BITS & BYTES: Berkshire South 5K; new live theater in Becket; film screenings at the Little Cinema; celebrate World Fish Migration Day; Ancram Opera House workshops

Berkshire South 5k returns in person May 14

GREAT BARRINGTON — Berkshire South Regional Community Center’s (BSRCC) annual 5K fundraiser returns in person this year after two years with a distanced format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Walk/Run takes place at the Great Barrington Airport on Saturday, May 14, with check-in at 9 am and a race start at 10 am The annual event is a critical fundraiser for Berkshire South’s Community Youth Programming, including the free Teen Outreach Nutrition and Exercise program (TONE). New this year is a Children’s Fun Color Run, which takes place at 9:30 am and is appropriate for children ages 10 and younger.

“Students in the TONE program learn about what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives, which is very beneficial after high school. Also, the program allows for all students to have access to facilities that usually cost some money. This is extremely helpful for students that come from low-income backgrounds that do not have the means to pay for memberships. The program gives students the freedom to explore their health and nutrition and prepare for an overall healthy lifestyle” according to Jenise Lucey, Executive Director of Berkshire South.

Registration for the event will remain open at for a discounted rate of $30 through 5 pm on Friday, May 13. Day-of registration is $40. The first 100 entrants receive a race t-shirt. Snacks will be available post-race and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in various age brackets. The 5K is a family friendly event. All fitness levels are welcome. The 2022 5K Run/Walk will be administered by Berkshire Running Center. Those who are not to participate in this year are able to make a donation online.

* * *

Becket Arts Center to host Joyce Van Dyke’s “Representation And How To Get It”

Elaine Vaan Hogue as Julia Ward Howe. Photo courtesy Becket Arts Center

BECKET — The Picket Arts Center will host a live performance of Joyce Van Dyke’s “Representation And How To Get It” on Saturday, May 14 at 2 pmfollowed by a conversation with the artists and a reception.

This new theater piece focuses on Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and challenges audiences to become politically active citizens of our democracy with a mission to “lift the visionary politics of Julia Ward Howe into our own time. ”

Tickets are $20 (suggested donation) for adults, with free admission for students and children, and can be purchased online.

In the plays, Julia Ward Howe is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. The suffragist and human rights activist has some questions for her audience — then and now. Why did her own great-grandfather exclude her from the Declaration of Independence? Why don’t women have the right to pursue happiness, too? What happens to your soul when you don’t have representation? As she rehearses “Representation And How To Get It” — a talk she’s about to give to the Boston Radical Club — she sees a vision of an America greater than the one presented by the Founding Fathers, and gives a prescient warning about the growing political crisis that threatens our democracy today. And what, Julia asks, are we doing about it? Directed by Judy Braha with Elaine Vaan Hogue as Julia Ward Howe.

* * *

Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema announces lineup

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Museum announces a lineup of screenings in its Little Cinema. Through partnerships with Exhibition on Screen, National Theater Live, and Great Art on Screen, Berkshire Museum brings art and culture to Pittsfield.

Coming soon to the Little Cinema beginning Thursday, May 19 is “Frida Kahlo,” a detailed look at the famed artist. Using her letters and her key works as guides, this film reveals the secrets behind the bold colors and the symbolism contained within her work. Two screenings of “Frida Kahlo” will feature Spanish subtitles; check the upcoming screening list for dates and times.

Frida Kahlo at the Little Cinema

National Theater Live screenings bring the stage performances of various London theaters to you. These screenings offer an up-close and personal look at some of the world’s top performers, including Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan in “Skylight” (starting May 5). Upcoming screenings also include “The Book of Dust” from the fantasy book series “The Golden Compass/His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman, and an innovative production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring James McAvoy.

Great Art on Screen, a series of event documentaries exclusively for cinemas, is an in-depth look into the works and legacies of famous artists. Summer screenings include “Raphael: The Young Prodigy,” which follows the life story and work of one of the most influential Renaissance painters.

* * *

Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at Berkshire Athenaeum

PITTSFIELD — Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at the Berkshire Athenaeum on Saturday, May 21, from 10 am–12 pm Join Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Housatonic Valley Association, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Pittsfield for a free day that takes place every two years as a global celebration to create awareness about the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers.

As part of this event, interactive displays for all ages will demonstrate some of the challenges migratory fish encounter — from physical barriers such as dams and culverts, to runoff pollution that enters aquatic ecosystems. There will also be activities designed to educate children on migratory fish.

Additionally, presentations accompanied by short videos will begin at 10:30 am and continue until 11:15 am Speakers will talk about the importance of fish being able to freely move throughout their habitat, the significance of fish-friendly culverts, and the effects of climate change on migratory fish. You’ll also hear about dam and culvert removals that have taken or are currently taking place in Pittsfield, some of the water quality testing underway to ensure pollutants aren’t entering our streams, and more.

* * *

Ancram Opera House announces free community workshops

ANCRAMNY — Ancram Opera House (AOH) will again offer free, interactive community workshops this spring, with the artists behind its 2022 summer season. No previous experience is necessary to attend.

AOH workshops are designed to engage with artistic expression in all its forms. Participants will receive personalized guidance and feedback from the teaching artists. Folks of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend, from seasoned professionals to theater newcomers.

The Summer Play Lab at Ancram Opera House

This year, workshops will take place live at Ancram Opera House. In order to maintain a safe environment, and provide participants with individual attention, enrollment will be limited. Participants ages 18+ can sign up for one, two or all three workshops. All three workshops are free, but registration is required.

Events kick off on Saturday, May 21 from 11 am–1 pm with a storytelling workshop. Learn how to organize your story, and how to create that deep performer/audience member connection that can only happen through the intimacy of storytelling. Using techniques developed in Ancram‘s REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES series, AOH Director Paul Ricciardi will guide participants through fun exercises that will lead to a dynamic story.

From 10 am–12 pm on Saturday, May 28the SUNWATCHER creative team offers a creative movement workshop. Director Nana Dakin will guide participants through a series of simple exercises to awaken physical awareness. Learn more about the team’s creative process and the inspiration for SUNWATCHER, including scientific information about the Sun and sunspots. Composer Tidtaya Sinutoke and librettist Isabella Dawis will share some of the music they created based on this data. Participants will then be guided by Dakin on how to use these scientific facts and musical material as inspiration to create their own one-of-a-kind SUNWATCHER movement.

Participants in the creative movement workshop may want to stay the afternoon of the 27th to explore the Ancram area and then return to AOH for the 8 pm work-in-progress showing of SUNWATCHER. The evening event is not a part of the workshop and tickets must be purchased separately.

On Saturday, June 18 from 10 amto 3 pmCeleste Lecesne, writer/performer of POOF!, will lead a storymaking workshop designed to explore our individual myths, give voice to emotional, political, and personal truths, and create a structure that will carry your story into the world. Whether you are working on a screenplay, a TV pilot, a stage play, a one-person show or a novel, knowing the basic rules of a story can help you discover both the story you want to tell and the best way to present it.

* * *

Leave a Comment