Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Chester Theatre Announces Travel Programs

Chester Theatre Company announces two unique travel experiences for theatre lovers: The 2016 Theatre Tour to Chicago, October 18-23,

Daniel Eilhu Kramer leads Chester Theatre trips.

Daniel Eilhu Kramer leads Chester Theatre trips.

2016, and the 2017 Theatre Tour to London, March 11-19. Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer leads the tours. “Years of experience have helped us find the optimum balance between structured and free time,” he said. “We see amazing plays, but we don’t schedule people’s every minute. We give them time to explore these exciting cities on their own between productions and lively TalkBacks.”

Highlights of the Chicago trip include six days and five nights in Chicago, and tickets to four theatre performances. Steve Oxman, Variety Magazine’s Chicago theatre critic, and Kramer provide pre and post theatre talks. Registrations close at the end of August.

Highlights of the London trip include eight days and seven nights in London, and tickets to five performances. Kramer and Matt Wolf, Theatre Critic for the International New York Times, offer pre and post theatre talks.

For pricing and itineraries, contact Erin Patrick at [email protected], or by calling 413-354-7770, or visit the Chester Theatre website at www.chestertheatre.org.


Learn About The Public Art Process

The UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service will bring free Introduction to the Public Art Process Workshop to four Western Mass communities this fall. The workshop is designed for artists in all disciplines who want to expand their vision, be paid to make art, build their portfolio, and have their work seen by a diverse audience within our region and beyond

Workshops will take place in Easthampton at the Flywheel Arts Collective on September 21; in Holyoke at the Massachusetts High Performance Green Computing Center (MGHPCC) on September 28; in Pittsfield at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts on October 12; and in Amherst at the Jones Library on November 15. Each identical session runs from 5:30PM-8PM. The Introduction to the Public Art Process workshop is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. For details:  413-545-2360, or

Carolyn Kuan, Hartford Symphony Maestra. Photo by Jane Shauck

Carolyn Kuan, Hartford Symphony Maestra. Photo by Jane Shauck

www.artsextensionservice.org .

Preview The Boston Theatre Scene

Greater Boston’s vibrant theatre community gets showcased at the 4th Annual Greater Boston Theatre Expo on September 2 at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (539 Tremont Street, Boston) from 5PM-8PM. Over  60 theater companies and individual artists participate, and visitors to the event have the opportunity to meet representatives and artists from the region’s fringe, small, mid-sized, and large theatre companies, to learn about upcoming productions, and to take advantage of Expo-only ticket offers and giveaways. For details: http://www.stagesource.org/GBTE16

Jenn Thompson stages Tribes at Barrington Stage.

Jenn Thompson stages Tribes at Barrington Stage.

Do Broadway on The Cheap

You may have stood in line at the TKTS booth on Times Square hoping to score some last minute discounts on tickets to Broadway shows. Maybe you’ve gone to the TKTS booth at South Street Seaport. If you’re a student, senior, veteran, school teacher, an employee at a non-profit, or have other qualifications, you can skip the lines and buy deeply discounted tickets in advance, courtesy of the Theatre Development Fund. TDF funds discounts for Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. There’s a $34 annual fee involved, and you can often make your purchases in advance, online. For details and eligibility requirements. https://www.tdf.org/nyc/24/Eligibility-Requirements

Jonathon Loy directs Madama Butterfly at Berkshire Opera.

Jonathon Loy directs Madama Butterfly at Berkshire Opera.

Keep in Mind…

Hartford Symphony Orchestra single tickets are now on sale for the 2016-17 season. All Masterworks Series concerts will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM. and Sundays at 3PM. in The Bushnell’s Belding Theater, and all Pops Series concerts will take place on Saturdays at 7:30PM. in The Bushnell’s Mortensen Hall. For details: 860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Brian Garman conducts Madama Butterfly at Berkshire Opera.

Brian Garman conducts Madama Butterfly at Berkshire Opera.

 Madama Butterfly, Puccini’s masterpiece, will be performed by Berkshire Opera at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on August 27, 30 and September 2.  Jonathon Loy directs; Brian Garman conducts, and Charles Caine designs the costumes. Inna Los is Cio-Cio San, and Jason Slayden is Pinkerton. This is the Berkshire Opera’s inaugural season. Tickets are available through Berkshire Theatre Group. 413-997-4444 or http://www.berkshireoperafestival.org/

Tribes, Nina Raine’s award-winning play gets a regional premiere at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield through September 3. Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Tribes is a funny yet moving, and always provocative play about a young man who was born deaf into an unconventional hearing family. It’s not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to “speak up” for himself. Jenn Thompson, who just staged Goodspeed’s production of Bye Bye Birdie directs. For details: 413-236-8888 or www.barringtonstageco.org.

Grand Concourse, Heidi Shreck’s play is the final offering of WAM’s Fresh Takes Series of the season on September 11. Sheila Siragusa directs the staged reading at the No. Six Depot and Roastery in West Stockbridge, MA.  Grand Concourse navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of happiness. For details: www.wamtheatre.com

Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He’s worked for arts organizations and reported on theatre for newspapers and radio.

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