Parties & Openings
April 14 – Pittsfield
Susan Merrill Exhibit Opening
April 7 – Ghent
Ghent Playhouse Gala
March 31 – Hudson
Lil' Deb's Commitment Ceremony
Berkshire Fringe Celebrates Season Seven
Cultural correspondent Bess J.M. Hochstein reports from Great Barrington.
Over the past six years, The Berkshire Fringe has hosted more than 400 emerging artists in an annual, eclectic arts extravaganza including theater, dance, music, film, video, and everything in between. This year’s festival—which kicked off on Monday, July 25 with a cocktail party, performance, silent and live auction (conducted by Timothy Olson père et fils, left), and dance party at the Daniel Arts Center of Simon’s Rock—runs through August 15. It includes 50 events (many of them free) and 100 artists, a good portion of whom, it seemed, were on stage to present work created specifically for the gala, with the restriction that three props must be used: an orange, a wheelbarrow, and an unopened letter. Due to high ticket demand, for the first time the performance was moved from the Liebowitz Studio Theater into the larger McConnell Theater. The gala’s five works proved to be as diverse as the live auction items, which included dinner for four prepared by a professional chef in the bidder’s home plus a week’s share of produce from Farm Girl Farm; a week’s stay in a villa on Italy’s Lake Como; and a set of autographed cast photos from the television shows Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Alias, and Sex in the City.
Actor Kevin Craig West, who performed during the gala, with Kathleen Carey of Troy, NY; performer and Pilates instructor Karen Lee with Shakespeare & Company’s David Joseph.
Realtor Nancy Kalodner and Dream Away Lodge proprietor Daniel Osman; attorneys David Schecker and Vicki Bonnnington.
Members of the multimedia art collective Satan’s Pearl Horses Nikolai Antonie, Kohta Asakura, intern Ben Welmond, and Jimmy Sakai, who presented a video during the gala performance.
Artist Gabrielle Senza, who performed during the gala, and writer Jeremy D. Goodwin; actor Hilary Somers Deely, who is curating this fall’s Made in the Berkshires arts festival, with investor Mark Williams.
After the performance, the actors and writers gathered on stage to talk about their work and take questions from the audience.