INDIEcent Exposure #7 — Kickwheel Ensemble Theater takes “Passage” Home

July 22, 2015

“Passage” finishes its residency at Millbrook School—journey continues in Pittsfield.

Kickwheel Ensemble Theater rehearsing its newest original theater piece, "PASSAGE," at Millbrook School.
Kickwheel Ensemble Theater rehearsing its newest original theater piece, “PASSAGE,” at Millbrook School.


Merging original sound, virtuosic physical performance, and questionably accurate historical reenactments, Passage focuses an often humorous lens on the Canadian Arctic, a hotbed of political unrest with a tragic past and an uncertain future. As an ensemble theater company, Kickwheel has spent the past year writing, devising, generating, and exploring diverse source materials including researched accounts, news reports, letters, and interviews.

Upon completion of the residency in Millbrook, Kickwheel will return to its Berkshire home in August for another work-in-progress showing of the piece in Pittsfield, MA. “As theater makers creating new work, the feedback we receive from our community is a huge part of our creative process” says Passage director Sara Katzoff. “Reactions to these first public showings will inform how this project grows, evolves, and changes.” Kickwheel Ensemble also plans to premiere Passage in the Berkshires in 2016 and to tour the work worldwide in 2016 and 2017.

The Berkshire Fringe—the theater festival that is historically the biggest and best known project of Bazaar Productions—will take a hiatus in 2015. “We’re taking this year off from producing the festival to dedicate our minds and bodies more fully to creating our own work,” says company co-artistic director Peter Wise. “It will also be an opportunity to take the time needed to create a more sustainable long term vision for the festival in 2016 and beyond.”

"Iceberg in Baffins Bay," by William Westall, July 1819; image courtesy Toronto Public Library (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Iceberg in Baffins Bay,” by William Westall, July 1819; image courtesy Toronto Public Library (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bazaar Productions will continue its presenting activities in 2015, launching a new music series called Fringe Music in collaboration with Shire City Sanctuary and the City of Pittsfield’s First Friday Artswalk. The monthly series will present sonic innovators from across the Northeast that break down genre barriers and come from a wide array of stylistic backgrounds. The new series will start in September 2015 and is a direct offshoot of the 30 Live! series that has been the music presentation portion of The Berkshire Fringe since 2006.


Controlled Exposure: Sydney Eloise & The Palms, “Faces”


"Faces," by Sydney Eloise & the Palms, released July, 2015
“Faces,” by Sydney Eloise & the Palms, released July, 2015


Honestly, we were skeptical about some of the praise Sydney Eloise & the Palms were getting in the advance press. C’mon…allusions to Phil Spector? But it’s all there: Great BIG sound. Deeply personal lyrics. A voice that comes across as honest, yet so polished. And a cohesiveness that a lot of bands can’t pull off until they’ve been working together for a decade or two.


Give “Too Long” a listen. You’ll wish it went on a lot longer.



The critically acclaimed "Send for the Million Men," by Joseph Silovsky, opens Thursday, July 16; photo by Cory Weaver
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The Olive Trees, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889; oil on canvas;, Museum of Modern Art, New York
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