Berkshire Theatre Group

Summer theater

A young man from Colombia sees New York for the first time. A pianist from Harlem sees his son for the first time. A woman speaking in sign insists on the beauty of her language. What is American? Berkshire theaters are taking on this question with a tough and broad-minded compassion as they open this…

New work on stage

This summer is rich in premieres at Berkshire theaters — new work developed here, often commissioned here and in full production here for the first time — and contemporary plays, recent if not new. I got to talk with artistic directors for Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage and Williamstown Theatre Festival earlier this summer for a story in Berkshire Magazine before many of the shows were in rehearsal, and meet a playwright at Shakespeare & Company.

In the featured photo, Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden hold onto each other in ‘American Son,’ which premiered at Barrington Stage Company in June and July. Photo by Scott Barrow, courtesy of Barrington Stage Company

Fiorello! fights corruption — to music

He defended strikers and labor unions. He worked as a translator at Ellis Island in Italian, Yiddish and Croatian. He helped and represented newcomers in the city, and against the corrupt political machine of Tammany Hall they supported him when he ran for the House of Representatives — as a Republican. Times have changed since…

Berkshire writers travel in time

“Harriet Beecher Stowe had a manic depressive husband, and the roof leaked, and she had seven children, and she wrote ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’” said Berkshire playwright Barbara Sims. “She inspired me. I’ve raised children; I’m in a marriage; but how do you make your own identity?” She read Stowe’s journal not long ago, and for…