists who have led readings include Blythe Danner, Adam Driver, Jesse Eisenberg, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Alfred Molina, Frances McDormand, Tamara Tunie, Jeffrey Wright and others.

 

Bryan Doerries is a Brooklyn-based writer, director and translator, who currently serves as Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions, which uses classic literature to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. During his tenure at Theater of War Productions, the company has presented diverse projects across the country and internationally. Doerries’ book, The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in September of 2015, along with a volume of his translations of ancient Greek tragedies, entitled All That You’ve Seen Here is God. His graphic novel, The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan, an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey as told by an infantry Marine to his squad, was published by Pantheon in April of 2016. Doerries lectures on his work at cultural venues throughout the world and, in recent years, has taught courses at Princeton University, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the Bard Prison Initiative.

 

Doerries is a proud graduate of Kenyon College and serves as a board member of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Friends of the Young Writers Workshop. Among his awards, Doerries has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Kenyon College, and in March 2017, he was named Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) for the City of New York, a joint appointment with the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services and Department of Cultural Affairs. During this two-year residency, he will bring more than 60 Theater of War Productions projects to diverse communities across all five boroughs.

 

Related links:

PBS Newshour

“A Play that Speaks to Ferguson’s Tragedy and lets the audience speak back”

by Jeffrey Brown

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/play-speaks-fergusons-tragedy-lets-audience-speak-back/

WYPR

“Antigone in Ferguson Comes to Baltimore”

by Sheilah Kast & Andrea Appleton

http://wypr.org/post/antigone-ferguson-comes-baltimore

City Paper

“What About Justice? Paul Giamatti and Sonja Sohn star in ‘Antigone in Ferguson’ at Coppin“

by Maura Callahan

http://www.citypaper.com/arts/stage/bcp-012517-stage-antigone-20170125-story.html

Continuing its mission to contextualize arts within scholarly inquiry, the Center presents an impressive body of work that sets student work side-by-side with that of professional artists.  We strive to challenge traditional forms, engage with a larger political dialogue and allow our audiences to explore diverse modes of expression.  Not content merely to present popular work, the Center’s professional performances, workshops and student productions are designed to invite the entire community to engage, debate, and celebrate the experience of both witnessing and creating live art.

 

For tickets, visit the Williams ’62 Center Box Office Tues-Sat, 1-5 pm or call (413) 597-2425. For more information, please visit http://62center.williams.edu

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Will Call #60: Tony Trischka annexes the Berkshires into his Territory

Tony Trischka and Territory brings some legendary American Roots cred to the Barn Music Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village.

Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Pickerl; photo courtesy the artist.
Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Picker; photo courtesy the artist.

 

This is Will Call, #60—I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. This episode is sponsored by Headwater Cider, who believes that cider is best when you grow what you press and press what you grow.

Tony Trischka and Territory

Saturday, August 19, doors—6:00 / show—7:00 p.m.
Final concert of the Barn Music, Summer Series
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic Street
Pittsfield MA, 01201
(413) 443-0188 | (800) 817-1137
Tickets: $20

Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from "Great Big World" and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.
Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from Great Big World and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.

I have to start out by saying that this was originally going to be a Top Left Corner episode. Then the opportunity to have a conversation with Tony Trischka dropped into my lap.

No lover of American Roots music could pass up the opportunity to talk with one of the world’s most renown and emulated banjo players. I’d have to be a fool.

Knowing he’d be busy, I figured on a 10 or 15 minute interview that would fit nicely into the middle of TLC. Then I looked at the clock towards the end of our talk and saw that over three quarters of an hour had passed. When I listened through the audio, I realized there was nothing to cut other than a few stray “ummms.”

My solution? Fire up a new episode of Will Call, keep the whole conversation and play some great music. Tony Trischka and his band, Territory, close out the Barn Music, Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village this Saturday, August 19, and if you’re still undecided about whether or not to grab one of the precious few remaining tickets, here’s one of my fave tracks from his 2014 release, Great Big World, “Single String Medley.”

Be sure to check out his website to get access to photos, videos, info and more. Ready to start pickin’ and a grinnin’ yourself? Why not take some classes from Tony himself?

Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.
Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.

 

About Tony Trischka

 

Trischka, 2012 United States Artists Friends Fellow, is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of America’s premier sports-rock band Country Granola. In 1973, he began a three-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

On Tony’s latest album Great Big World (Rounder Records – released February, 2014) his instrumental expertise and boundless imagination are as sharp as ever. One of the most ambitious and accomplished of his career, the album is a deeply compelling showcase for his expansive instrumental talents, far-ranging musical interests and distinctive songwriting skills, as well as his sterling taste in collaborators. With contributions from his band Territory, Steve Martin, Michael Daves, Noam Pikelny, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and many other special guests the 13-track set finds Trischka embracing all manner of possibilities, while keeping one foot firmly planted in the traditional bluegrass roots that first inspired him to make music.

Tony continues to maintain a national and international touring schedule with his band of extraordinary musicians.

Will Call Episode #59: Vermont Stories through word and mural

Story Event at The Bennington Center for the Arts focus on “Stories About Us.”

Story Night Review takes place August 18 at the Bennington Center for the Arts; artwork courtesy Vermont Stories.
Story Night Review takes place August 18 at the Bennington Center for the Arts; artwork courtesy Vermont Stories.

What is Story Night Review?

The biggest Story Night yet at the beautiful Bennington Center for the Arts! Five storytellers put their lives on the line as we listen through the laughs and the tears. You’ve loved hearing intimate tales at Two Brews—now experience the playhouse edition. The Review brings together some favorite tellers and puts them on the stage for a night. Who knows, stories may ruffle some feathers, make us laugh or cringe but these are the stories of our neighbors, friends and perfect strangers. These are stories we all can understand and feel because it is from those closest to us
The event, sponsored by Spirits of Old Bennington, supports the Bennington Murals project.
“Homer,” by Jean-Baptiste Auguste Leloir CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Homer,” told a pretty mean tale. by Jean-Baptiste Auguste Leloir [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 


 This episode is sponsored by our friends at Headwater Cider!

 

 

Perched high atop a hill in Hawley, Mass., Headwater Cider raises happy apples. The view is gorgeous, the air is clean, and the cider mill blends an ancient art with contemporary efficiency.cyber You can find this delicious beverage at the Spirit Shop in Williamstown, West Liquors in North Adams, and plenty of other shops and restaurants in Massachusetts. A complete list is available in Headwater Cider’s listing in our directory! Check out their Facebook page for details about tastings and other upcoming events and

 

 


What Is Bennington Murals?

Bennington Mural Art Program is a community driven initiative to create professional art on our walls. Forest Byrd is an artist and illustrator who will be doing some of the work to get this off the ground and eventually work with many other artists to create dynamic art spaces. Many places are sited and in the planning stages.

We are working on concepts that will tell interesting stories of Bennington and be a surprise for residents and visitors to see. For more information check us out on Facebook or after August 18th at BenningtonMurals.com.

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Will Call Episode #58: Bang on a Can, Story Slam & DownStreet Art

Spirit and Song tie both this episode and much of the creative community.

Anna & Elizabeth appear at Hancock Shaker Village 7/26; photo by Brett Winter Lemon
Anna & Elizabeth appear at Hancock Shaker Village 7/26; photo by Brett Winter Lemon

 

This is Will Call, #58—I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. This episode is sponsored by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which presents the brand new musical, “A Legendary Romance,” August 3rd through the 20th on the Main Stage. Tickets available at wtfestival.org.

I don’t always know what thread that runs through each episode will be when I start planning, but by the time I start weaving together story, song, images, and information, the pattern always emerges.

Art and Soul

The Clark Art Institute, in conjunction with Pastor Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, presents StorySLAM on Friday, July 28. The event, free and open to the public, celebrates the Clark’s exhibition, As In Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings open July 1- September 24, 2017. The luminous, large-scale canvases in the exhibition emphasize nature as the artist’s long-standing inspiration. Members of the Williamstown community and beyond are invited to hear and tell stories that center around the theme of nature. Have you ever had a profound or unexpected experience in nature? How has the natural world opened your eyes or changed your perspective? StorySLAM is hosted on the Moltz Terrace at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill which offers extraordinary views of the Berkshires and the Green Mountains. On the evening of the event, names of those interested in sharing stories are chosen at random, and those selected are invited to tell a five-minute story. A panel of judges provides feedback and prizes are awarded. The rules: Live. True. First person. No notes. No net.
The Clark Art Institute, in conjunction with Pastor Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, presents StorySLAM on Friday, July 28.

This week, the magnifying power of community on creative expression revealed itself as our theme. We speak with Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown both about the seasonal “Art and Soul” series of sermons going on now, as well as the upcoming Story Slam taking place at the Clark Art Institute. “Art & Soul” examines the intriguing intersection of creativity and spirit. This week, Mark recommends taking in the July 26th appearance of Anna & Elizabeth at the Hancock Shaker Village in preparation for his sermon, “Spirit and Song” which will feature local favorite performing and recording duo, Long Journey. In between, Mark emcees an annual Story Slam taking place at the Clark Art Institute, who’s theme of Nature fits divinely with two Helen Frankenthaler exhibits now on view at the Clark.

We also connected with Philippa Thompson via Skype in this episode to catch up with Bang on a Can, whose summer festival is going on now at MASS MoCA. Philippa describes how new interactions among an international collection of musicians breathe life and innovation into a curious species of musical organization now in its 30th year.

Finally we welcome back one the Greylock Glass’ oldest friends, Michelle Daly. She also spoke via Skype to give us an overview of this year’s DownStreet Art celebration, and talks a little bit about her new role as director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

First though, let’s get in the spirit of things with a bit of song—From Anna & Elizabeth’s self-titled 2015 release, here is “Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow” right now on Will Call.

Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church in Williamstown will emcee the StorySlam at the Clark July 28; photo courtesy Rev. Mark Longhurst
Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church in Williamstown will emcee the StorySlam at the Clark July 28; photo courtesy Rev. Mark Longhurst

That was another one, “Troubles,” from Anna & Elizabeth’s debut album. Anna & Elizabeth are playing Wednesday, July 26, at the Hancock Shaker Village as part of the Barn Music Summer Series, which launched this year. Rev. Longhurst discusses the work of Anna & Elizabeth and other artists in “Spirit and Song,” the next installment of the “Art and Soul” series of summer sermons exploring the creative landscape of the Berkshires through Scripture. Service begins Sunday at 10 a.m. All are welcome. The Story Slam happens at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Friday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m. The event is free, and would make a great pairing with the Helen Frankenthaler, open to members and the public at regular admission prices.

Bang on a Can

Ashley Bathgate performs the work of 2007 Festival alum Kate Moore; photo by W.S. Melnick.
Ashley Bathgate performs the work of 2007 Festival alum Kate Moore; photo by W.S. Melnick.

Now, on to discussion of a music event which is not new, but is, in fact, like a familiar bird that makes its home ever so briefly at MASS MoCA each Summer. Our guest is Philippa Thompson, program manager for Bang on a Can, who gives us an inside look into some of what makes this celebration of new composition so enduring.

16Th Annual Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA
July 19 – August 5, 2017

• Daily Recitals in the Galleries at 4:30pm including
Ghanian Drumming, Latin Music, and much more
• The Bang on a Can All-Stars preview ROAD TRIP by
Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe
• Mark Stewart and festival fellows perform on hundreds
of spectacular original instruments of Gunnar
Schonbeck
• World Premiere Composer Concert – Over 40 young
composers and performers from around the world
debut nine new works written especially for the festival.
• A tribute concert to Pauline Oliveros
• Music from Central Asia – musicians from Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan
• Festival fellows perform Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3
• Concert celebrating guest composer George Lewis
• Concert celebrating guest composer Louis Andriessen
• 6-hour Bang on a Can Marathon featuring music by Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Jeffrey Brooks,
Michael Gordon, David Lang, Vanessa Lann, György Ligeti, Nicole Lizée, Julia Wolfe and more

An astounding diversity of musical perspectives and geographic origins adds texture through powerful collaborations, such as that between Australian composer Kate Moore and Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate. The two met in 2009 and have worked together on various projects including Moore’s debut with Cantalope Music and 2016’s Stories for Ocean Shells, to which this song, “Velvet,” belongs.

In a 2015 Will Call video special presentation, Bang on a Can Program Manager Philippa Thompson discusses what makes the atmosphere of the Summer Festival so conducive to creativity; video capture by Jason Velázquez.
In a 2015 Will Call video special presentation, Bang on a Can Program Manager Philippa Thompson discusses what makes the atmosphere of the Summer Festival so conducive to creativity; video capture by Jason Velázquez.

And that was “Thorn,” composed by David Lang and performed by Molly Barth. Check the shownotes for information about where to go to make the music you hear on this episode your very own. You can also find links to Bang on a Can and MASS MoCA which has a full slate of events lined up for the entire season.

DownStreet Art

DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh...art than ever,
DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh…art than ever,

Well THIS season would certainly not be complete unless we checked in with Michelle Daly of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at MCLA. DownStreet Art is among the region’s premier events and just about the best excuse to shut down Downtown for a few hours.

Michelle Daly, now the Director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, explains some of the changes to this years festivities; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Michelle Daly, now the Director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, explains some of the changes to this years festivities; photo by Jason Velázquez.

I feel like we barely tread couple yards of all the ground I wished I could cover with Michelle. Alas! But, as always, links to DownStreet Art and the BCRC are in the shownotes, so you can explore on your own. Just don’t forget to find your way to downtown North Adams this Thursday.

Well, I don’t always time it this well, but it looks like we do, in fact, have a little space here at the end of the episode to play a song we haven’t featured on any of our shows yet, and that’s “Rescue Me,” by Long Journey, the beloved Berkshires duo comprised of Karl Mullen and Amrita Lash. They’ll be providing some of the “song” portion of the “Spirit and Song” community worship service this Sunday at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown.

Again I want to thank our sponsor for this episode, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and encourage all of our listeners who are as crazy about musicals as we are to make haste to wtfestival.org to pick up tickets for A Legendary Romance, playing on the Main Stage August 3rd through August 20th. That’s our show for the week, I’ve been your host, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you’ll join me again for another episode of Will Call.

Long Journey will provide some of the song in the "Spirit and Song" installment of the Art and Soul community worship series at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown on July 30th at 10 a.m.
Long Journey will provide some of the song in the “Spirit and Song” installment of the Art and Soul community worship series at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown on July 30th at 10 a.m.

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Will Call Episode #57: Stacy Schiff — The Witches: Salem 1692

(from released information)

HANCOCK, Mass.—A native of Adams who majored in art history at Williams College, Stacy Schiff is a best-selling Pulitzer-prize winning author – most recently of The Witches: Salem 1692 – who will discuss the intersection of politics and hysteria at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday, July 14, 2017.

Composite image created from cover of The Witches: Salem 1692 and "Witches flying on broomsticks," from The history of witches and wizards," 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0
Composite image of cover for The Witches: Salem 1692 and “Witches flying on broomsticks,” from The history of witches and wizards,” 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0

 

”The hottest biographer on the block,” according to Vanity Fair, Schiff is the author of numerous biographies, as well as essays and articles have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, and The New York Review of Books. Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Vera, a biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Vladimir Nabokov, and her Cleopatra was #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Saint-Exupéry: A Biography of Antoine de Saint Exupéry.  “With The Witches Schiff is at her best,” continued Vanity Fair, “infusing a historical event with as much life, mystey, and tragedy of any novelist.”

Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.
Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.

 

“She’s perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time,” said novelist Brad Gooch.

“Settlements were isolated and lit with only smoky fires, which fed vivid imagination. New Englanders lived very much in the dark, where one listens more acutely, feels most passionately, and imagines most vividly, where the sacred and the occult thrive,” writes Schiff.   The Witches entailed voluminous research, and Schiff conjures up late-17th-century New England with gripping detail.

Come be seduced.   Meet the bestselling author over dinner, when she talks about the witch trials: what we know, what we think we know, and what we indeed should know.

The evening includes a seasonal, neighborhood sourced, three-course dinner prepared by noted regional chef Brian Alberg, wine, and a copy of the author’s book.

The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tickets:

Dinner with Stacy Schiff is part of a series of important authors talking about far-ranging subjects of relevance today.  Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed issues as far ranging as gender equality, sustainability, land renewal, racial equality, pacifism, and shared economies decades before fashionable, let alone there being a vocabulary to address such subjects. Hancock Shaker Village’s Food for Thought is a monthly dinner series with today’s best thinkers, who address topics of relevance to our world today.  The series is sponsored by October Mountain Financial Advisors.

The next Food for Thought dinner in the series is Friday, August 11 with Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The New York Times bestseller The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

But don’t listen to us…Here’s what the critics say:

“An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J. K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King, and Marina Warner… Schiff’s writing is to die for.” The Times (London)

“Schiff excels at finding fresh angles on familiar stories, carries out massive research and then weaves it into a dazzling social panorama.”  Elaine Showalter, The Washington Post

“She writes with such spirit and agility that to read her books is something like watching a great dancer. To say that her latest book is fascinating and insightful is hardly sufficient. It’s brilliant from start to finish.” David McCullough, Favorite Reads of 2015

“Eerie and engrossing. Schiff is a proven spellbinder.” Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“In this beautiful retelling of one of our ugliest tales, Schiff describes the sheer strangeness of the trials and the society from which they spring.” Boston Globe, Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

ABOUT HANCOCK VILLAGE

Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.

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