Bits & Bytes: Joan Ackermann at Shakespeare & Co.; Friday Night Live; ‘Beethoven Journey;’ Simon’s Rock names commencement speaker

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By Monday, Mar 13 Arts & Entertainment
A collection of works by playwright Joan Ackermann will be performed in the weekend event "Joan Ackermann: One Playwright, One Weekend" at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox beginning Friday, March 17.

Shakespeare & Company to host weekend of plays by Joan Ackermann

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company will host “Joan Ackermann: One Playwright, One Weekend” Friday, March 17, through Sunday, March 19. During the weekend, Company actors and guest performers will explore the most beloved scripts of prolific local playwright, journalist and screenwriter. The show will include a world premiere script. All six readings will be directed by Ackermann.

Ackermann is a playwright, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and television writer who, together with co-founder Gillian Seidl, has run Mixed Company theater in Great Barrington for 36 years. A special contributor to Sports Illustrated for seven years, she has also written for TIME, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Esquire, Glamour, Audubon and many other magazines. She has written over 20 plays, which have been produced locally and nationally. She adapted the play “Off the Map” to film, which was directed by Campbell Scott and starred Sam Elliott and Joan Allen. Her young adult novel, “In The Space Left Behind,” was published by HarperCollins and is about a teenage boy from Pittsfield. She was one of the head writers on HBO’s “Arliss” for seven years. She has been a hiking guide at Canyon Ranch in Lenox for over 25 years and currently teaches tai chi there.

Tickets are $25 general admission and $10 for students. For tickets and a complete schedule of performances, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Shakespeare & Company box office at (413) 637-3353.

–E.E.

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Alison Larkin, Berkshire Waldorf High School to stage Friday Night Live

Alison_Larkinpic1

Alison Larkin.

Stockbridge — Berkshire Waldorf High School students, along with guest comedians from Lenox Memorial Middle and High School and Monument Mountain Regional High School, will present “Friday Night Live,” a unique night of comedy developed and emceed by comedienne Alison Larkin, on Friday, March 17, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. at the Unicorn Theatre.

Larkin is an internationally acclaimed comedienne, award-winning audiobook narrator, voice artist, actress, producer, screenwriter and the bestselling author of “The English American.” She was born in Washington, D.C., adopted by British parents and raised in England and Africa. At age 28, when she discovered her birth mother living in Bald Mountain, Tennessee, she moved to America and became a stand-up comic. Her celebrated one-woman show has been seen in concert performances on both sides of the Atlantic and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable organizations. Larkin has narrated more than 150 audiobooks, many of them New York Times bestsellers.

Tickets for each show range from $10 for students to $100 for preferred seating. Proceeds will support Berkshire Waldorf High School’s participation in Shakespeare & Company’s annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare. Parents are advised that the event is rated PG-13. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Tracy Fernbacher at (413) 298- 3800 or admissions@berkshirewaldorf.com.

–E.E.

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CEWM to present ‘Beethoven Journey’

Michael Brown. Photo: Neda Navaee

Michael Brown. Photo: Neda Navaee

Rachel Lee Priday. Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Rachel Lee Priday. Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Great Barrington — On Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m., Close Encounters With Music will present “Beethoven Journey – Early, Middle and Late” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. The program will offer three stops along the composer’s musical journey: the early cello sonata No. 2 in G minor, a middle-period violin sonata No. 7 in C minor, and the “Archduke” Trio Opus 97. The featured performers will be Michael Brown on piano, Rachel Lee Priday on violin, and CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani on cello.

Brown is the winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and Priday has appeared as a soloist with major international orchestras. The selections and musical partnership on stage will reveal the intimacy, majesty and ever-present power of Beethoven’s works for strings and piano.

Tickets range from $15 to $45. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call th eMahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Lauren Duca to give Simon’s Rock commencement address

Lauren Duca. Photo: Damon Dahlen

Lauren Duca. Photo: Damon Dahlen

Great Barrington — Award-winning writer and Teen Vogue contributing editor Lauren Duca will address graduates at the 48th commencement ceremony of Bard College at Simon’s Rock on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m.

Duca drew international attention in December 2016 for her op-ed piece “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America.” Her work can be also be found in such publications as Vice, New York Magazine, the New Yorker, the New Inquiry, the Nation, Pacific Standard, Cosmopolitan, and Complex. In 2015, Duca won the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for best film, television or theater feature for her Huffington Post article “The Rise of the Woman-Child.” She has been nominated for a 2017 Shorty Award, recognizing influencers and organizations producing the best content on social media.

Duca graduated magna cum laude in 2013 from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and philosophy. In recent months, Duca has been profiled by the New York Times and featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, “Chelsea,” and “Dan Rather’s America.”

–E.E.


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