This weekend — theater, cataclysms, hikes

Along with bluegrass and poetry, theater, art and the outdoors will fill this weekend on the hinge of summer and fall.

“God of Carnage” will finish its run this weekend at the Theatre Barn on Route 20 in New Lebanon, N.Y. — a play following two couples brought face to face when one of their sons injures the other’s in a playground fight.

Since she wrote it in 2008, Yasmina Reza’s play has won acclaim in Paris, in London and on Broadway and become a film directed by Roman Polanski. The show runs Sept. 18, 19 and 20 — 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

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On the Williams College stage, this weekend brings apocalypses and survival. The Summer Theatre Lab will reprise “Gilded Girls: 66 (very short) plays about the end of the world” tonight and Saturday at the ’62 Center.

According to the ’62 Center, Mallery Avidon’s new work follows five historical women — Nancy Reagan, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Leni Riefenstahl and Marie Curie — into five different ends of the world.

Kevin O’Rourke dreamed up the theater lab in the summer of 2004, Williams alum Christopher Huffaker explained in a story he wrote last summer at Berkshires Week & Shires of Vermont. (A year ago Chris was one of my two summer interns.)

Caitlin Sullivan, O’Rourke’s co-artistic director last summer, will return to the ’62 Center this weekend from the West Coast with a different theater project.

The Satori Group, a Seattle theater company and a longtime collaborator with the theater lab, will come east with “Returning to Albert Joseph,” opening Friday night. Andrea and Leo witness violence, and his mind goes blank. Hiding in an empty building, they try to help each other — but, according to the group, uncovering buried memories can be dangerous.
Founding Satori members Caitlin Sullivan, the play’s director, and Satori Group Artistic Director Spike Friedman, the playwright, are both Williams alumni from the class of 2007, and they first worked together in this theater. Their creative team includes seven Williams alums and two current students — and, like the theater lab, they have supported students and alums in new work for many years.

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Exploring a real-world cataclysmic change, New York artist Anton Ginzburg’s “Walking the Sea” exhibit has come to Bard College Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington. (The show will run through Dec. 15 at the Daniel Arts Center, open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 2 to 8 p.m. on weekends.)

Ginzburg explores the drying up of the Aral Sea, once one of the largest inland seas on the planet. It has almost vanished, as a Columbia University study http://www.columbia.edu/~tmt2120/introduction.htm explains, because in the 1960s the Soviet government diverted the rivers that fed it. They tried to take the water to irrigate cotton fields, though most of it evaporated. The rapid change in the sea and the environment around it has affected millions of people.

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Following a more peaceful exchange between people and the land, Hancock Shaker Village will offer a Working the Land walk at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. The guided walk along the Farm and Forest Trail will talk about the Shakers’ use and care of the land across 200 years and the village’s new sustainability efforts in water and solar power and community-supported agriculture.

The walk is one of more than 60 Heritage Hikes — walks, bike rides and canoe trips — the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, Inc. will lead this weekend, next weekend and the first weekend in October. From Dry Hill in New Marlborough to Bidwell House in Monterey to West Stockbridge, Church on the Hill cemetery in Lenox, Chesterwood in Stockbridge, the old school house in Mount Washington and many more, trips will explore the wildlife, the land and the history of the Housatonic watershed and the river valley. Find the full schedule here.

These are only some of the many events in the area this weekend, a few that caught my eye. This roundup began with press releases and calendar information, and I have expanded it from research and my own knowledge.

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